Jan. 11, 2005
By Linda Beher*
YORK (UMNS) — In Sri Lanka, United Methodist relief agency staff are
looking at ways to plug gaps in longer-term recovery plans, even as aid
workers continue responding to the immediate needs of tsunami survivors.
Rev. Kristin L. Sachen, head of disaster response for the United
Methodist Committee on Relief, and Guy Hovey, international operations
director, are meeting with representatives from other aid agencies in
Colombo, Sri Lanka.
where and how UMCOR can be helpful with rebuilding projects will help
to relieve stress on local organizations in South Asia," Sachen said.
UMCOR has run large-scale rebuilding projects in Turkey, Afghanistan and
Bosnia, and its expertise may also be needed in Asia.
Sri Lanka conference is the third in a series of face-to-face meetings
that will provide the grist for UMCOR’s mid- and long-term plans. Aid
officials have already done an initial evaluation of the acute phase of
the recovery, now in its second week, in Geneva.
another initiative, a delegation of United Methodists planned to meet
with church leaders in the Banda Aceh region of Indonesia. The group,
which left the United States Jan. 10, will also deliver 100,000 doses of
antibiotics and other medicine to health clinics.
immediately provided $750,000 in relief to the tsunami-stricken Indian
Ocean region following the Dec. 26 earthquake that triggered tidal
waves, killing at least 150,000 people and destroying the homes and
livelihoods of millions more. More aid is in the pipeline.
So far, UMCOR has sent:
truckload of health kits, which contain a hand towel, washcloth, comb,
nail file or fingernail clippers, bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
and adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages.
- A grant to Churches Auxiliary for Social Action in India to help that agency distribute food, emergency supplies and tarpaulins.
grant to the Christian Medical Association of India, which has deployed
12 health teams to provide acute health care and longer-term trauma
counseling for affected families.
- A grant to Church World Service supporting a shipment of shelter kits to Sri Lanka.
- A grant to the Methodist Church of Singapore to assist in delivery of antibiotics to affected areas.
gifts will help UMCOR continue to support local Christian relief
agencies in the disaster area. Checks can be placed in local church
offering plates or mailed to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Dr., Room 330, New
York, NY 10115. Designate checks for UMCOR Advance #274305 and "South
Asia Emergency." One hundred percent of every donation to the appeal
goes to support recovery efforts in the disaster-stricken regions.
Donors using a credit card may call, toll free, (800) 554-8583 or give
online at www.MethodistRelief.org.
*Beher is director of communications for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.