Since early 2020, Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) have followed a broad, proactive course in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with health professionals, missionaries, disaster management coordinators and faith leaders, Global Ministries has sought to alleviate the many forms of human suffering resulting from the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The creation of the “Sheltering in Love” Advance in April 2020, coupled with other sources of funding, enabled the release of over 340 grants totaling $4.5 million to more than 300 partners in 57 countries. These funds provided educational resources about COVID-19 prevention, ensured food relief to communities affected by job losses, and helped with the purchase of health supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), respirators, hospital equipment and hygiene items. Regionally, Global Ministries and UMCOR have spent $1.5 million in the United States, $1 million in Africa and several hundreds of thousands of dollars in other regions of the world.
Global Ministries staff participated in the development of the declaration on vaccine equity and affirm its call for worldwide distribution and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine. The “Love Beyond Borders” Advance (#3022671), launched in October 2021, represents Global Ministries’ participation in the interfaith movement to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines. This campaign was inspired by First UMC, Boise, Idaho, and is part of the effort of the international COVAX Alliance to ensure that low and middle-income countries receive their fair amount of vaccines.
The ongoing response to COVID-19 will include support of essential health services throughout the UMC health network and humanitarian aid for communities affected by the burden of COVID-19.
Together, with God’s help and working in partnership, the United Methodist connectional family has and will continue to find ways to break the grip of the coronavirus on our local and global communities.
“Love Beyond Borders” webinar slated for Feb.17, 2022
General Secretary Roland Fernandes outlines the United Methodist mission agency’s globally inclusive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking to “do no harm” and alleviate human suffering.