UMCOR Board Approves Major Grants
A year after a rash of tornadoes in
“They’re doing their first total rebuild now, a year later,” he said. “
At their semiannual meeting, UMCOR’s board of directors approved $2.1 million for recovery work in those conferences. The funds will help cover the cost of everything from building materials, to spiritual and emotional care, to case management. With them, thousands of families will rebuild their lives.
Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, board president, opened and closed the meeting, which was held in
“In UMCOR, we’ve been through times when we worried there wouldn’t be enough, as in 2011, when funding to respond to spring storms was low,” she recalled. “We really worried, but in every case, we took what we had and gave thanks, and somehow, by the grace of God, it was enough.”
The directors approved funds today to rebuild homes in
UMCOR and partners Habitat for Humanity, BRAC, International Relief and Development, and others already have built more than 3,000 homes for earthquake survivors in
Another grant, in the amount of $280,000, which the board of directors approved, will be used—by the Methodist Humanitarian Aid Team (EMAH) of the Methodist Church of Chile—to prepare for disasters.
The three-year grant will help EMAH develop as a nationally recognized humanitarian relief agency, providing training in disaster preparedness and response throughout the long, narrow country. With UMCOR accompaniment, EMAH will develop its own “sustainability plan,” explained Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR International Disaster Response executive.
But the future of disaster response, she said, lies in reducing the risk of disaster in the first place by studying the causes that exacerbate destruction when natural disasters occur. “This is what we’re trying to make UMCOR’s Disaster Response programs all about,” she said. UMCOR is beginning to roll out Disaster Risk Reduction training through overseas partners and UMCOR field offices, she indicated.
Read more about UMCOR at the organization’s recently redesigned website, www.umcor.org, the website’s first makeover in ten years.
*Linda Unger is UMCOR’s staff editor and senior writer.