El Salvador's SOS project is providing products for household disinfection in response to COVID-19.

Lutheran World Relief responds to coronavirus in coffee and cocoa farming communities in Asia and Latin America

  • John Rivera
  • May 4, 2020

Thanks to the flexibility and rapid action of our donors, Lutheran World Relief has been able to quickly ramp up emergency responses to COVID-19 in coffee and cocoa growing communities in Latin America and Asia.

The coronavirus pandemic is just the latest challenge for the smallholder farmers in the developing world who produce most of the world’s coffee and cocoa, in addition to climate change, market uncertainties and supply chain hurdles.

Because Lutheran World Relief has coffee and cocoa projects around the world, resources are available that can be quickly reallocated to addressing COVID-19. These initiatives include:

  • In Indonesia, Lutheran World Relief has been able to quickly draw on resources in our Kopi Nande women’s leadership project toward our COVID-19 response, thanks to flexible funding from The Starbucks Foundation. This assistance will provide food distribution (rice, sugar and cooking oil), as well as hygiene kits, hand soap and locally-made face masks for more than 2,000 households in coffee communities.
  • The World Cocoa Foundation and the Fine Chocolate Industry Association will contribute $45,000 to Lutheran World Relief on behalf of the cocoa industry to support Ecuadorian cocoa communities affected by COVID-19 with the provision of protective kits (masks, face visors, protective suits and boots); non-perishable food kits; personal care kits (alcohol, antiseptic soap and towels); and products for household disinfection. WCF and FCIA are also actively promoting Lutheran World Relief to their members and chocolate consumers for additional donations for cacao growers in the Latin America region.
  • Through the USDA-funded MOCCA program’s social media platform (Mobile Cacao), Lutheran World Relief is reaching thousands of cacao farmers with critical information on how to protect themselves from COVID-19. Farmers and extension workers are also using Mobile Cacao’s social media networks to share agricultural information, even during the government-mandated quarantines throughout the region.
  • The Osprey Foundation has approved the use of funds in a project addressing water pollution in a coffee-growing community in Colombia for an effort to prevent the expansion of COVID-19. Funds will provide food for volunteers, support the transport of volunteers and biosecurity material, including water containers, soap, paper towels and other materials.
  • Margaret A Cargill Philanthropies has authorized Lutheran World Relief to use a regional emergency response fund to provide emergency food security and protection equipment to communities impacted by COVID-19 throughout the Latin America region.
John Rivera, May 4, 2020 email