Residents walk past a cemetery damaged by the earthquake in
UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief opened a field office in
Port-au-Prince and is hiring full-time staff as part of a five-year plan
to help rebuild Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Anthony Jones, who has 20 years of experience with humanitarian relief
agencies, has been hired as an emergency response consultant. He will be
in Haiti for the next two months, said Melissa Crutchfield,
international disaster response executive with UMCOR.
“Anthony will continue to meet regularly with the Eglise Méthodiste
d'Haiti as well as the U.N. and other local and international partners
to further develop UMCOR's short- and long-term humanitarian relief and
recovery strategy for Haiti,” she said.
The relief agency will be hiring five staff members to work in the
Port-au-Prince office, said Sharad Aggarwal, an UMCOR executive.
Since the disaster, UMCOR has coordinated food distribution projects in
Mellier and Petit-Goave, Aggarwal said.
The UMCOR plan includes emergency, recovery and rehabilitation work.
The emergency phase stretches from the time of the earthquake through
April. It addresses the immediate needs of access to food, clean water
and sanitation, temporary shelter, and emotional and spiritual support.
During the recovery phase, which is expected to run through the
first-year anniversary of the disaster, UMCOR will respond to needs for
increasingly permanent homes, schools, clinics and churches, along with
jobs and other concerns.
A man fashions a roof from tin sheets at the municipal soccer
stadium in Leogane.
The third phase, rehabilitation, will likely stretch through January
2015 and will offer assistance for both physical reconstruction and
economic development as well as rebuilding health, education and other
“The response of the church has been remarkable and generous,” said
Bishop Joel Martinez, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries
interim top executive. “Even the smallest gift has the power to bless.”
In the days leading up to the one-month anniversary of the quake, the
seven wealthiest nations of the world, known as the G-7, agreed to
forgive Haiti its outstanding debts. “The debt cancellation will give
Haiti some economic breathing room,” Martinez said, “but it will not
solve all of the problems there.”
Steps are being taken to prepare for United Methodist Volunteers in
Mission teams to respond in Haiti. In collaboration with the Methodist
Church in Haiti, volunteer projects and programs are being developed to
align with UMCOR’s work plan, Crutchfield said. Volunteer teams may
begin mobilizing by filling out a registration form.
How to Help
Gifts to support UMCOR's relief efforts in Haiti can be made online by
visiting www.umcorhaiti.org. For gifts by mail, please make checks
payable to UMCOR and mail to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.
Please indicate Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325, on the memo line
of your check.
*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service in
Nashville, Tenn. Linda Unger, staff writer for UMCOR communications,
contributed to this story.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470