United Methodist Committee on Relief

International Disaster Response

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. 

Support this work with your gift to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450.

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.

Related News

Thousands of refugees stream across the Tigris River from Syria into Iraq. Photo: Galiya Gubaeva/UNHCR
‘Anonymous Holy Families’ of Syria
Half of Syria’s population has fled their homes over the course of three years of violent upheaval.
A Child Shall Lead Them
The journeys of refugees and migrants around the world were on the hearts of the directors of Global Ministries.
Thanks to an UMCOR project created in Kariba District, Zimbabwe, Tendai Chimera is able to harvest vegetables during drought seasons, and is receiving an income from the sale of surplus produce. Photo: Terry Mukuka
Addressing Drought in Zimbabwe
Communities in Zimbabwe thrive in the midst of drought through an UMCOR integrated approach that includes food security and nutrition, livelihoods, he ...
Li Juan (center) a disaster response team member with the UMCOR-supported Amity Foundation, surveys residents’ needs after the Ludian earthquake in China.
After China Quake, Partnerships Promote Recovery
UMCOR's partnerships and alliances allow it to extend disaster assistance into many corners of the globe.
Villagers in Thrukandalam, Thiruvallur, gather to receive the first round of clean, drinkable water from the newly-installed AP700 point-of-source water purification unit, thanks to support from UMCOR and GlobalMedic. Photo: GlobalMedic
After Severe Rains, Floods, India is Not Forgotten
UMCOR and partner GlobalMedic provide clean water to communities in India after serious flooding.
US Disaster ResponseDisaster Response