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UMCOR offers a wide range of disaster readiness and response training. See our list of training programs and calendar for more information.
Refugees flee persecution—at the hands of an unstable, corrupt government; tribal rivalries; the remnants of colonial favoritism and prejudice; or the actions of a demagogue. Environmental degradation and the loss of available farmland also may heighten conflict.
In general, UMCOR does not provide funding other than to partner implementers in a local region. Our partner implementers must adhere to the humanitarian principle of dispensing aid regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, or religion. UMCOR gives preference to programs that involve survivors in their own recovery and that seek to address the root causes of suffering. UMCOR seeks to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable members of society due to natural and human-made disasters.
UMCOR works in three ways to prevent this. First, UMCOR collaborates with longstanding partners to provide many avenues of relief. In addition, we always make sure we have a legitimate consignee when sending material resources. And, when a project is large enough, we employ our own staff and supervise the project directly.
Yes, 100 percent of contributions designated by donors to an Advance Special account number go directly to the designated program. UMCOR uses other funding channels to cover non-program related activities such administrative overhead or communications. One source of that type of funding is the UMCOR Sunday offering. If you would like to know more about UMCOR Sunday and giving to UMCOR, please visit our How to Give web page.
Undesignated funds help UMCOR provide for many critical services, such as:
UMCOR exercises good stewardship of donors' gifts so that a robust, long-term response, which in some cases may last years, can be undertaken. All of UMCOR donations earn interest. Interest goes into the Undesignated Funds account.
You’re always welcome to volunteer at an UMCOR relief-supply depot. If you want to be involved with relief efforts on the ground, you can also be trained to be part of an Early Response Team. UMCOR provides training for Early Response Teams and coordinates with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission regarding when it is appropriate to send teams and which skills are needed in response to a particular event. For more information about volunteering, visit the UMVIM website.
UMCOR uses a series of criteria to determine if and where field offices will be established, including:
UMCOR conducts monitoring and evaluation on a program-specific basis. During the development of a program, a goal and relevant objectives are established. Indicators (i.e., 500 shelters will be constructed) are identified and tracked throughout the program to measure its success. Monitoring often depends on the reporting requirements of the donor (US government, UN agencies, UMCOR ESO, etc.), which may differ.
Program evaluations are carried out usually at the midpoint and end of a program. Two types of program evaluations are used—internal and external. Internal evaluations are performed by UMCOR staff, and external evaluations use outside consultants to perform independent assessments of UMCOR’s work, often on a more scientific level.
The Methodist Committee on Relief was created by the Methodist Church in 1940 in response to refugee needs arising from World War II. What began as a temporary relief program became a permanent part of The United Methodist Church in 1972. Renamed the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), since that time it has remained a unit of the General Board of Global Ministries.
Today, UMCOR supports work in more than 80 countries, with a direct presence through UMCOR NGO in nine of those countries. UMCOR’s work includes programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security, relief supplies, and more. Visit our About UMCOR page for more information.
Every day, nearly 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes—one child every five seconds, according to Bread for the World. The lack of sufficient sources of clean drinking water translates each year into 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhea; 500,000 deaths from malaria; and 860,000 child deaths from malnutrition, according to the World Health Organization, for example.
See our easy How to Start a Congregational Ministries program page for guidelines and resources for starting your own program. UMCOR’s Congregational Health Ministries program also has information and resources about Parish Nursing.
The United Methodist Church has been responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis since the early 1980s. Today, there is strong evidence that positive behavior change can alter the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in a country, while stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to services can worsen it, according to UNAIDS. “In both cases,” the organization says in its 2010 Global Report, “the effects are often profound.” UMCOR supports the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, which provides programs of awareness, care, and support to people living with or at risk for HIV and AIDS. Visit our HIV/AIDS webpage for more information.
UMCOR launched its Community-based Malaria Control Program in 2005. This program works within community structures to combat malaria. The first program was launched at Kissy Hospital in Sierra Leone, but the reach of the program is global. Imagine No Malaria is another United Methodist initiative; it is focused specifically on combatting malaria in Africa.
Eradication of the root causes is the ultimate goal. A holistic approach—with attention to health, nutrition, appropriate technology, training, fair trade, and sustainability—is the method. More than 925 million people go hungry every day in a world that has unparalleled wealth and capacity for food production.
According to the US Census, 43.6 million people in the United States were living in poverty in 2009 (most recent data available). That’s 14.3 percent of the total population and the highest number of people in poverty in the US in more than 50 years. There also are more children living in poverty in the US today—one in five.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the first decade of the 21st century saw an increase in homelessness in the US, accompanied by a decrease in real income and a sharp increase in housing foreclosures (more than 10,400 per day in 2009).