$18 Million for Long-Term Recovery and Program Expansion Approved by the UMCOR Board
STAMFORD, CT, March 13, 2008—United Methodist Committee on Relief Directors approved over $18 million to help disaster survivors over the long term and to expand UMCOR's ministry of presence at their semi-annual meeting.
$14.4 million is earmarked specifically for hurricane response. "We are still in the business of helping survivors long after other agencies have left the area," said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for domestic disaster response.
Most of the funds will go to help survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to continue on the path to recovery. Funds will support the work of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas annual conferences as well as Grace Community Services in Texas. Additional funds will help Floridians who continue to struggle after the active 2004 hurricane season.
Over the next 12 months UMCOR will open three additional offices to expand its presence both in the US and overseas. Two offices will open in disaster-prone areas of the US—the Gulf and West Coasts. The Rev. Sam Dixon, UMCOR's top executive notes that these offices will help UMCOR respond faster and stay longer in times of disaster.
A third office in the Philippines will establish a regional office in Asia for UMCOR and the General Board of Global Ministries. "These offices," notes Dixon, "will allow UMCOR to truly Be There and Be Hope for those who need it most."
Expanded Health Programs
UMCOR directors approved $2.5 million to fortify existing and grow new global health programs over the next three years. As The United Methodist Church focuses on Global Health in the coming quadrennium, UMCOR Health and Welfare is positioned to be the hands and feet of the church through its hospitals and programs that address the diseases of poverty: HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Included in the program expansion are programs in the US and abroad.
UMCOR is the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States. Our mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster, with open hearts and minds to all people.
UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own.