23 October 2017

Global agencies unite to respond and raise awareness of humanitarian catastrophe

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A joint statement from
- All We Can, Methodist relief and development (Britain)
- United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR, USA)
- UnitingWorld (Australia)
- Irish Methodist World Development & Relief

We are committed to standing together in solidarity as Methodist and affiliated international development and relief agencies bringing urgent emergency assistance to the Rohingya people fleeing violence and unrest in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Since 25 August 2017, more than 519,000 refugees from Rakhine State have been forced to cross the border seeking safety in Bangladesh, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis. Those fleeing violence have made their way to Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district and joining hundreds-of-thousands of women, men and children in the region in desperate need. Urgent humanitarian support is needed in Rakhine State, Myanmar, for those who remain, and also in neighbouring Bangladesh. Food insecurity, a lack of access to shelter, safe water and health care. Many of those fleeing violence are children, who are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and disease when living in makeshift settlements.

We believe there is an imperative at this time for individuals, churches and groups around the world to draw together collectively to respond to this crisis. The Government of Bangladesh has kept its borders open to enable people to seek safety and to allow the international community to provide the required humanitarian assistance.

Through our trusted international humanitarian aid partners and our different emergency relief programmes in the region, we are responding to those most in need both in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

This expression of unity marks our dedication to providing people with ways to engage with the global movement of church communities tackling injustice and poverty and responding to humanitarian disasters with compassion and care. We stand together in our sorrow at the recent suffering and deaths resulting from this crisis and we come together in our concern for the thousands suffering in Myanmar and in neighbouring countries. We also unite in prayer for the leaders of countries affected by the crisis for wisdom in making decisions that will aid the most vulnerable.

We appreciate and thank those who have already given so generously to our appeals for this crisis and continue to ask the Christian community, whom we are privileged to serve, to be fervent in prayer and to give generously and quickly to this humanitarian crisis.

In Britain, All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain are calling for generous support for this urgent appeal to assist those seeking refuge in Bangladesh. People are in desperate need of water, food, shelter and access to medical care.

To donate and find out more about the Rohingya Refugee Crisis Appeal in your region of the world go to the relevant website:

In Britain: www.allwecan.org.uk/rohingya   

In the USA: www.umcor.org   

In Australia: www.unitingworld.org.au/rohingya   

In Ireland: www.methodistworlddevelopment.org

 

Image 2 Credit ACT DCA

A local aid worker assists a Rohingya woman receiving emergency food support. Photo Credit: ACT/DCA

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. All We Can is an international development and emergency relief organisation. Focusing on those in greatest need, it is inspired by Christian principles, with its roots in the British Methodist Church. All We Can helps find solutions to poverty by engaging with local people and organisations in some of the world's poorest communities to end the suffering caused by inequality and injustice. All We Can is the operating name of The Methodist Relief and Development Fund, registered charity number in the United Kingdom, 291691.
    The Rohingya Refugee Crisis Appeal in Britain is a joint appeal with the British Methodist Church.
  2. Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church. 100% of all donations go directly to disaster relief efforts. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide. UMCOR works through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, emergency response and disaster recovery, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues, and transitional development.
  3. UnitingWorld supports its overseas partners as they enable marginalised communities to live healthy and well-resourced lives. It focuses on building the capacity of its partners and their communities. It assists them in overcoming poverty and injustice, realising their fundamental human rights and developing long term, sustainable livelihoods. 
  4. World Development & Relief is a department of the Methodist Church in Ireland (MCI) established in the early 1970s. It tackles material poverty and injustice through relational partnerships with indigenous organisations. Its work seeks to see people empower themselves through community development and advocacy.

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