News Story

Church Continues to Provide Relief to Earthquake Victims in Chile

An airlift of tents, tarps, diapers and other supplies sent by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Chilean government arrived in Santiago from Miami on Monday, 15 March. The supplies had been specifically requested by the previous Chilean government and will provide relief in the wake of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile in February.

According to local Church leaders, government officials were particularly happy to see the tents and the other supplies needed so desperately in the affected areas.

The Church’s Chile area presidency, which directs the work of the Church throughout Chile, met with Rodrigo Hinzpeter, Chile’s new interior minister, and Cristobal Lira, the general coordinator of donations, to formally donate the shipment. The ministers expressed their gratitude for all the Church was doing to help the Chilean people. 

Local Church leaders are also continuing to coordinate the delivery of food, water and other supplies provided locally from bishops’ storehouses in Chile to affected areas, including the Juan Fernandez Islands, which were hit by a major tsunami. Several tons of relief supplies have already been provided by the Church from resources in country.

One stake (similar to a diocese) in Chile sent four tons of food, clothing and other supplies they provided on their own. The Relief Society in Chile has provided thousands of blankets and quilts to the needy.

“Everyone is grateful for what local Church leaders are doing down there and how well the relief operation is running,” said Dennis Lifferth, managing director of Church Welfare Services.

An estimated 2 million Chileans have been affected by the earthquake, with at least 500,000 homes sustaining considerable damage. Dozens of aftershocks continued to rattle the region over the weekend.

Seven Church members have been confirmed dead and one is missing from the aftermath of the original quake. Nearly 450 Church members are temporarily using 25 Church meetinghouses as living quarters.

Those wishing to donate to the Church Humanitarian Aid Fund can do so here. Resources from the Church Humanitarian Aid Fund make it possible for the Church to conduct humanitarian activities all over the world. One hundred percent of all contributions are used to help the needy.

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