The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has designated $100,000 to assist with the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, expressing continuing concern for the people of war-torn Sudan. The money will support programs that promote child protection, income generation for women and safe returns to rebuilt villages.
Taken from the program development fund of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) at the request of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries chief executive Rev. R. Randy Day, the money was approved by board directors at the October annual meeting.
Day told the United Methodist News Service that he hopes the $100,000 grant can be used “to really focus the denomination, more than it is at present, on the crisis there.”
UMCOR, which is working with an international ecumenical alliance in Chad refugee camps holding 130,000 Sudanese, dispatched an assessment team to the region of Darfur in western Sudan two weeks ago. The team of international relief and development professionals arrived Oct. 21 in Khartoum and will spend three weeks exploring how to expand UMCOR's involvement in delivering aid.
According to reports, more than 1.2 million people have been driven from their homes in the Darfur region since 2003, and as many as 70,000 have died in a conflict that has been labeled as genocide by some. Day said the information and statistics being gathered about the situation in Sudan have not resulted in sufficient political action.
On the other hand, United Methodist donations have already supported UMCOR assistance in the region while other grants approved through the program development fund in October also have a focus on children or on people immersed in crisis or just emerging from crisis
Those grants include:
* $165,000 for the partnership fund program, which strengthens ministry planning among churches in Latin America/the Caribbean and the Philippines.
* $90,000 for continuing work in Haiti, a Caribbean nation devastated by flooding and tropical storms, political violence and extensive poverty.
* $100,000 for a coordinated approach to reconstruction in the African nation of Angola, in consultation with United Methodists there and U.S. churches that have formed partnerships with Angolan churches.
* $100,000 for street children ministries in Latin America — especially, Day said, in the smaller cities where the problem does not receive as much attention.
* $50,000 to strengthen successful, longtime ministries along the Mexico-U.S. border.
* $30,000 to support interaction among Christians and Muslims in insular parts of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia.