UMCOR Update

Date Posted: 8/9/2011


The level of severe malnutrition in the Horn of Africa worries even seasoned aid workers like Maurice Bloem, deputy director of Church World Service, a partner of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).


Church World Service, UMCOR, and other members of the faith-based ACT Alliance are coordinating their response to the hunger crisis that currently is affecting 11 million to 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Djibouti.


Problems with food shortages in the Horn of Africa have been building over the years but came to a “critical mass” in recent months, said Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR executive for International Disaster Response.


“This is not a sudden-onset disaster, but it’s one that is finally getting the media attention that it needs to generate awareness and the subsequent support,” she added. Read more. Download a church bulletin insert here.


Gifts to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450 and designated to “Horn of Africa Crisis” will help UMCOR respond to this crisis. 



At the suggestion of an acquaintance, Nazani (not her real name), 16, left her remote village in Armenia and traveled to Yerevan, the capital, to earn good money as a waitress. She was told that she could stay at the residence of the acquaintance’s friend, a woman named Razmouhi (not her real name).

Eager to make the move not only because of the increased wages but, also, because of a tumultuous relationship with her stepfather, Nazani arrived at Razmouhi’s home only to realize there was no waitressing job. Instead, she was thrust into a world of prostitution.


Nazani’s story is similar to the tragic stories of more than 12 million women, children and men who are trafficked around the world. For those like Nazani who arrive at a shelter in Armenia for trafficked survivors supported by UMCOR, the recovery process begins immediately.


Nazani came to the UMCOR shelter two years ago. Her recovery is going well. Today, she focuses on creating beautiful floral designs and is learning computer and other skills that will help her find both work and purpose in her life. Read more. View a video here.


Your gift to Anti-Human Trafficking, UMCOR Advance #333615, helps support programs such as the one in Armenia that helped Nazani. 



This video on Facebook featuring UMCOR Consultant, Barbara Tripp, explains some of what UMCOR-trained Early Response Teams (ERTs) do after a disaster.


Are you among the thousands of people certified by UMCOR to be an ERT? If so, share your video story on UMCOR’s Facebook page.


Support this important aspect of UMCOR’s work by giving to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670. 



UMCOR’s nongovernmental office (UMCOR NGO) hosted a seven-member delegation that visited the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, to assess primary needs in the world’s newest nation. South Sudan attained independence on July 9.


The delegation included personnel from longtime UMCOR partner in Sudan Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church (Tipp City, OH) and the Mission and Evangelism program of the General Board of Global Ministries. The district superintendent for South Sudan of the United Methodist East Africa Annual Conference also was present.


The group visited programs of the UMCOR field office in the town of Aweil as well as government agencies and faith-based leaders to assess needs.

In addition to Aweil, UMCOR also works in the town of Yei, where its work in Sudan began in 2006. Ginghamsburg recently broadened its support for primary health-care programming near Aweil.


UMCOR NGO is seeking to expand its programs in both Yei and Aweil, while rolling out a plan to establish a headquarters in Juba, the capital and hub for humanitarian groups in the new nation.


The delegation identified immediate needs for life-sustaining support, including food security; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; community-based health care; and primary education. UMCOR works in all these program areas yet could do much more with more resources.


You can join UMCOR in supporting the primary needs of the people of the new nation of South Sudan with your gift to Sudan Emergency, Advance #184385. 


UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR’s ministries, please visit 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.