International Disaster Response
When a natural or human-caused disaster strikes outside of the United States, UMCOR serves as the primary channel for United Methodist assistance. In the short term, UMCOR steps in to ease human suffering. In the long term, we work in accompaniment with local partners towards capacity building and Disaster Risk Reduction. In the aftermath of a disaster, UMCOR cooperates with local partners to help them develop their own response mechanisms. UMCOR helps equip partners, including United Methodist Church entities, in disaster response and disaster risk reduction.
In its programming approach, UMCOR adheres to Sphere Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response & ICRC Humanitarian Code of Conduct and requires its partners to do so as well.
Disaster Risk Reduction
Even after the initial disaster is over, people are often endangered by subsequent disasters. UMCOR’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program helps communities to identify vulnerabilities and attend to these before another disaster strikes. In the Philippines, for instance, building a retaining wall or planting mangroves can help keep a storm surge from causing extensive damage in coastal communities. Training people what to do in a disaster is also a key step in reducing the damaging effects of future disasters.
Disaster Risk Reduction addresses fundamental problems like environmental degradation, climate change, infrastructural inequality, and political negligence through small-scale, localized solutions. Even as we administer disaster response grants, UMCOR pays attention to systemic issues related to community health, sustainable agriculture, water and sanitation, education and awareness, economic justice, and reconstruction.
UMCOR uses the Hyogo Framework for Action, a disaster response strategy endorsed by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNIS), helping to substantially reduce the number of disaster losses.