Report: Closer Ties to UN Agencies Vital to UMCOR Afghanistan's Operations

(Video Still Credit: UMCOR)People in Afghanistan are seen near boxes of supplies from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in the wake of spring floods in still from a video released on April 16, 2012.

The United Methodist Church Committee on Relief (UMCOR)'s Afghanistan field office, which has completed 10 years of operations in the war-torn nation, will press forward with its mission and increasing collaboration with a pair of UN agencies serving refugees and children will be vital to its ongoing operations, according to a report.

UMCOR, which said a gift to its "Afghanistan Emergency" account on its website on Monday would support ongoing work, says the organization will also expand its efforts to encourage individuals' efforts to improve their own economic position.

The organization will carefully promote livelihoods training programs, especially those that focus on female-headed households, according to the report.

UMCOR says it established work in Afghanistan in May 2002, with its main office located in Kabul. The organization says that beyond private funds, the organization receives support from the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees.

Much of the organization's assistance has been to enable Afghan refugees to return to their former homes, helping them with temporary or even long-term shelter, the group said in a brief report Monday.

"Vital to the ongoing operation will be work to increase collaboration with key agencies of the United Nations system, notably the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN children's program, UNICEF," the report stated.

The report says the UMCOR mission has helped to increase support for sustainable livelihoods, improving access to clean water and improving hygiene practice, meeting basic health and education costs, and transforming its assistance into enduring community-based services by strengthening capacity and ownership in the local communities themselves.

Insecurity is the biggest threat to the operations, and is expected to worsen as members of the international coalition fighting there continue to draw down.

The report estimates UMCOR's mission has affected the lives of at least 1.1 million Afghan citizens by working across a wide range of provinces and districts.

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