Japan Emergency Update: UMCOR Responds
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has partnered with the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) and first-responder GlobalMedic to bring immediate relief to communities in
A grant to the UCCJ will help the church respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs in the wake of the crisis, including clean drinking water, food, basic cooking and eating supplies, clothing, and fuel (mainly for heating).
In addition to the earthquake and tsunami and the uncertainty provoked by possible radiation poisoning from damaged nuclear reactors, it is still winter in
News sources indicate that some 400,000 people are hunkering down against the cold in makeshift shelters and evacuation centers, where they have been congregating since the crisis began last Friday, March 11. Water, food, and fuel are in short supply.
UMCOR is also working with first-responder partner GlobalMedic, which has offered three services to the government of
Should the government indicate that it has covered these needs, GlobalMedic will work with Peace Winds Japan, a local nongovernmental organization, to distribute blankets, food, and water among earthquake and tsunami survivors.
Prayers and Solidarity
The urgency of responding to these basic needs was underscored by Global Ministries missionaries Jonathan and Satomi McCurley, who currently serve at the Asian Rural Institute, a training center for rural leaders in northern
In a blog, Jonathan McCurley asked for continued prayers for the people of
“Also, pray for the cities, as people are struggling to buy basic necessities and are having to adjust to life with continual blackouts,” he added, alluding to the interruptions in energy supply since the disaster. Rolling blackouts are expected to continue at least through April.
Today, the Mission Board of The United Methodist Church in
In addition to UMCOR’s partnerships with GlobalMedic and the UCCJ, the organization is also in contact with international ecumenical partners Church World Service (CWS) and ACT Alliance to help coordinate relief efforts.
Responding to Expressed Needs
UMCOR is committed to working with partners in
To this end, UMCOR published this morning a series of Relief Advisories on the Japan Crisis, guidelines that address the most commonly raised concerns that have arisen among United Methodists and others of goodwill in the
The document clarifies that no requests have been received to date from
Neither UMCOR nor Global Ministries will facilitate the sending of volunteers to disaster zones without an official request by local partners or government agencies, the document specifies.
With regard to relief supplies, the advisories indicate that “UMCOR welcomes layette and school kits, but it is uncertain whether or where such items will be permitted to enter
The document reminds readers that the situation in
You Can Help
You can help by supporting UMCOR’s efforts through our partners in
Japan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021317 is the designated giving channel for contributions to respond to the crisis in
One hundred percent of donations to this advance will help the people of
It is your support for One Great Hour of Sharing that makes it possible for UMCOR to use every cent of every dollar donated to a specific Advance, like this one, to be used entirely for the designated purpose. Please participate in One Great Hour of Sharing on April 3, or give now.
Please keep the people of
*Linda Unger is staff editor and senior writer for UMCOR.