|Haitian-Dominican Republic Flood Emergency|
NEW YORK, NY, May 28, 2004—United Methodist Committee on Relief is providing emergency assistance in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where floodwaters and mudslides have killed more than 2,100 people.
Aid workers are calling the devastation one of the worst natural disasters in Caribbean history. The inaccessibility of the affected areas make an accurate toll difficult, but at least 11,200 families—probably more—have been displaced by the flood in both nations.
UMCOR’s initial response will come in the form of money and supplies. But the aid agency anticipates extensive rebuilding and recovery, said Kristin L. Sachen, international disaster response executive. “Today’s actions are only the beginning of a fuller response,” Rev. Sachen said.
To the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana goes a grant of $10,000 to enable immediate response in Jimani and Jaquimeyes, where rivers of mud and debris swept away houses and buried residents under tons of rock and gravel. “Haitians and Dominicans, all children of God, are suffering greatly,” wrote Alejandro Figueroa, an official of the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana in correspondence to Rev. Sachen.
UMCOR workers are assembling a 40-foot container of health kits, soap, school kits, layettes, and ready-to-eat meals for shipment within the next week. Value of the shipment is around $500,000.
In a third aid effort, UMCOR has sent funds to Action by Churches Together. Partners in that international consortium of faith-based humanitarian aid organizations are working in the Fond Verrettes area of Haiti. There, floodwaters rose from a previously dry riverbed and swept through the streets, washing away buildings and polluting the springs that provide drinking water. ACT partners will supply water treatment, food and medical assistance.
“We are sick with grief,” said R. Randy Day, the head of mission for The United Methodist Church in a statement today. “The loss of so many lives in the floods sends us to our knees in prayers for the victims; it compels us quickly to offer material assistance in the name of Jesus Christ.” Rev. Day is also calling for prayers in church services May 30. He also appealed to Annual Conferences in session in June to receive special offerings to support relief and recovery efforts. The full text of Rev. Day’s statement appears below.
United Methodists can respond in three ways—through their prayers, their gifts to a new emergency Advance, #410200, Dominican Republic/Haiti Flood Relief, and their contributions of health kits and layettes. More information on requirements for kits may be obtained by calling the UMCOR office toll free, 800-554-8583.
United Methodists can respond in three ways-through their prayers, their
You may contribute to the Dominican Republic/Haiti Flood Relief fund by
The Advance for Christ and His Church is an official program of The United
We are sick with grief. The loss of so many lives in the floods sends us to our knees in prayers for the victims; it compels us quickly to offer material assistance in the name of Jesus Christ.
United Methodists know the ravaged area well through years of mission work in both countries. I was in the flooded border region only two summers ago. The people of the Haitian-Dominican border are among the poorest in the world, but they are also our sisters and brothers. It is our Christian duty to help the hungry and homeless survivors of the raging water and, further along, to assist in rebuilding homes and communities.
I appeal to United Methodists to give generously to the emergency appeal of
UMCOR as we combine our efforts with those of partner churches in responding
to this terrible tragedy. I hope that our congregations will pause in their
worship on May 30 to remember those who died, those who are injured, and the
thousands without shelter and food. I would also like to invite annual conferences
in session in June to remember the flood victims with prayers and a special
Date posted: May 28, 2004