The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has worked with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to repurpose $160,000 in project funding for emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

In Latin America, the funding will be used for food assistance in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, which have been hard-hit by the coronavirus and the resulting economic disruption that is causing increased hunger. In Africa, the support will provide improved water, sanitation and hygiene, along with personal protective equipment, to displaced communities in South Sudan. And a project in Nepal will ensure that quarantine facilities are hygienic and comfortable, and that households economically affected by COVID-19 are able to cultivate their crops and sustain their small-scale businesses.

“Thanks to the flexibility and rapid action of our ELCA partners, Lutheran World Relief has been able to quickly ramp up these emergency responses to COVID-19,” said Daniel Speckhard, LWR president and CEO. “This is so important because COVID-19 is a major threat to the resilience and well-being of the communities where we serve. Lives will be saved as a result of this support.”

“The ELCA has a tradition of standing with our global neighbors in good times and in bad,” said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA. “Our partnership with Lutheran World Relief is a reflection of that strong commitment and allows us to deepen and extend it in this time of extreme crisis.”

The ELCA and LWR share a long, historical relationship and a mutual commitment to companionship in mission. Through its ELCA World Hunger program, the ELCA has provided $1 million in annual support to LWR for projects that serve people and communities in various regions around the world, including Latin America, Asia and Africa.

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