Europe, Middle East & North Africa

Photo: Paul Jeffrey

Europe / MENA Overview

The CWS story began in Europe on the heels of World War II, when a group of Protestant churches came together to feed starving people. With contributions of grain from Midwestern farmers in the U.S., the new humanitarian group set about filling trains, boats and planes with the food that eventually would save hundreds of thousands of people from starvation.

In recent years, CWS has fulfilled its commitment to meeting human need through a range of sustainable programs that assist people in crisis and provide the skills and resources necessary to meet their needs.

CWS has provided material resources to people affected by disasters, including recent flooding in Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures in Serbia and Moldova. CWS also supports educational and skills building programs for vulnerable children and adults and operates poverty reduction programs that help local people protect their environment, attain food security and earn income.

CWS has worked in the Middle East for about two-and-a-half decades. It has provided relief and medical assistance to the people of Iraq, focusing especially on children and helping people find community-level solutions to the lack of water access.

Conflict and persecution in the region make Cairo a growing host city for refugees. CWS has escalated its support through the St. Andrew’s Refugee Services Program to provide legal, educational, psychosocial and other support to the vulnerable urban refugee community.