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Media Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802, 443-220-3269 cell, esollie@lwr.org

Lutheran Malaria Initiative Continues Ground-Breaking Work through Generous Gift from ELCA

Baltimore, November 4, 2011 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has pledged $250,000 to support Lutheran World Relief’s anti-malaria work in Tanzania through the Lutheran Malaria Initiative.

Malaria is a devastating disease that kills nearly a million people a year, mostly children under age 5. Spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes, malaria is preventable and treatable. The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is part of a global effort to put an end to malaria deaths by 2015.

LWR works with its longtime partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), to educate people about prevention, symptoms and treatment of malaria. The highly successful program supports church and community outreach programs; trains healthcare workers in church-run health facilities to diagnose and treat malaria; and helps rural clinics, often cut off from efficient communications, manage their flow of medical supplies and take advantage of government subsidy programs.

Since 2007, the project has reached more than 1.7 million people across 13 ELCT dioceses with critical information about prevention and treatment. With this generous gift from funds raised through the ELCA Malaria Campaign, as well as ongoing support from Lutheran congregations, groups and individuals nationwide, LWR and the ELCT will expand these proven strategies to help even more people in more communities.

“The ELCT is an important, long-term partner of both LWR and the ELCA and we are pleased to be able to come together in support of their efforts to end malaria in their communities,” said LWR president and CEO John Nunes. “As Christians, we cannot stand by and watch this disease needlessly continue to devastate families and communities. Working together, we can help eliminate the threat of malaria for millions of God’s children.”

The Lutheran Malaria Initiative is a partnership of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), made possible with support from the United Nations Foundation.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

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