BALTIMORE— The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the nation’s largest Lutheran body, has worked with Lutheran World Relief to repurpose $160,000 in project funding to emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
In Latin America, the funding will be used for food assistance in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, nations that have been hard-hit by the coronavirus and the resulting economic disruption that is causing increased hunger. In Africa, the support will provide improved water, sanitation and hygiene, along with personal protective equipment, to displaced communities in South Sudan. And a project in Nepal will ensure that quarantine facilities are hygienic and comfortable, and that households economically affected by COVID-19 are able to cultivate their crops and sustain their small-scale businesses.
“Thanks to the flexibility and rapid action of our ELCA partners, Lutheran World Relief has been able to quickly ramp up these emergency responses to COVID-19,” said Daniel Speckhard, LWR president & CEO. “This is so important because COVID-19 is a major threat to the resilience and wellbeing of the communities where we serve. Lives will be saved as a result of this support.”
“The ELCA has a tradition of standing with our global neighbors in good times and in bad. Our partnership with Lutheran World Relief is a reflection of that strong commitment and allows us to deepen and extend it in this time of extreme crisis,” said Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA.
The ELCA and Lutheran World Relief share a long, historical relationship and a mutual commitment to companionship in mission. Through its ELCA World Hunger program, the ELCA has provided $1 million in annual support to Lutheran World Relief for projects that serve people and communities various regions around the world, including Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
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Founded in 1945, Lutheran World Relief collaborates with local partners to grow inclusive and climate resilient rural economies, reduce poverty, and respond to emergencies and humanitarian crises. Lutheran World Relief works in concert with Corus International, an ensemble of faith-based organizations working together in the world’s most fragile settings to deliver the holistic, lasting solutions needed to overcome the interconnected challenges of poverty, health care access and climate change.