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30 Jul 2014 description

By David Tereshchuk*

July 29, 2014—The southeastern regions of Myanmar (also known as Burma) bordering on Thailand have long been characterized by violent upheaval and refugee movements.

Most heavily affected have been the country’s ethnic minority populations in small village communities. Their lives have been deeply impacted by armed conflict and frequent forcible military recruitment, owing to ethnic tensions and an autocratic government that ruled the country for nearly 50 years, from 1962 to 2011.

11 Jun 2013 description

By David Tereshchuk *

June 11, 2013—The ancient Southeast Asia country of Burma, renamed Myanmar by its military rulers in 1989, has been re-entering the global community of nations after decades of great isolation.

Its moves toward democracy have been cautiously welcomed by many around the world, but its internal strife—so long hidden from outside eyes—is also disturbing many people of compassion.

02 Nov 2011 description



The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is providing immediate relief to the survivors of the October 23 earthquake in eastern Turkey and helping to lay a foundation for longer-term recovery.

UMCOR partner International Blue Crescent will distribute blankets, medicines, food relief packets, tarpaulins, and other much-needed items among survivors of the 7.2-magnitude quake that so far has taken the lives of 523 people, with hundreds more still trapped beneath the rubble.

16 Jun 2009 description



The number of displaced people in the northern part of Karen State in Myanmar (Burma) continues to grow. Many have fled to Thailand from Myanmar where military presence, land confiscations and threats of violence continue.

UMCOR is assisting Church World Service partners to provide emergency food relief for families temporarily residing in the Ee Htu Hta camp for the displaced. Approximately 4,200 people, including 560 children, will benefit from the distribution of rice and salt and other emergency food items.

28 Apr 2009 description



UMCOR's Sri Lanka office is working on the ground with other humanitarian aid organizations to provide emergency assistance to thousands who are being forced to flee from intense fighting in the northern region of Sri Lanka.

Thanks to an umbrella grant from the US Agency of International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), UMCOR is reaching the most vulnerable to provide 60,000 emergency kits that include water, glucose, and biscuits as well as help build 4,400 emergency shelters and 800 …

27 Apr 2009 description

While much of the world watched in horror after Cyclone Nargis devastated southern Myanmar (Burma), the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar) MC(LM) sprang into action-providing ministries of healing, food, shelter and counseling to people in great need.

Cyclone Nargis swept across the Irrawaddy Delta May 2, 2008, and is estimated to have left 150,000 people dead or missing, making it the deadliest cyclone in Myanmar's history.

United Methodists responded generously to this crisis and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) worked with MC(LM) to support their …

29 May 2008 description

NEW YORK, May 29, 2008- The United Methodist Committee on Relief is taking part in a $5 million appeal by Action by Churches Together to help up to 1.3 million Cyclone Nargis survivors in Myanmar (Burma).

The resulting program will help the people of Myanmar recover from the devastating May 2 cyclone that has taken an estimated 100,000 lives and left at least 2 million homeless.

ACT partners have thus far been able to reach more than 100,000 people with direct aid and have established 21 assistance centers in the affected areas.

A Network of Partners

While news agencies …

13 May 2008 description



A massive earthquake in Sichuan Province of China has killed at least 12,000 people and destroyed up to 80 percent of homes and businesses in the area. More than 300 aftershocks have been recorded, keeping people on edge.

UMCOR partner Amity Foundation was able to send help to those affected within hours of the disaster. Amity has been working in China since 1985 providing a wide range of humanitarian and social services.

12 May 2008 description

NEW YORK, May 12, 2008-'The United Methodist Committee on Relief is persistently pursuing all avenues to provide relief in Myanmar,' said Sam Dixon, UMCOR's top executive. 'The faith-based disaster response community is working closely together to bring relief to those suffering following Cyclone Nargis, and it's working,' Dixon continued.

UMCOR's primary partners in this response are part of the Action by Churches Together network of church and faith-based agencies.

07 May 2008 description

NEW YORK, May 7, 2008-Cyclone Nargis tore through Myanmar (Burma) May 2 with unexpected fury, causing a tidal surge that swept inland that devastated Myanmar's most populated regions leaving homes and businesses flattened and families forever changed.

Satellite images reveal extensive damage along the entire costal plain. Current reports place the death toll over 20,000, with another 40,000 missing.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to the widespread need in Myanmar.

06 May 2008 description



UMCOR is working with its partner Church World Service to bring emergency relief to thousands of people affected by Tropical Cyclone Nargis which tore through the Irrawaddy Delta on May 3, before slamming into Myanmar's (Burma) largest city of Yangon. According to a Reuters news report, the current death toll is 22,500 with a further 41,000 missing.

UMCOR is supporting CWS and its partner agencies and anticipates working with additional partners to provide relief and recovery assistance for the people of Myanmar.