Latter-day Saint Charities Updates

Famine Response 2017

woman happy to have food

LDS Charities is responding to the devastating natural and man-made famines in the Middle East and Africa that are threatening the lives of millions of people. LDS Charities has partnered with 11 organizations to carry out 25 different projects addressing immediate needs. It’s estimated that these projects will benefit more than 1,100,100 people, including pregnant woman and children. Several other projects focusing on longer-term aid and weatherization needs are also underway. For more information about this project visit Mormon Newsroom.

Democratic Republic of Congo

More than 1.4 million people have been displaced by a series of militia group uprisings over two decades. As families are displaced due to conflict, children have an increased risk of suffering from malnutrition and disease. An estimated 400,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

Save the Children—Health and Child Protection Services

LDS Charities will provide funding for Save the Children to implement an eight-month strategy to provide emergency health, nutrition, water sanitation, hygiene, and child protection services. These services will help over 300,000 children and adults.

UNICEF USA—Humanitarian Response

LDS Charities will partner with UNICEF USA to provide support for UNICEF’s response to the crisis in the Kasai region of the DRC. UNICEF will provide screening and treatment management to children with severe acute malnutrition, provide measles immunizations for children aged 6 months to 15 years and other heal services, provide families with access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services, provide essential household items and shelter materials, and more.  .

Niger and Nigeria

Insecurity from the Boko Haram insurgency, displacement, and disruptions in agricultural activities and cross-border trade continue to undermine communities’ livelihoods and have resulted in serious food insecurity for 10 million people in Northeastern Nigeria. The number of children with severe acute malnutrition is expected to reach 450,000 in the conflict-affected areas.

CARE International—Food

In partnership with CARE International, LDS Charities is providing funding to address the immediate food needs of the most at-risk populations, particularly women and children under the age of two.

International Rescue Committee—Cooking Fuel

LDS Charities will help the International Rescue Committee provide 1,000 gas tanks to selected heads of households. Each household will also receive nine refills over the next six months.

UNICEF USA—Childhood Malnutrition Care and Education

LDS Charities partners with UNICEF USA to support UNICEF’s treatment of severely malnourished children under the age of five. UNICEF will conduct screenings, make referrals to stabilization centers, and distribute micronutrient supplementation. The funding also provides access to safe water through sanitation and hygiene kits, water purification tablets, and repair of sanitation facilities. Additionally, UNICEF will reach millions with emergency health services and increase access for children to attend school or temporary learning facilities in safe environments.


Somalia remains in a state of chronic humanitarian crisis, with 6.2 million people facing acute food insecurity. Grazing land is becoming scarce, rivers are drying up, and livestock are dying. Approximately 185,000 children are severely malnourished, making them particularly vulnerable to measles, cholera, and other diseases. A massive cholera outbreak has been raging since January 2017; there have been more than 51,000 cases, and more than 800 people have died from the disease.

Catholic Relief Services—Drought Relief

LDS Charities is partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to provide emergency relief to vulnerable families struggling with the effects of drought in Somalia. The project includes repairing shallow wells, improving or adding new boreholes, and supporting hygiene activities. CRS will also help families improve animal watering points, and will supply livestock feed. An estimated 18,000 families will benefit from this project.

Convoy of Hope—Food, Livestock, and Clean Water

LDS Charities is working with Convoy of Hope to provide one million meals over a 12-month period, benefiting 14,000 people. This project also promotes livelihood by restocking and rehabilitating flocks as well as providing veterinarian training. Convoy of Hope will assist in rebuilding and developing 20 water points for clean-water access.

USA for UNHCR—Food, Medications, and Emergency Shelter Kits

USA for UNHCR and LDS Charites are helping to provide food and nutrition supplements as well as disease treatment for 2,000 people suffering from acute malnutrition. In addition, 10,000 people will receive primary health-care drugs up to four times a year. The funding will also help to distribute 4,000 emergency shelter kits.

