The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) US$32 million — the faith’s largest one-time contribution to a humanitarian organization — to help fight what the WFP calls a “seismic hunger crisis.”
During a visit on Wednesday at the World Food Programme’s headquarters in Rome, Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric presented the donation to WFP USA President and CEO Barron Segar and WFP Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships and Advocacy Ute Klamert.
“We are so grateful to collaborate with the World Food Programme because we know they will get food to those who need it most,” Bishop Budge said. “And we thank Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith whose financial sacrifices have made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and all of us a little holier.”
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The WFP will use the Church’s funds to provide food and other critical assistance to 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people — including mothers and young children — in nine countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
“This extraordinary donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not come at a more critical time,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “With millions of people starving today, WFP is working hard to deliver food, help and hope — and this life-saving contribution allows us to do just that.”
As a global food crisis forces millions more into hunger, WFP’s work alongside governments and partners is a critical lifeline for many. In Somalia, for example, WFP is scaling up humanitarian assistance to record levels to avert projected famine. In Yemen, WFP’s food assistance has reached more than half of the country’s population and kept hunger at bay. Meanwhile, millions of families rely on the organization’s food, nutrition and livelihood support in Afghanistan.
“At this time of unprecedented global need, we are grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ transformational gift,” Segar said. “Private sector support is critical to our mission, enabling WFP to scale food assistance and resilience work that brings families stability and comfort during these challenging times. I am confident that the Church’s gift will inspire others to join our movement to end global hunger.”
Added Klamert, “We accept this generous donation with gratitude and firm confidence in our ability to use it to deliver food for the most vulnerable, reaching them in their time of need, helping lift them out of harm’s way, so they can survive and build resilience.”
Today, a record 345 million people face acute food insecurity, with 50 million on the brink of famine. Without immediate action, some 60 million children will be at risk of acute malnourishment by the end of 2022. The worldwide ripple effect of the war in Ukraine, compounded by widespread conflict, extreme weather and the socioeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is pushing already vulnerable people into utter desperation.
“My heart rejoices for the millions of malnourished children who will benefit from this donation,” added Sister Camille N. Johnson, global leader of the faith’s Relief Society, an organization for women. “Jesus has a tender heart for children. He weeps to see them starve. And He rejoices at even the smallest effort to help them. A huge thanks to the World Food Programme and to all who contribute in any way to this cause.”
The Church of Jesus Christ’s collaboration with WFP began in 2014. WFP Executive Director David Beasley toured the Church’s welfare operations in Salt Lake City in 2019. The two organizations worked together to fill hunger gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Church of Jesus Christ gives around $1 billion annually to care for those in need around the world.
About the World Food Programme
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. Learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission.
Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ
Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relieves suffering, fosters self-reliance and provides opportunities for service. It 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.
The Church’s humanitarian outreach is made possible by the generous donations and volunteerism of Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith. More than 1 million workdays of labor are contributed each year by volunteers in support of welfare initiatives.
The Church sponsors relief and development projects in 195 countries and territories and 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.