Dr. Robert W. Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief and Development, is meeting with the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace in London on today, March 10. Radtke is briefing Archbishop Williams on ERD's work combating hunger, poverty, and disease around the world.
This year, ERD has long-term development programs that are active in 33 countries. ERD's emergency relief and rebuilding program is working with Gulf Coast communities following Hurricane Katrina. ERD and diocesan partners have developed a multi-year recovery program which is restoring lives and communities devastated by the disaster. In the areas of food security and primary health care, ERD's programs are helping communities produce healthy food, generate income, reduce the incidence of illness, including HIV/AIDS and malaria, and increase access to clean water sources.
"ERD and local partners throughout the Anglican Communion are working together to create stronger communities by serving suffering people worldwide," said Radtke. "It is an honor to share with Archbishop Williams the numerous stories of hope and transformation from ERD's programs throughout Central and South America, Asia, and Africa," he said.
Radtke is also attending a roundtable on microfinance convened by Archbishop Williams at Lambeth Palace. The roundtable includes leaders of other relief and development organizations in the Anglican Communion including the representatives from the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund in Canada and AngliCORD in Australia.
Microenterprise development is a part of ERD's integrated community development programs in countries such as India, the Philippines, Belize, Brazil, Zambia, and Burundi. For the past three years, ERD has partnered with the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund to support microcredit work in places including the Dominican Republic, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. For example, ERD established a microcredit program with the Church of South India after the tsunami. The program provides vocational training and small business development loans to people in four affected dioceses.