Sustainable development.
Lasting promise.
These four words make up Lutheran World Relief's tagline and represent its core philosophy — of working with people and communities to build better lives and stronger futures.

Lutheran World Relief is a non-profit organization that works with local partners to provide lasting solutions to poverty, injustice and human suffering.

In 2014, your support of Lutheran World Relief reached:









U.S./Mexico Border

More than 50,000 children have arrived at the U.S./Mexico border alone so far this year. Nearly 40,000 women and children have arrived as families. [source] All have endured an incredibly dangerous journey to escape violence and despair in Central America. Current efforts to expedite their deportation place their safety and well-being in jeopardy. This issue also underlines the long-term challenge facing so many in Central America and elsewhere who struggle to cope with economic marginalization, changing weather patterns, grinding poverty and the violence endemic in these states.

Lutheran World Relief will expand its work with governments, non-governmental organizations and church bodies in El Salvador and Honduras to provide shelter, material needs, protection and psychosocial support for children and families returning to these countries from the United States.

LWR’s work in Central America to advance rural development — through programs in agriculture that focus on building the economic livelihoods of families and communities to help stem the migration from rural to urban areas — is providing lasting solutions that address the economic causes that push people to migrate to the United States.



Typhoon Hagupit made landfall in eastern Samar, in the Philippines, on December 6. As Hagupit moved westward, it weakened substantially and was downgraded to a tropical depression on December 9.

Total damages are still being assessed at this time and many small island communities have not yet been reached. The Ministry of Agriculture has reported substantial damage to fisheries, livestock, corn and rice production. Initial assessments estimate damages at $22 million.

LWR is assessing the damage in areas where we currently have active projects and planning a response based on need.


Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on the morning of November 8 as one of the world’s most powerful storms on record to make landfall. The Category 5 typhoon made landfall near Leyte Province in Eastern Visayas Region causing massive destruction and loss of life. More than 13 million people have been affected by the typhoon. LWR is working with partners to develop an emergency response program that focuses on the most urgent needs, such as providing shelter, clearing debris and creating financial resources for recovering families.


East Africa

The worst drought in 60 years is creating severe food and water shortages for millions of impoverished people in the Horn of Africa. Combined with ongoing conflict in many countries, the region is facing an urgent, life-threatening humanitarian crisis.

Millions of people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya are affected by drought conditions which have led to widespread starvation and have driven hundreds of thousands from their homes in search of humanitarian assistance.


Crisis in Gaza

Rising tension between Israelis and Palestinians has led to an outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip and surrounding Israeli neighborhoods. Beginning July 17, 2014, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a ground offensive in Gaza to proactively defend Israel from missiles being launched from Gaza.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), the civilian death toll continues to rise, especially in Gaza, and there are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, many with little or no access to water. Children have been particularly affected by the trauma of this conflict because of the lack of safety in structures once thought to be safe from attack

LWR will respond to this situation by sending Quilts and Kits and supporting the response of our partners in the ACT Alliance.



The civil war in Syria now extends to its third year, as the number of civilian casualties, externally displaced people and refugees continues to grow. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria and more than 2.3 million have taken refuge in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. LWR has been responding with Quilts and Kits, as well as supporting the humanitarian responses of our partners in the region.

You can help! We are currently accepting donations to this crisis. Please send financial contributions to Lutheran World Relief, PO Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061 (note Syria on check) or call 1.800.597.5972. Quilts and Kits are greatly needed to help LWR keep responding to this crisis as well as other emergencies around the world.


Crisis in West Africa

A serious food crisis has developed in the Sahel region of West Africa that puts an estimated 18.7 million people at risk for hunger in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. In Mali, internal conflict has caused the displacement of more than 260,000 people, who have fled the country into neighboring countries already struggling to cope with the on-going food crisis.

LWR is carrying out a multi-faceted response to this crisis, aimed at helping rural communities, especially in Niger, meet their needs while increasing their resilience to future crises. LWR is also responding to the needs of families affected by the conflict in Mali. Learn more about how you can help.


South Sudan

On December 15, 2013 fighting broke out between various elements of South Sudan's armed forces, displacing as many as 189,000, who are now in need of humanitarian assistance.


Ebola Outbreak

In March 2014 the Ebola virus began to spread very rapidly throughout several countries in West Africa: Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which has been hit the hardest. Ebola is an aggressive virus that has neither a cure nor a vaccine to date. The fatality rate of those who have contracted Ebola is between 47 – 53 percent, although at times it has gotten as high as 90 percent.

Lack of community awareness about the disease, as well as local sanitation and hygiene practices, are hampering efforts to curb infections and deaths. Lutheran World Relief has worked with its partner IMA World Health to reach out in Liberia to educate community leaders and health workers about the disease and treatment, as well as providing personal protection equipment for health workers.

Please join LWR in praying for the nations and people affected by the Ebola outbreak as we continue conversations with partners on how we can best respond.


On the evening of March 13, 2015, Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean.

While damage from the category 5 cyclone is still being assessed, it is estimated that the storm damaged or destroyed 90 percent of buildings and structures in the most heavily affected regions. The storm also left thousands displaced, with more than 2,000 people sheltering in more than 25 evacuation centers. (Source).

LWR will continue to assess the situation and determine how we can best support a response. Please join us in praying for the people of Vanuatu and those who work to help them.



A second earthquake struck Nepal on May 12, 2015 causing additional fatalities, injuries and damage to areas just beginning recovery from the extremely powerful earthquake that struck the country on April 25. More than 28,000 people have been killed or injured and that number may continue to rise. LWR is working in the rural areas of the quake epicenter, where we already have active projects. In partnership with local organizations on the ground, we have reached affected communities with emergency food, shelter items, water filters, and LWR Quilts and Personal Care Kits. Our planned 2-year response includes shelter rehabilitation, longer-term food assistance and support for livelihood recovery. You can help.

Subscribe to LWR eNews Create a Profile Track donations. Customize content.
LWR's Blog LWR In Depth Detailed information about the work that we do.