UMCOR Joins Project Hope in Medical Airlift
To Benefit 90,000
NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 5, 2007—The United Methodist Committee on Relief and Project Hope are co-sponsoring an airlift of millions of dollars in donated medical supplies to the Republic of Georgia, a country of great economic need in the mountains separating Europe and Asia.
A cargo flight is scheduled to set down in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, on Sept. 14. On board will be the Rev. R. Randy Day, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, UMCOR's parent organization, and Marc. S. Maxi, executive director of field operations for the relief agency.
An estimated $11 million in drug, health supplies, and hygiene and school kits are being flown in by the U.S. Department of State. More than 90,000 people living in hospitals and institutions throughout the country will benefit from the distribution of supplies, which along with training in the use of medicines and equipment will be managed by the UMCOR Georgia Office. This is the second medical airlift into Georgia sponsored by UMCOR and Project Hope. The first was in 2001.
Project Hope is an international relief agency known for its work in health aid and education. It has worked with the State Department in more than 900 airlifts of good since its founding in 1958. This year’s airlift celebrates the organization’s 50th anniversary.
The medicines and other supplies were given by a variety of organizations, ranging from pharmaceutical companies to private donors. Interchurch Medical Assistance, another long-time UMCOR partner, assembled the containers.
UMCOR has a long record of work in Georgia. The agency began humanitarian operations in 1993 to address the needs of women and children by providing essential medicines and treatment practices, aimed at combating their most common and preventable illnesses. Today some 200,000 vulnerable children receive assistance from UMCOR’s Georgia workers.
Georgia is today an independent Eurasian country that, like other parts of the former Soviet Union, is striving to achieve a stable economy. While progress has been made, the unemployment rate remains extremely high. It has some 4.6 million people. The plane will be met and welcomed by government officials.
“UMCOR celebrates its collaborations over the years with Project Hope,” said Rev. Day. “We share a common goal, that of promoting international peace and cooperation as we respond to human need.”
Both organizations help alleviate human suffering caused by war, poverty, conflict and natural disasters. UMCOR is active in 81 countries, contributing $91 million in aid and direct relief to disaster, war, and conflict-ridden areas of the world in 2006. Project Hope’s influence is felt across 31 of the world’s most vulnerable countries, especially in the areas of health education and disease prevention for children and women and support for health facilities.