Washington, DC — The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) announced today the Midwest Early Recovery Fund has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, an affiliate of the United Methodist Committee on Relief for disaster recovery work in three counties in southeast Arkansas. The funds will be used to build local capacity for case management, reconstruction management, volunteer coordination, and community outreach and education in Ashley, Chicot, and Desha counties.

Major storms and floods ravaged southeast Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana in early March 2016. In southeast Arkansas, approximately 525 homes were impacted, 110 severely. Most of the flooded homes were vulnerable before the flood and now are in great need of repair and mold remediation.

“Low-attention disasters, often occurring in small, rural communities, disproportionately affect vulnerable populations,” reported Nancy Beers, CDP’s Program Officer for the Fund. “Unfortunately, with little, if any, federal or state assistance, resources are often scarce and local assets are quickly overwhelmed. The Midwest Early Recovery Fund is designed to support local agencies to serve those with the greatest needs as soon as possible following a disaster.”

Southeast Arkansas, an area known as the Arkansas Delta, is home to many poor, rural farmers and small farm communities. The poverty rate for children is nearly 40% and the average household income is less than $25,000/year. Despite the significant impact of the floods, the storms received sparse coverage as national and regional attention was focused on the heavily damaged areas of northern Louisiana and central and eastern Texas.

“Resources are limited due to our recent efforts to recover from the central Arkansas tornado and neighboring states being severely affected by this same flood/severe storm event. This grant provides much needed support for the recovery effort in this poor community,” said Janice Mann, Coordinator of Disaster Response Ministries for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

A local, community-driven, long-term recovery committee is working tirelessly to raise sufficient recovery funds and secure in-kind donations. To donate to this work, please contact Janice Mann, Disaster Response Ministries, at disaster@arumc.org or call Midwest Early Recovery Fund Program Officer Nancy Beers at 507-990-5307.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to transform disaster giving by providing timely and thoughtful strategies to increase donors’ impact during domestic and international disasters.

With an emphasis on recovery and disaster risk reduction, CDP aims to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of contributions given to disasters;
  • Bring greater attention to the life cycle of disasters, from preparedness and planning, to relief, to rebuilding and recovery efforts;
  • Provide timely and relevant advice from experts with deep knowledge of disaster philanthropy;
  • Conduct due diligence so donors can give with confidence; and,
  • Create plans for informed giving for individuals, corporations and foundations.

Contact: Kathy Gutowsky, Director of Marketing & Communications at kathy.gutowsky@disasterphilanthropy.org.