United Methodists expand global health campaign

Bishop Janice Riggle Huie

The United Methodist Church "ramped up" its commitment to fight malaria by agreeing to enter into a capital campaign to raise $75 million to $100 million for global health.

"This is a milestone in the church's long history of caring for the poor and the whole person," said Bishop Janice Riggle Huie on May 1 in announcing the 2008 General Conference's approval of the Global Health Initiative.

Agencies and boards of the church will join with the United Nations Foundation and other organizations to combat the diseases of poverty: HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The initiative represents an expanded global partnership, Huie said.

The hope is that the partnership, led by the people of The United Methodist Church and organized by the U.N. Foundation, will raise $200 million to fight malaria in Africa. Development of the partnership has received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"This problem is greater than any one denomination or any one organization. We cannot beat malaria by ourselves," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton.

"We need to ramp up our efforts internally," Bickerton said. The United Methodist boards of Global Ministries, Church and Society and Higher Education and Ministry, along with United Methodist Communications, will work together. The capital campaign will provide financial support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Gabrielle Fitzgerald

"The United Methodist Church has tremendous networks," said Huie. "In Côte d'Ivoire, there are 700,000 United Methodists who can be the backbone of the initiative."

Huie said the church will work on raising the funds "as long as it takes."

Malaria was eradicated in the United States in the 1950s, said Gabrielle Fitzgerald, an executive with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "All lives have equal value, yet people in Africa are bearing the burden of malaria. Something is not working right."

Two years ago, the people of The United Methodist Church joined with the U.N. Foundation "in a collection of unlikely organizations" to form Nothing But Nets, said Elizabeth McKee Gore, a foundation executive.

Nothing But Nets, an anti-malaria campaign to purchase and distribute insecticide-treated bed nets for Africa, has raised $20 million, Gore said.

"John Wesley said 'the world is my parish' and that is the hallmark of who we are," said Bickerton. "This is a historic, new day for us."

*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service based in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, e-mail: [email protected]

Elizabeth McKee Gore

Phone calls can be made to the General Conference Newsroom in Fort Worth, Texas, at (817) 698-4405 until May 3. Afterward, call United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn., at (615) 742-5470.

Related Articles

General Conference headlines

Gates thanks United Methodists for partnership

$5 million grant boosts Global Health Initiative

Resource

General Conference 2008

United Nations Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, speaks about the pandemic and the proposed denominational split during an interview at United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn. The church will host 2021 Leadership Institute on Sept. 29-Oct. 1 with a focus on helping pastors and laity address divisions in their communities. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Adam Hamilton: Leading in polarized times

Ahead of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection’s 2021 Leadership Institute, UM News spoke to the Rev. Adam Hamilton about the pandemic and proposed denominational split.
General Church
Northwest Texas Conference voters pray for the conference’s 14-member transition team appointed by Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe to educate voters about their options under a proposed plan of denominational separation heading to the coming General Conference. During the Aug. 13-14 Northwest Texas Annual Conference meeting in Lubbock, Texas, voters signaled their hope for the conference to move to a new denomination under the plan. Photo courtesy of the Northwest Texas Conference.

Conference signals its plans post-separation

The Northwest Texas Conference passed a nonbinding resolution indicating aspirations to join a new traditionalist Methodist church under a proposed protocol for separation.
General Church
As organizers of the United Methodist General Conference look to the possibility of an in-person session in 2022, the new strain presents new challenges. Coronavirus image courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Virus bedevils General Conference planning

After two postponements, organizers continue working to hold the United Methodist lawmaking assembly next year. However, the delta variant presents new challenges.