More ways to help: UMCOR Asia Tsunamis Update, December 30.
December 28, 2004
South and Southeast Asia: UMCOR Responds to Catastrophic Disaster
UMCOR will be working with church-related alliances such as Action by Churches Together and Churches Auxiliary for Social Action to provide food, clean water, shelter, and sanitation services in a broadband of nations from Asia to Africa. The areas affected include parts of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and islands such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The exact extent of the destruction is not immediately known. Waters from tsunamis-the term is Japanese for tidal wave-pushed far inland, and many of the affected regions are remote.
In India CASA has deployed 12 teams to assess needs and assist people in the coastal states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. The organization told UMCOR it expects to work with 50,000 families.
The island nation of Sri Lanka was one of the hardest hit. As many as 10,000 died there. UMCOR assistance there will be coordinated through the National Council of Churches of Sri Lanka. Immediate need is to provide food and housing for displaced people.
Cash gifts will be most meaningful in the initial days and weeks of this response, according to the Rev. Kristin L. Sachen, head of UMCOR's international emergency services. "We have some initial funds to send this week," she said, but noted that long-term support will depend on the offerings local churches receive in response to the disaster. A bulletin insert will be available at umcor.org later this week.
You can get involved through giving to UMCOR Advance #274305, South Asia Emergency. UMCOR is also accepting online donations at http://MethodistRelief.org .
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UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
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An man sits atop the ruins of his house destroyed in a tsunami in Cuddalore, India. Credit: REUTERS/Arko Datta, December 27, 2004, courtesy www.alertnet.org.
Local residents take shelter from possible aftershocks at Phuket city hall after the area was hit by a devastating tsunami. Credit: REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui, courtesy www.alertnet.org.
Displaced women stand together in a transit camp in South Darfur, the area where UMCOR will begin work early in 2005. Credit: USAID 2004.
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