(UMNS) The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is coordinating medicines and medical supplies, being provided through U.S. government-sponsored emergency airlifts, for the contested South Ossetia region in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Fighting broke out between Russia and the South Caucasus nation Aug. 7. A cease-fire agreement, brokered by France, was reached on Aug. 12.
As a member of the United Nations Health and Nutrition Coordination group, UMCOR Georgia is heavily involved in organizing and distributing supplies. UMCOR also is providing health kits to displaced people and assisting local hospitals by distributing medical supplies housed in its Tbilisi warehouse.
George Gedevanishvili, head of office for UMCOR Georgia, is working with agency staff to provide assistance while also keeping personnel safe. Some of UMCOR’s operations near the conflict zone have been halted, while work continues in areas unaffected by the violence.
“Our team was profoundly disturbed by the escalating crisis and the impact on the civilian population,” said Thomas Dwyer, UMCOR’s director of operations for its non-governmental organization, about the changeable environment in Georgia. “Responding to immediate needs in the first days of an emergency such as this requires a great deal of flexibility.”
Donations to support UMCOR’s work in Georgia can be made by giving to Georgia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #250305. Checks can be mailed to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write the Advance number and name on the memo line of the check. Online donations can be made at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate.
— Michele Scott, Director of Communications for UMCOR