United Methodist Committee on Relief

April 2014 | UMCOR Hotline

Two people hold hands and pray after the 2010 earthquake in Chile.
Thanks to funding support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), those affected by the 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile will receive material aid and spiritual and emotional care support over the coming months.

UMCOR issued an emergency grant to partner Methodist Humanitarian Aid Team (EMAH), the disaster response arm of the Methodist Church in Chile, to help 320 people (or 80 families) in northern Arica cope with their loss and trauma. The provision of psychosocial services will also help communities learn how to manage stress incurred by this devastating event. A separate grant from UMCOR will provide disaster risk reduction training for 360 individuals in 12 communities.

The Chile earthquake struck six miles beneath the ocean floor and about 61 miles west-northwest of Iquique. The quake triggered landslides, knocked out power for thousands of people, damaged an airport, and provoked fires that destroyed several businesses, according to news reports.

On Sunday, April 13, another disaster befell Chile. A raging wildfire swept through hundreds of homes in the Pacific coastal city of Valparaiso. The fires left 12 people dead; about 2,000 homes destroyed, and displaced about 8,000 people. UMCOR is in contact with EMAH as they assess the situation and determine funding needs.

Your gift to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, supports this work in Chile and UMCOR’s response to disasters around the world.

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Filimina Camia (center) receives a new mosquito net from The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign in Bom Jesus, Angola. At left is Nyamah Dunbar of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
We celebrate UMCOR’s strides in the vital work of malaria prevention through the Imagine No Malaria (INM) initiative and thank you for lifting up the work of UMCOR in your prayers.

Since 2008, UMCOR, through INM, has worked tirelessly in the fight against malaria. By educating communities and training some 11,600 people about malaria prevention, these local communities are paying it forward, by reaching and teaching other communities about ways they can protect themselves from this preventable disease.

Through this initiative, UMCOR has distributed about two million bed nets across Africa, trained 7,000 community health workers, strengthened The United Methodist Church’s health networks—which includes more than 300 hospitals, rural clinics and health posts—and renovated several medical facilities. UMCOR has also organized and trained 13 annual conference health boards spanning 16 countries in Africa, and worked with Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti to establish a new health board in Haiti.

Since the program began awarding funds in 2010, grants totaling an estimated $6 million went to Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and other countries for programs such as health facility revitalization, pharmaceutical and medical supplies and mosquito net distributions.

World Malaria Day is April 25. Please continue to pray for the work of UMCOR, as it continues to educate communities on the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and other means of prevention.

Susan Watkins is UMCOR’s head of mission in Haiti.
Susan Watkins is UMCOR’s head of mission in Haiti.

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Watkins has worked in international development since 1985, principally in East and Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda) but also in the Balkans (Albania, Kosovo) and Afghanistan. Her technical training in agriculture and rural sociology underpins her work. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Watkins says one of her key roles with UMCOR in Haiti is to help prepare the mission’s national managers to assume greater responsibility over projects in the next two and a half years. To that end, she has expanded the senior management team to include deputy Haitian program managers, attached the deputy managers to expatriate coordinators in “shadowing” roles, and provided them with additional formal training.

According to Watkins, “UMCOR’s management staff is a vibrant group with experience and skills. They have the makings of an exceptional team that will accomplish great things together.”

Maternal Child Health Bulletin Cover
According to the World Health Organization, every day about 800 women die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Yet, nearly all of these deaths are preventable.

Download and share "Be an advocate for mothers and children" bulletin insert to learn five ways you and your community can get involved in the work that provides critical health information, education, and preventive care to women and children so that they can live healthy, productive lives.


Kathy Griffith, UMCOR Health executive, shares how the denomination’s Imagine No Malaria initiative acts as a doorway to work with communities affected by HIV and AIDS, as those affected with the disease are among populations who also suffer with malaria.

Watch this video to learn more about the connection between HIV and AIDS and malaria.

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:

PO Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068
or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking any of the "DONATE" links or make a $10 donation anytime by texting "UMCOR" to 80888. 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.

Photo Captions

Image 1. Two people hold hands and pray after the 2010 earthquake in Chile.
Juan Salazar

Image 2. Filimina Camia (center) receives a new mosquito net from The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign in Bom Jesus, Angola. At left is Nyamah Dunbar of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

Image 3. Susan Watkins is UMCOR’s head of mission in Haiti.
Courtesy of Susan Watkins

Image 4. Download and share this new church bulletin and advocate for the wellbeing of mothers and children everywhere.

Image 5. The Imagine No Malaria initiative is working to stomp out malaria in vulnerable communities around the world.


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Mission Statement
Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.