zMormon Newsroom

The Church’s Global Humanitarian Response

17 December 2018


Members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reached out to serve their neighbors in the aftermath of many recent natural disasters around the world, including hurricanes and wildfires in the United States, typhoons in Asia and volcanic eruptions in Guatemala.

“It is our conviction that no person can truly claim to love God without also reaching out and lifting up God’s children, both through offering spiritual comfort and providing for temporal wants,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of the Church, who spoke at a religious symposium at Chapman University in Orange, California, in February.

In September, Bishop Caussé announced that the Church is finding ways to increase assistance to those in need. “In the next several years we anticipate increasing food donations to community charities by more than 20 million pounds annually,” he said.

Hurricane and Typhoon Relief

In mid-February, Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Church’s Presiding Bishopric, and other Church leaders aided Puerto Ricans, who are still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which battered the Caribbean in 2017. The Church has now donated more than $5.4 million in the past two years to assist members and relief agencies in the region, including six global partners.


As Hurricane Florence made landfall on the U.S. Southeast Coast in mid-September, volunteers filled food boxes at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City for shipment to Atlanta via the Church’s truck fleet.

Latter-day Saint volunteers from more than 30 congregations in North Carolina came together to help clean up neighborhoods devastated by the storm.


In October, senior Church leaders comforted the survivors of the hurricanes on the East Coast of the United States. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen, led the delegation on visits to North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

“Afflictions and obstacles are the reality of mortal life,” President Oaks told hundreds of Church members gathered in Tallahassee. “If we are faithful and prayerful, the Lord helps us get through them.”


The 2017 hurricane season took a major toll on the American Red Cross’s fleet of emergency response vehicles (ERVs). In late October, the Church announced a donation of $1.5 million to the American Red Cross to buy 10 new ERVs.

In Asia, cleanup efforts were underway in September after Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, packed destructive winds and torrential rain as it cut across northern Luzon. Dozens of people lost their lives after heavy rains triggered landslides. In the affected areas of the Philippines, more than 4,000 members and friends of the Church stayed in 96 Latter-day Saint chapels during the typhoon, where they also received food and water.


LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, coordinated relief efforts alongside Church volunteers who repacked supplies and distributed 7,000 food kits in the affected Philippine provinces.

In Hong Kong, members and more than 100 missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worked to help clean debris in the community.

Earthquake Recovery

In February, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled to Jojutla, Mexico, to assess recovery efforts and meet with earthquake survivors. Two large earthquakes struck Mexico in September of 2017.


In March, Latter-day Saints demonstrated how they are helping rebuild their communities in the aftermath of the Mexico earthquake destruction.


Food Insecurity

LDS Charities donated $1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) in March to help feed the hungry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read more about the Church’s humanitarian projects in the 2017 LDS Charities Annual Report.

Volcano Assistance

In June, Latter-day Saint volunteers provided relief efforts in Central America following the eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano, located 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City. Helping Hands volunteers gathered at a collection center with other organizations to help distribute food and other supplies to displaced residents. Two Church meetinghouses were used for a shelter for the collection, storage and distribution of food and supplies.

Wildfire Aid

In November, members of the Church provided comfort and aid to survivors of California’s deadliest wildfire in state history. Several hundred people gathered at a warehouse in Oroville, California, to fill 5,000 food boxes for victims of the Camp Fire. That fire heavily damaged the town of Paradise and surrounding areas and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Return to 2018 Year in Review of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints