UMCOR, Muslim Aid Staff Meet in Cambodia
NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2007—United Methodist Committee on Relief staff and members of Muslim Aid's Cambodia and home offices met Sept. 6 in Phnom Penh to discuss the possibility of working jointly in the region. Currently UMCOR has no office in Cambodia, but may begin working in this area through their partnership with Muslim Aid.
Both organizations are committed to serving the world's most vulnerable people regardless of race, religion, politics or gender. They signed a formal partnership agreement June 26, 2007, which expresses the desire of both organizations to work together on peace building and poverty reducing programs.
The partnership between Muslim Aid and UMCOR has its origins in their joint works in Sri Lanka. The two organizations facilitated access for each other into areas previously closed to them due to ethnic and religious tensions. This brought vital life-saving expertise and aid to vulnerable displaced communities who otherwise would not have access to assistance.
The partnership aims to remain rooted in communities, and concentrate on making aid more effective at the grassroots level. It also intends to use its ties to faith communities so that relief and development aid is a tool for both humanitarian assistance and peace and reconciliation.
Muslim Aid and UMCOR plan to work together worldwide through the partnership, combining resources, knowledge, community and religious links and contacts to make the delivery of humanitarian relief and development projects more effective and more equitable. New partnerships are planned for Africa and South East Asia. The partnership is also designed to be a tangible demonstration of Muslims and Christians working together regardless of theological differences and perceived political agendas, but with a joint belief in relief of poverty.