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A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom*
United Methodist Bishop Thomas Bickerton keeps a $10 bill in his pocket so he can demonstrate how little money it takes to protect an African household from malaria.
But the roving ambassador for the denomination's involvement in the Nothing But Nets project, a joint effort with the United Nations Foundations and other groups, has a much larger goal than the millions of bed nets that have been sent to Africa.
Bickerton, who is chairperson of the Global Health Initiative for the United Methodist Council of Bishops, seeks nothing less than the …
SRI LANKA: OUT OF POVERTY
Sujithar is a widow who lives alone in a ramshackle house in the town of Muthur in Sri Lanka. During the nation's 20 year conflict, displacement and tsunami, Sujithar survived on what little she could grow on her small plot of land.
With UMCOR's help, Sujithar and others like her can learn new skills to work their way out of poverty. Sujithar participated in UMCOR's soybean project where she produced up to 500 kilos of soybeans.
A recent meeting of bishops and United Methodist health care leaders in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, has led to major capacity-building efforts throughout the Central Conferences in Africa through the assistance and support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
PHILIPPINES: TYPHOON FENGSHEN RESPONSE
UMCOR is sending emergency assistance to support survivors affected by Typhoon Fengshen, which battered central Philippines on June 21-22. Typhoon Fengshen's turbulent waves capsized the Princess of Stars ferry carrying 849 passengers and crew and took the lives of at least 124 passengers.
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In Tanzania, many displaced people are returning to their homes. United Methodist Bishop Ntambo has just concluded the Annual Conference session. Members who had been displaced were finally able to attend after a four-year absence. UMCOR is responding with financial resources to help meet of some of the basic needs of returnees. You can help with these new beginnings by contributing to UMCOR Emergency Advance
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Your contributions to the Hurricanes 2002, Advance #901185-6 help UMCOR respond to those whose lives are unalterably changed by disastrous hurricanes. At this writing, Hurricane Kenna is one of the strongest hurricanes to menace Mexico's Pacific Coast in 50 years. Thousands have already been evacuated in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.
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Millions of people in southern Africa require urgent humanitarian assistance, but the crisis doesn't end there. The lack of food in the south has also affected central African countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Three southern provinces of DRC--Katanga, East and West Kasai--have relied on southern African countries for 80 percent of their basic foodstuffs. Food shortages already exist in the DRC; people are liable to start dying from hunger within three months.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isidore has caused significant flooding and damage along the southern coast of the United States and in the Caribbean. The Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama-West Florida Conferences are doing assessments to determine the appropriate response of UMCOR's Domestic Disaster Response network. Flood buckets filled with cleaning supplies have been sent to the Slidell area of Louisiana. More buckets are needed for response to the impact of Isidore.
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