A disaster on one’s own doorstep affects people more

The relief organisation NAK-karitativ received significantly more donations in 2021 than usual. The reason for this was the special willingness to help after the flood disaster in Germany. In terms of the number of projects, the focus was on East Africa.

“Extreme weather led to devastating floods in Germany on 14 and 15 July 2021,” is how the German relief organisation NAK-karitativ summarised the flood disaster which initially caused great shock in Germany and then a huge wave of solidarity. “More than 180 people lost their lives and over 800 were seriously injured. Bridges were destroyed, houses and almost entire towns were razed to the ground by the flash-flood.”

Significantly more donations in 2021 than usual

The disaster was very present in the German media and triggered a huge wave of solidarity and willingness to help. Since most of the supporters of NAK-karitativ come from Germany anyway, this was also reflected in the volume of donations. This is what the Annual Report 2021 shows that has recently been published.

According to the report, the charity’s income was more than 6.7 million euros and therefore significantly higher than in previous years. At over 5 million euros, the bulk came from single private donations. In addition, there were funds from sponsorships, permanent campaigns, and inheritances, among others.

Readiness to help on top

Individual private donations earmarked for storm relief accounted for the largest share of 2.9 million euros. The majority of donations from fundraising campaigns in congregations of the New Apostolic Church and from other initiatives have also increased sixfold. Almost 120,000 euros were collected for the people affected by the flood disaster through fundraising activities.

Such a concentration often carries the risk that other projects are neglected. “This particularly affects areas that are less well known because they are underreported in the media,” the charity writes. However, the relief organisation was able to give the all-clear for storm relief, as the donations for the flash-flood came on top of the regular income.

Disaster relief in Germany

A good 48 per cent of all project expenditures went toward relief efforts following the severe storm in Germany. Since many areas were inaccessible immediately after the flood, NAK-karitativ relied on local networking. Many members from local congregations volunteered to help and informed NAK-karitativ what the people needed most urgently. Above all it was money to help the people buy essential everyday items and help them clean up the debris.

In addition, the charity organised building dehumidifiers and installed a mobile counselling centre to help people in particularly inaccessible areas. The project will run at least until the end of 2022. So far almost 1.5 million euros have been spent.

Securing livelihood in Africa

“In addition to the increasing needs in our immediate environment, however, we must not overlook the global challenges,” the aid organisation warns. Thus, NAK-karitativ did not forget the plight of people in the global south. The charity aligns its goals with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Of the 58 ongoing projects, 26 were therefore supported in East Africa.

More than 45 per cent of the expenditure benefited projects in Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, and South Sudan. More than one million euros went towards food, securing people’s livelihood, and education.

Projects included, for example, a biogas production and utilisation system in the village of Nkhundye in Zambia. A cattle barn with an attached biogas system was built in the village so that local residents can cook and heat with the environmentally friendly gas. The project was completed in 2021. An agricultural irrigation system was successfully installed, three wells were dug to supply drinking water, smallholder farmers were trained, and a cooperative system was established. This has allowed the farmers to be less dependent on rainfall, and their livelihood has improved thanks to the cooperative.

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