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 provides funds to our partners to distribute food, hygiene supplies, shelter and other basic needs to ease human suffering. In the long-term, we work with local partners towards recovery and reconstruction.



In its programming approach, UMCOR adheres to Sphere Minimum Standards in humanitarian response and the International Committee of the Red Cross Humanitarian Code of Conduct. UMCOR works through capacity building efforts and accompaniment to support that partners do the same.

Bolster Response Efforts


2021 Disaster Response

UMCOR and its partners are responding to disasters across the globe every day. Please join us in prayer for the affected areas and consider giving to UMCOR International Disaster Response to support these efforts.

In response to unrest and uncertainty in Afghanistan, UMCOR is working with long-standing partners in the region to provide humanitarian relief and is prepared to assist with refugee resettlement. Learn more here.

UMCOR is supporting displaced families residing in the Kabul area with cash assistance, enabling them to prioritize their most urgent needs such as food, shelter, or medicine. UMCOR is also supporting the efforts of International Blue Crescent in Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif, providing food rations and hygiene kits to displaced families.

Earthquake in Haiti

Following a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14, UMCOR is working with partners on how to best meet the immediate needs of survivors and has awarded three initial relief grants. Learn more here.

Flooding in China
Henan Province has been hit by storms since mid-July, causing widespread flooding. An estimated one million hectares of agricultural lands and infrastructure have been impacted and more than 300 people have died. UMCOR awarded a grant to a partner in support of immediate human needs.
COVID-19 relief in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and beyond
In response to the increased COVID-19 global outbreak, UMCOR awarded relief grants to aid efforts of partners through medical equipment and PPE, information and awareness campaigns, food and livelihood support.
Conflict in Israel and Palestine
In response to May’s violent conflict in Israel and Palestine, UMCOR awarded a grant to a regional partner to provide critical relief for hundreds of internally displaced families. Locally sourced items, assembled into hygiene kits, were distributed to the most affected families in Gaza City and north Gaza.
Violence and displacement in DRC
Tensions have risen and violence has increased significantly in the eastern provinces of Congo since October 2020. Armed groups have targeted civilians and displaced populations in the region. In response, UMCOR provided a grant to secure a one-month supply of food and other necessities for more than 850 vulnerable households.
Volcanic eruption in DRC
After the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo in East Congo near the city of Goma on May 22, UMCOR worked with the disaster management office of the East Congo Episcopal Area and awarded a solidarity grant to support immediate needs. An additional grant was awarded in August that furnished a one-month supply of food, non-food and hygiene items for 4,600 individuals.
Volcanic eruption in St. Vincent
In response to the La Soufrière Volcano eruption on April 9, UMCOR provided financial assistance to the Methodist Church of St. Vincent for the purchase and distribution of food, hygiene items and bedding at evacuation centers, some of which are Methodist churches.
Unrest in Myanmar
In response to the economic crisis caused by the military takeover in February, UMCOR awarded a relief grant to the Methodist Church of Lower Myanmar for food rations, emergency cash assistance and medical care for vulnerable households.
Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique
On January 23, Cyclone Eloise made landfall in Mozambique, bringing torrential rain and severe flooding to the coast. The storm hit areas already devastated by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in March and April 2019. The Mozambique Episcopal Area Disaster Management Office was awarded a grant for immediate emergency assistance to address basic human needs such as food, hygiene and temporary shelter.
Flooding, landslides, earthquake, volcanic activity in Indonesia
In January, the people of Indonesia endured a series of deadly disasters including flooding, landslides, an earthquake and volcanic activity. UMCOR awarded multiple grants to provide for distribution of food and basic necessities in rural communities as well as to facilitate shelter repair and livelihood recovery.

UMCOR will provide further updates as they become available.

For the most up to date information, follow the UMCOR Facebook page.


2020 Response

Hurricanes Iota and Eta
In response to these two Category 4 storms that both hit in November, UMCOR funded and worked with partners in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala to provide emergency food, building supplies and COVID-19 protection. Grants for Panama and Mexico were also awarded.
Typhoons Goni, Molave and Vamco
After this destructive trio of typhoons hit within three weeks of one another in November, UMCOR awarded four grants to episcopal areas in the Philippines in support of immediate relief efforts such as access to food and water, sanitation and hygiene. The Disaster Management Office of the Manila Episcopal Area was awarded a grant for the distribution of rice and cash assistance to households affected by Typhoon Vamco as well as shelter repair and livelihood recovery.
Explosions in Beirut
UMCOR awarded grants to The Middle East Council of Churches, the Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue and the Joint Christian Committee (Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, Lebanon) in support of their local response to the August 4 explosion. These funds helped to procure and deliver essential food and hygiene supplies, nonfood items such as bedding and cooking supplies, and provide psychosocial support for vulnerable children and adults.
Flooding in Nepal
Monsoon rains in July resulted in flooding and landslides in several municipalities across the country. Homes were damaged and hundreds of people died, were injured, or were reported as missing. UMCOR funding provided immediate relief assistance in the form of food kits and hygiene supplies for rural communities.
Tropical storms Amanda and Cristobal
In late May and early June, Amanda and Cristobal impacted regions across El Salvador. Thousands of hectares of crops were damaged and many structures were destroyed by flooding and landslides. Funding provided assistance through food baskets, medicine and hygiene kits, metal material for roof repair and small stoves to families affected by the storms as well the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flooding in Congo
The people of East Congo endured severe flooding that claimed lives, homes, churches and schools in late April. UMCOR worked with both the North Katanga and East Congo episcopal areas and supported the response of local disaster management coordinators. Food such as rice, cornmeal and oil were distributed to flood survivors. In November, South Congo saw major flooding that affected property and infrastructure. UMCOR awarded a grant to assist in the restoration of damaged community assets.
Taal Volcano Eruption
In partnership with UMCOR, the Philippines Manila Episcopal Area Disaster Management Office identified and distributed food and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs to those displaced by the eruption in mid-January. Continued recovery efforts include working to restore livelihoods for evacuees upon return to their villages.

Past Response

Hurricane Dorian (2019)
In September, Dorian’s impact on the Bahamas was severe. UMCOR awarded grants to Bahamas Methodist Habitat (BMH), the Disaster Ministry of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church (BCMC), the Bahamas Turks and Caicos Island Conference (BTCIC) of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA), and IsraAid. These grants provided immediate funding to address basic human needs as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding.
Cyclones Idai and Kenneth (2019)
UMCOR awarded grants to the Malawi Provisional Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and The United Methodist Church in Mozambique in response to Cyclone Idai and Kenneth’s back-to-back devastating rains and flooding. The grants provided immediate emergency funding for basic human needs including food distribution, hygiene supplies/clothing distribution, safe water access and temporary shelter.
Typhoon Mangkhut (2018)
UMCOR awarded a grant to address immediate needs in the most hard-hit provinces of Baguio while the Disaster Management Coordinators in the Philippines continued to work with their communities after Typhoon Mangkhut to assess damages and needs.

Disaster Risk Reduction

Even after the initial disaster is over, people are often endangered by subsequent disasters. UMCOR’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program help communities to identify vulnerabilities and attend to those 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, 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 (UNISDR), helping to substantially reduce the number of disaster losses.