Anglican parishes and individuals have been responding overwhelmingly to the devastation in Burma and in China in the wake of much-publicized disasters that hit those countries.

The finance department at The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund says it is trying to keep up with stacks of mail, telephone donations and online donations. 

Anglicans across Canada to date (June 16) have contributed more than $210,000 in donations towards disaster relief.

More than $147,000 has come in for Burma, with $65,500 of that coming from individual donors and $81,500 from churches. These individual donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The deadline for contributions for matching funds for relief in Burma was June 13. PWRDF will continue to receive funds after the deadline, even though those funds will not be matched by CIDA.

About $63,500 has come in so far for China. The deadline for CIDA to match donations - according to its website - is Monday, June 23. 

Cyclone Nargis hit Burma on May 2 and 3. The earthquake first took place in China on May 12, and there have been several damaging aftershocks.


Action by Churches Together (ACT), through whom PWRDF works when responding to foreign disasters, launched a $5 million appeal to meet the increasing demands for humanitarian relief for 1.3 million people in Myanmar (Burma) and a $1.5 million appeal to assist 8,000 families in central China.


Amity Foundation, the only member of ACT International working extensively in China, is coordinating the local response there. Amity sent staff to the affected areas of the quake immediately to assess the situation and plan a response.

 Amity Foundation deployed their staff to Chengdu, 159 kilometers away from the quake center. Homes have collapsed or have been severely damaged, and many people are injured. People are in urgent need of shelter materials such as tents and relief supplies including rice, clean water, quilts, clothes and medicines. Amity Foundation has set up a local office in Chengdu to start coordinating the relief efforts with their partners.


 Following the initial crisis phase, Amity will assist in rebuilding communities, including 600 homes, 10 schools and 5 clinics. Other rehabilitation assistance will target destroyed or severely damaged water and irrigation systems.

 Burma (Myanmar)

Despite humanitarian access and logistical challenges, members of ACT International have mobilized resources through local organizations, providing clean water, emergency food and non-food items to more than 100,000 people in Myanmar.

"ACT members have a long history of work with local organizations in Myanmar. It is through the strength of these organizations that ACT members will continue to provide the much needed relief to families braving the aftermath of this major disaster," said ACT International Director John Nduna. The donations will help provide up to 1.3 million people with safe water through the rehabilitation of 5,000 water points, emergency shelter for up to 340,000 people, along with at least 10 days of food aid for up to 68,000 people. Members are also planning distribution of non-food items for up to 112,000 people.

The catastrophic effects of Cyclone Nargis are becoming more apparent with each passing day since the devastating storm struck. As of May 20, official figures put the death toll at 77,738 with at least 55,917 people still missing. The United Nations (UN) reports that up to an estimated 2.5 million people are in need of urgent aid across southern Myanmar (Burma) and that without assistance, the loss of life will likely continue.

Anglicans across Canada may respond with their donations through their local parishes, through online donations, or by calling PWRDF directly at 416 924-9199, extension 320, or via the CanadaHelps website.

For the Anglican Journal story on the cyclone and Anglican response, go here.

For the PWRDF website’s news of the cyclone, go here.

To donate, go here.

This report includes material from Keith Knight, the Communications Coordinator of The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. He can be contacted at