Posted: January 11, 2005 Print-friendly
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, January 10, 2005: In Sri Lanka this week UMCOR international disaster response staff are to look at ways to plug gaps in longer-term recovery plans, even as the acute phase of the response to the Asian tsunami disaster is only weeks old.
Attending the Colombo meeting are the Rev. Kristin L. Sachen, head of disaster response for the United Methodist agency, and Guy Hovey, international operations director. The two will be joined by other implementing agencies.
"Determining where and how UMCOR can be helpful with rebuilding projects will help to relieve stress on local organizations in South Asia," said Rev. Sachen. UMCOR has successfully run large-scale rebuilding projects in Turkey, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. Its expertise may also be needed in Asia.
The 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 as staff members design future aspects of the church's response after survivors' immediate emergency needs are met.
An initial evaluation of the effectiveness of the acute phase of the recovery, now in its second week, took place last week in Geneva, Switzerland. In another initiative, a delegation of United Methodists meets this week with church leaders in the Banda Aceh region of Indonesia. That group will also deliver antibiotics and other medicines to health clinics.
UMCOR immediately provided $750,000 in relief to the tsunami stricken Indian Ocean region following the December 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:
More relief is on its way to South Asia. UMCOR this week is shipping a second truckload of health kits that will augment a supply coming from other denominations. Value of the new shipment is set at around $120,000.
Near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, a Methodist clergywoman, the Rev. Jedarani Peter, carries emergency supplies - a box of toothbrushes - destined for survivors of the December 26 tsunami. The supplies were provided by UMCOR's partner Action by Churches Together (ACT) through the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka. Credit: Paul Jeffrey/ACT International, January 4, 2005.
How to Participate in This Response
Cash gifts will help UMCOR continue to support local Christian relief agencies like Churches Auxiliary for Social Action and Christian Medical Association in India.
Please give to Advance #274305 and designate "South Asia Emergency" on the memo line of your check written to UMCOR. Give through your local United Methodist church or mail contributions to: UMCOR, 475 Riverside Dr., Room 330, New York, NY 10115. Call 1-800-554-8583 to make a credit card donation.
One hundred percent of every donation to this appeal goes to support relief and recovery efforts in the disaster-stricken regions. UMCOR also needs donations of health kits, school kits, and Medicine Boxes for this response.