UNICEF USA—Childhood Malnutrition and Disease Prevention

LDS Charities is partnering with UNICEF USA to support UNICEF in its goal  of providing children with screening and treatment for severe malnutrition in stabilization centers. Vaccinations and treatment will be provided for children affected with cholera, malaria, measles, and other diseases. In addition, communities will receive resources for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to help prevent the spread of diseases, amongst other interventions to holistically support children’s needs.

World Food Programme—Food

The World Food Programme (WFP) will provide 728 metric tons of a fortified flour blend to assist families in central and southern Somalia. The WFP will establish distribution points close to at-risk populations to reduce the need to migrate to urban areas for survival.

Islamic Relief USA—Food and Water

LDS Charities will partner with Islamic Relief USA to provide food and water to thousands of people in Somalia affected by the drought. The project also includes rehabilitating eight boreholes and seven water basins.

South Sudan

In South Sudan, families who have been displaced by a civil war are struggling to withstand severe drought and food shortages. Violent conflict has added to the hunger crises, and the region is experiencing a cholera outbreak. Most of the health facilities in South Sudan were destroyed during the war. As a result, five million South Sudanese people are suffering from the complications of malnutrition and other diseases.

Catholic Relief Services—Disease Prevention and Livelihood Assistance

In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), LDS Charities will provide funding for drilling boreholes, creating new water access points, and promoting safe hygiene practices to prevent cholera. Livelihood assistance will be provided to farmers and fishermen. CRS will purchase locally produced sorghum seed and vegetable maize seed for farmers to plant as well as tools needed to plant the seeds. Fishermen will receive kits that include nets, twine, and hooks, and they will receive training in fishing and post-harvest handling techniques.

Real Medicine Foundation—Childhood Malnutrition Care

In partnership with the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF), LDS Charities will provide funding to respond to the nutritional needs of displaced people in the state of Jonglei. The project focuses on helping acutely malnourished children and pregnant women. Children with severe acute malnutrition will be treated with ready-to-eat foods. Children without appetite and with complications will be treated at RMF inpatient stabilization centers until they are stable and ready for discharge, after which they can continue with the RMF’s outpatient therapeutic program.

Save the Children—Food and Water

Save the Children and LDS Charities will provide food and water to 598,000 children and adults suffering from malnutrition. These supplies will reduce malnutrition and death among those affected by famine and civil war. In addition to food, Save the Children and LDS Charities will improve sanitation and hygiene practices, food security, and livelihood programs.

USA for UNHCR—Food and Emergency Shelters

USA for UNHCR and LDS Charities will provide funding for emergency shelters and a supplementary feeding program. Emergency shelters will be made of plastic sheets, wooden poles, bamboo, nylon rope, binding wire, and nails. The supplementary feeding program will provide screening to check all children under the age of five and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding for malnutrition. In addition, LDS Charities will provide funding to UNHCR to implement an acute malnutrition program and provide malaria medications.

World Food Programme—Food

In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), LDS Charities will provide funding for 482 metric tons of sorghum for beneficiaries in the states of Unity and Upper Nile.


As of May 2017, the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement hosts the world’s largest population of refugees. It opened in early August 2016 and has grown to host approximately 300,000 South Sudanese refugees in five zones. Since 2013, more than one million refugees have fled South Sudan’s civil war and entered Uganda in search of food, water, and basic survival supplies. The influx of refugees has increased the demand for water in areas where the supply is inadequate. Food insecurity is also leading to malnutrition, which increases a person’s risk of contracting diseases.

Catholic Relief Services—Special-Needs Housing

According to an April 2017 UNHCR report, the households of persons with special needs (PSN) experience higher rates of emotional and physical abuse than non-PSN households. In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), LDS Charities will provide funding to decrease the vulnerability of PSN households by constructing safe, durable, mud-brick thatch-roof homes with lockable doors and windows. The mud-brick homes are made from local materials that require local craftsmen and laborers. CRS will use 30 percent of required labor from the host community and 70 percent from the refugee population of the Bidi Bidi settlement. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable PSN households.

