Latter-day Saint Charities’ global footprint expanded in 2019 to bless millions of lives in 142 countries and territories through 3,221 completed projects with 2,000 partners. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ humanitarian organization released these numbers and more today in its 2019 Annual Report.
Latter-day Saint Charities carried out its vision to care for those in need, promote volunteerism and inspire self-reliance in a variety of ways:
- • Emergency response: 194 projects in 64 countries and territories
- • Vision care: 129,819 people helped in 32 countries and territories
- • Maternal and newborn care: 83,555 people assisted in 27 countries and territories
- • Food security: 181,398 people helped in 15 countries and territories
- • Clean water and sanitation: 316,790 people helped in 26 countries and territories
- • Immunizations: Six campaigns to eliminate disease in developing countries
- • Wheelchairs: 52,381 people helped in 41 countries and territories
- • Refugee response: 387 projects in 48 countries and territories
- • International community projects: 994 projects in 107 countries and territories
- • U.S. and Canada community projects: Various projects in 42 states and provinces
In addition to being funded by Latter-day Saints who give to the Church’s Humanitarian Aid Fund, Latter-day Saint Charities is also supported by other generous donors. In 2019, Latter-day Saint Charities used these donations to help people in need around the world. These funds represent only a small part of the Church’s combined annual humanitarian and welfare aid expenditures (approaching $1 billion a year). These expenditures also include significant use of the faith’s fast offering fund, which local bishops use to help the poorest members of their congregations.
Since the organization’s inception in 1985, Latter-day Saint Charities has provided over $2.3 billion worth of assistance in 197 countries.
Among the major events to which Latter-day Saint Charities responded in 2019 were Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which brought flooding that destroyed crops in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last spring. Working alongside global and local partners, Latter-day Saint Charities provided shelter and food to those devastated by the storms’ rampage. Of course, recovery from these disasters stretches well beyond their immediate aftermath. Months after the cyclones, Latter-day Saint Charities and its partners continue to repair and refurnish schools ahead of the rainy season, to give students a dry place to study and learn.
Reflecting on last year’s humanitarian outreach, Latter-day Saint Charities President Sharon Eubank said a core principle of the organization’s work is to first find out what people need and then mobilize to help them.
“When you see some of the big responses that happened last year like the cyclone in Mozambique, the famine responses, the work we did around different hurricanes and things like that, the core principle is to get on the ground and find out what people need right now and what they will need later on. And then we can work to fill in those gaps,” she said. “The annual report reflects some of the more intensive work we’ve done on the ground, finding out what’s the real need.”
Sister Eubank also noted the importance of the words Latter-day Saint in Latter-day Saint Charities. Until last August, the organization had been known as LDS Charities. The name was changed to Latter-day Saint Charities to be in harmony with President Russell M. Nelson’s direction to use the full name of the Church.
“With his encouragement to use the full name of the Church, we have become Latter-day Saint Charities,” Sister Eubank said. “I really like how that feels because it is the charitable arm of the Latter-day Saints — it’s funded by them and they produce the volunteer hours and the interest in the community. And so we really reflect the ideals and the energy and the hopes of the Latter-day Saints.”
“The annual report is part of our accountability back to the Latter-day Saints who have donated to the humanitarian fund on the tithing slip,” Sister Eubank said. “This is part of our reporting back to the people who have given so much, so that they can see what their donations do.”
PRESS RELEASE FROM Church Newsroom