Volunteers load a truck at the offices of the United Methodist Committee on Relief in Manila with relief supplies for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

By Elliott Wright
April 28, 2020 | ATLANTA

The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries has lifted the temporary hold placed in March on approved grants, including allocations by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The lifting of this hold, covering a total of more than $29 million, was announced by Roland Fernandes, the agency’s treasurer and chief operating officer. This decision was unanimously approved by the Global Ministries executive committee, acting on the unanimous recommendation of its finance committee. 

“These funds will be released over the remaining months of the year, based on the cash-flow projection presented to the finance committee,” said Fernandes.

The freeze on payment of approved grants was enacted by the Global Ministries directors in a virtual meeting on March 20 out of concern over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on revenue sources and cash flow. In announcing the freeze, Fernandes said that the issue would be revisited in late April. 

Contributions made to specific projects of the Advance, the designated mission giving channel of the denomination, were not affected by the payment delay. “Advance gifts given for specific beneficiaries go directly to the designated recipients,” said Fernandes, who is also the general secretary-elect of Global Ministries.

The payment freeze in March made an exception to UMCOR and Global Health grants responding to the COVID-19 crisis and other emergency situations. In the meantime, the UMCOR COVID-19 Response Fund was established through the Advance. Donations to the “Sheltering in Love” campaign can be made online  here.

The UMCOR COVID-19 Response is considered a rapid-response fund. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to Methodist partners in the U.S. and around the world to assist our most vulnerable populations, including racial/ethnic and indigenous communities in the U.S. The application is now available here

Funds will be disbursed quickly and efficiently to address pressing needs related to COVID-19.

Elliott Wright is the information consultant for Global Ministries.