Flood relief in Mitwaba, North Katanga, DRC. UMCOR partnered with the Disaster Management Office of the North Katanga Episcopal Area to provide relief for 990 people affected by flooding. Relief packages consisted of flour, beans, cooking oil, salt, pots, buckets and spoons. (Photo: NORTH KATANGA DISASTER MANAGEMENT OFFICE)

International Disaster Response

When a natural or human-caused disaster strikes outside of the United States, the United Methodist Committee of Relief International Disaster Response program (UMCOR IDR) serves as the primary channel for United Methodist assistance. Response includes support for displaced people as well as refugees fleeing disasters in the form of food, water, hygiene and other essential nonfood supplies and temporary shelter. Long-term, UMCOR cooperates with church leaders and local organizations to develop response mechanisms and to support local relief and recovery efforts.

UMCOR focuses on disasters that overwhelm a local community’s ability to respond, such as storms and flooding, fires, volcanoes, war and civil unrest.

Partners working with UMCOR select beneficiaries based on need and vulnerability as opposed to any other category (such as gender, race or religion).

Building global capacity

Among United Methodist communities in Africa and the Philippines, UMCOR resources Disaster Management Offices (DMOs) and accompanies, trains and equips other Methodist and faith-based partners. These efforts strengthen churches to carry out disaster response, recovery and risk mitigation activities in their own communities.

Typical emergency response efforts include the distribution of food, hygiene supplies and facilities, nonfood items, psychosocial support and shelter. Once the immediate danger has passed, higher-level recovery activities may include projects to increase livelihoods, food security, education and other areas of recovery.

Mitigation activities encompass community-based contingency planning in which community members utilize their experience and local expertise to adapt and prepare for future disasters. This work includes infrastructure and physical adaptations that may help prevent and decrease the severity of disasters.

Current response 

UMCOR and its partners are responding to disasters around the world every day. 

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