News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Is Helping Alleviate Global Malnutrition

The Church’s ongoing efforts include a combined US$44 million to help mothers and children in 30 countries

As the world continues to face an unprecedented hunger crisis, more than 3 million children will die this year from malnutrition. And half of all children globally suffer from essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These deficits stunt the growth and potential of the next generation.

“No humanitarian effort is more foundational to Christ’s Church than feeding the hungry,” said Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson. “We are grateful to have the means to collaborate with wonderful organizations and provide relief to children and young mothers in dire need. As we serve together, we extend the reach of Christ’s loving arms.”

Belaynesh and her small family in southern Ethiopia are the recipients of such love. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition were their reality until they became part of a program led by CARE International that feeds people in rural Ethiopia and improves economic status through basic business education.

Funding that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides to CARE helps women like Belaynesh raise chickens, goats and bees, maintain gardens and improve their children’s diets.

“I’ve noticed [our children are] strong and have a better academic performance,” Belaynesh said. “My neighbors could probably testify that my kids are doing well.”

That wellness will help her children become thriving members of their community.

“We are immensely grateful,” said CARE USA President and CEO Michelle Nunn. “Funding from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allows us to scale up our work in countries like Ethiopia and Ghana and improve the well-being of thousands more children and their families impacted by food insecurity and malnutrition.”

To reach more children in Ethiopia and many other countries, The Church of Jesus Christ is giving US$44 million to support the wide-ranging global hunger relief efforts of CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Helen Keller Intl, The Hunger Project and several other organizations. This is in addition to last year’s donations to the World Food Programme ($32 million) and UNICEF’s No Time to Waste initiative ($5 million).

“Responding to the growing levels of child malnutrition is a key humanitarian priority for the Church,” said Blaine R. Maxfield, managing director of the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services. “Our collaboration with these organizations helps provide relief to vulnerable children and mothers worldwide. These joint efforts will bless nearly 2 million lives in 30 countries. This response demonstrates our commitment to the two great commandments. We show our love to God by reaching out to care for His children, whatever their location or background.”

The Church works with organizations that incorporate principles of self-reliance and engage in evidence-based solutions to combat growing malnutrition rates within the first 2,000 days of life (conception to age 5).

In addition to CARE’s important work, much is being done by others. For example, Catholic Relief Services will improve the nutritional status of some 165,000 adolescent girls, young mothers and their children under age 2 in places such as Guatemala, Liberia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Zambia.

“This is going to be transformative for thousands of adolescent girls and young women,” said Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “It will help Catholic Relief Services put an end to the cycle of malnourishment.”

Helen Keller Intl (HKI) is helping women maintain healthy pregnancies and babies have a nutritious start to life in locales such as Cambodia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

“Across the world, mothers and children are struggling more than ever to maintain adequate nourishment,” said Shawn Baker, chief program officer at HKI. “Helen Keller International is grateful for the continued generosity of collaborators like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as we build sustained access to good nutrition for families and communities during this critical time.”

And The Hunger Project is helping mothers and children from Mexico to Zambia procure sustainable nutrition and create community-based workshops that spread public awareness on best practices for clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

“When I visit rural communities working with The Hunger Project, one thing is always abundantly clear: they know a life without hunger is possible,” said The Hunger Project CEO Tim Prewitt. “We must remember that hunger is a cycle — an injustice passed from mother to child and perpetuated by systems of inequity. It can also be reversed. Collaborations such as our work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are instrumental to supporting communities as they break that cycle.”

The Church of Jesus Christ’s work with these organizations is an ongoing labor of love that will only grow in coming months and years.

“Providing life-sustaining relief for vulnerable mothers and children is an important part of the Savior’s work,” added the Church’s Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé. “We are grateful to collaborate with so many others who help alleviate hunger and poverty. May God bless them and others whose generous contributions make this possible.”

These donations are good news for people like Belaynesh in Ethiopia.

“We are very happy with how things are changing for us,” she said.

This project is funded in part by LDS Charities Australia.

About Humanitarian Services of the Church of Jesus Christ

The Church’s 2022 annual report on caring for those in need shows that the faith’s efforts to care for those in need included more than $1 billion in expenditures, 6.3 million hours volunteered and 3,692 humanitarian projects in 190 countries and territories.

The humanitarian efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service. The Church follows the admonition of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted.

This humanitarian outreach is made possible by the generous donations and volunteerism of Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith. The Church gives assistance without regard to race, religious affiliation or nationality. Aid is based on the core principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance and sustainability.

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