Convoy of Hope—Nutritional Assistance and Clean Water

LDS Charities and Convoy of Hope will supply food, water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies and training for children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. This will include purchasing a local ready-to-eat, energy-packed paste made from peanuts, oil, sugar, milk powder, and vitamin and mineral supplements. The water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) aspect of the program includes providing access to clean water by drilling boreholes and distributing hygiene kits. Local partners will also provide monthly training seminars on nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation.

Real Medicine Foundation—Medical Services

LDS Charities will provide funding to the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) to improve access to medical services at the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement, the world’s largest refugee camp with a target population of 400,000 people. The funding will be used to provide medical and health care services at more than 30 hospitals and health care centers in zones 1, 3, 4, and 5 of Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement that are being implemented by RMF, as well as for the  purchase of an ambulance to deliver medications and medical equipment, and a funeral van to provide respectful funeral services. This will allow RMF to provide medical services for over 80,000 refugees in the settlement over six months.


The 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Needs Overview estimates that there are 18.8 million people in need of assistance in Yemen. There are 2.2 million children and pregnant or breastfeeding women who are acutely malnourished, and 470,000 children under the age of five have severe acute malnutrition. Furthermore, 14.5 million people lack access to safe drinking water or sanitation.

Ongoing fighting since 2014 has forced approximately two million Yemenis to flee their homes. Displaced families are living in appalling conditions, lacking water and sanitation facilities and sharing limited resources with the local host communities, which contributes to the spread of cholera. Yemen’s cholera epidemic has killed 2,000 people, and there are over 600,000 cases, making it the largest in the world. Many who are displaced live in spontaneous settlements, public buildings, and schools. Others live out in the open and therefore, lack protection against harsh weather conditions and other dangers.

CARE International—Food and Clean Water

LDS Charities will partner with CARE International to provide food and essential non-food items, water purification treatment and testing, and nutrition and hygiene awareness to curb waterborne diseases. Beneficiaries will be those from the most vulnerable households.

Rahma Relief Foundation—Food Baskets and Infant Formula

In partnership with the Rahma Relief Foundation, LDS Charities will provide funding to acquire and distribute food baskets and infant formula. Supplies will be purchased from the nearby region of Saudi Arabia and transported across the border(s) to Yemen. Rahma Relief will provide 3,905 cans of infant formula and distribute it to mothers who need it the most and will also provide 1,613 food baskets to be assembled and distributed to internally displaced persons.

Save the Children—Cholera Treatment and Prevention

LDS Charities is working with Save the Children to stop the cholera outbreak in Yemen and surrounding areas. Currently, an average of 1,000 suspected cases of cholera appear daily. The increase comes as health systems, sanitation facilities, and civil infrastructures are reaching a breaking point due to prolonged war.

Funds from LDS Charities will provide medicines and medical supplies, hygiene kits, and water filters to affected individuals. The funds will also be used to help train health workers and community volunteers as well as raise awareness of good hygiene practices and disease prevention strategies.

USA for UNHCR—Emergency Shelter Kits and Food

In partnership with USA for UNHCR, LDS Charities will provide funding for emergency shelter kits (tents and tarpaulins) and nutritious meals at reception centers for displaced people. An estimated 19,400 beneficiaries will receive direct assistance

World Food Programme—Food

Together with the World Food Programme, LDS Charities will procure 1,848 metric tons of wheat grain and provide approximately 75 kilograms of wheat flour per household. The flour will assist 143,000 people.

Islamic Relief USA—Cholera Treatment

As of May 2017, a total of 11,046 suspected cholera cases were reported in Yemen. In partnership with Islamic Relief USA, LDS Charities will provide emergency funding to address the cholera outbreak. Interventions will focus on case management of the confirmed cases and preventing further spread of cholera in the country. Key interventions will include providing appropriate medications, hygiene kits, water purification tablets, solid waste bins, and educational materials for affected individuals and families.

For press inquiries, please contact Doug Andersen at or 1-801-240-4111.