UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2011
  • April 12, 2011

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

* COTE D’IVOIRE: Laurent Gbagbo Detained

*US: Upper-Midwest Flood Watch

*JAPAN: UMCOR Sends Relief Grant

*GLOBAL: Imagine No Malaria Webcast, April 20

*JFON: Client Success Story


Laurent Gbagbo, incumbent president of Cote d’Ivoire, was detained on Monday at the presidential residence in Abidjan, following a week-long standoff with forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognized as the victor in presidential elections last fall.

Gbagbo refused to relinquish power after the United Nations certified Ouattara the winner in elections held nearly five months ago. A crisis ensued that has left hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands displaced or refugees in neighboring Liberia.

Particularly in Abidjan, the commercial capital, the population continues to suffer shortages of food, fuel, water, and medicine. Streets remain dangerous, and a health crisis was foreseen due to the lack of water and the deaths and damages caused by combat.

On Sunday, United Nations and French helicopters attacked forces loyal to Gbagbo, damaging the presidential residence in the city of Abidjan, where Gbagbo was entrenched, news sources said. Heavy fighting between Gbagbo and Ouattara forces was reported Monday morning in the Cocody and Plateau districts of Abidjan, the sources indicated.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has sent two emergency grants to the Cote d’Ivoire Annual Conference, but more aid will be needed to help Ivorians after the standoff. “Our real work is going to start when this conflict ends,” said UMCOR head, the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey.

Learn more about the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. One hundred percent of your gift to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, earmarked for Cote d’Ivoire, helps the Ivorian people. Online Giving


Widespread breakout flooding has been reported in Minnesota and North Dakota, and 46 Minnesota counties are now under a state of emergency, with near-record flooding expected.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, almost half of the United States has an “above-average risk of flooding” over the next several weeks. For the third year in a row, the North Central part of the country is particularly vulnerable.

Cleaning buckets provide the supplies that enable people affected by floods or hurricanes to begin the overwhelming task of cleaning up. Click here for assembly and shipping instructions. Cleaning buckets can be sent to any of the depots in the Relief-Supply Network.

Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, helps UMCOR respond with material and spiritual support for annual conferences and communities facing flood emergencies. Click the button to give now online


Strong quakes continue to cause damage in Japan one month after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake unleashed a terrifying tsunami and the threat of a nuclear emergency. At least three major aftershocks rocked the country between April 7 and April 12, ranging in magnitude from 6.0 to 7.1.

Three people died after the first event. The other two came as the Japanese government, concerned for the population’s long-term exposure to radiation, announced it would increase the severity level to 7, on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear event, and widen the evacuation zone surrounding the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

UMCOR continues to work with partners in Japan to respond to this massive and ongoing emergency. Your gift to Japan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021317, supports these efforts. Click the button to give now online


Malaria kills about a million people a year; the vast majority are pregnant women and young children. Tune in to on Wednesday, April 20, at 12:00 noon for an UMCOR-hosted webcast on The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria (INM) campaign.

UMCOR is supporting INM by helping United Methodist annual conferences in Africa prepare to develop strategic plans and integrated proposals to combat the disease in their countries. Hundreds of thousands of long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed.

Download a church bulletin insert, a worship slide, and a poster to mark World Malaria Day, April 25, in your congregation. Your gift to Imagine No Malaria, UMCOR Advance #3021190, supports this important ministry. Click the button to give now online


When Elissandra’s husband, Tomás, left her and their three children in Guatemala to seek work in the United States, Elissandra soon followed (not their real names). Even though Tomás had abused her, she didn’t want her children to grow up without a father nor without opportunities.

The abuse continued, however. With the help of a neighbor, Elissandra eventually obtained an order of protection, filed charges against Tomás, and filed for divorce. With legal counsel, she obtained an interim U visa, a category created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000.

UMCOR’s Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) then helped Elissandra move her immigration status to the next stage, and she and her children eventually obtained US residency. Learn more in First Monday, JFON’s monthly newsletter.

Your gift to Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance #901285, helps new immigrants understand and navigate the complex laws that rule their lives in the United States. Click the button to give now online

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

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