By United Methodist News Service
The grants are from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. UMCOR directors approved the funding during the Oct. 9-12 annual meeting of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, UMCOR’s parent agency.
Moore Community House of Biloxi is one of three community centers along the
The Rev. Paul Dirdak, UMCOR’s chief executive, noted that the
At Moore Community House, eight buildings and three playgrounds were destroyed by Katrina. A $392,437 grant will allow the rebuilding of the child development center, playground and offices. Child care for children under 5-years-old has been identified as a high-priority unmet need in the area.
In addition, the Mississippi Annual Conference plans to use a $300,000 grant to build three storm-resistant multipurpose buildings adjacent to local churches. The buildings will be used for volunteer housing and as a distribution center and warehouse for supplies.
A grant to the Louisiana Annual Conference will allow the expansion of the
Near the French Quarter of New Orleans, a $464,008 grant will be used to rehabilitate St. Mark’s Community Center, to provide space for volunteer teams and allow for the start-up of social service programs as the neighborhood is revived.
The Louisiana Conference also will receive a $200,000 grant from UMCOR to provide volunteer housing in
Grants approved to assist in the recovery of Katrina evacuees living outside the region included $300,000 to the Memphis and Shelby County Community Service Agency; $266,878 to the Center for Urban Ministries in Birmingham; $220,561 to Metro United Urban Methodist Ministries of
The relief agency also announced the awarding of major grants from the
For its tsunami-related relief work in
Once the U.N. grant is secure, UMCOR will add nearly $1.8 million of its own tsunami funding to pay personnel costs for trainers, mentors and evaluators to all 70 villages. “This is the one opportunity to make a significant difference in Nias,” Dirdak told directors.
He also explained to directors that a $1.4 million grant approved last spring for the rehabilitation of Memorial Park in
In addition, directors approved a $200,000 grant to the UMCOR-NGO Sri Lanka office to provide emergency assistance to tsunami survivors currently displaced by the conflict there between the government and Tamil Tigers.
UMCOR announced that a donation of wheat from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has resulted in $4 million to support farmers and rural residents of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assistance is providing a $1 million grant to improve access to water and sanitation and increase food security in the southern Darfur region of
The agency also has received $800,000 from the U.S. State Department for educational work in another region of