Bishop L. Todd Page, right, from Archbishop, makes a $32 million donation to WFP USA President and CEO Baron Segar, left, and WFP Deputy Executive Director Ott Klamert, center, on Wednesday at WFP headquarters world in Rome. . (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
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SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made the largest one-time contribution to a humanitarian organization ever – $32 million to the United Nations World Food Program to help combat the current global food crisis.
The World Food Program will use the money to provide food and critical aid to nine countries, affecting 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people who are “nudged to the brink of starvation” by global conflict and the brutal natural disasters that come with climate change.
The nine countries — Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen — are located in what the organization calls the “ring of fire,” which stretches across the dry corridor of Central America to central and northwestern Africa and the Middle East.
Bishop L. Todd Page, Second Counsellor for the Diocese of Presidency of the Church, made a donation to WFP USA President and CEO Baron Segar and Deputy Executive Director for Partnerships and Advocacy Otti Klamert at the organization’s headquarters in Rome on Wednesday.
“We are very grateful for the collaboration with the World Food Program because we know they will provide food to those who need it most,” Bishop Page said in a statement from the church. “And we thank the Latter-day Saints and friends of faith whose financial sacrifices made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and we are all more holy.”
The World Food Program is the largest humanitarian organization in the world. Its mission is to “(save) lives in emergencies and use food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and fitness for people recovering from conflict, disaster and the impact of climate change.” In Somalia, the program has provided record levels of humanitarian aid to stave off expected famine, and in Yemen, it has provided food aid to more than half of the country’s population.
Due to climate disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy, The war in Ukraine and other conflicts Worldwide, 345 million people face severe food insecurity, with 50 million “on the brink of starvation,” according to the World Food Program website.
“At this time of unprecedented global need, we are grateful to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Segar said in a statement. “Private sector support is critical to our mission, enabling the World Food Program to scale up food assistance and resilience work that brings stability and comfort to families during these challenging times. I am confident that the Church’s gift will inspire others to join our movement to end global hunger.”
“We accept this generous donation with gratitude and a firm confidence in our ability to use it to deliver food to the most vulnerable, reach them in their time of need, and help lift them out of harm’s way, so they can survive and build resilience,” Klamert added.
The Church of Jesus Christ typically gives about $1 billion annually to global humanitarian efforts, according to a statement from the church. The Church of Jesus Christ’s collaboration with the World Food Program began in 2014. WFP Executive Director David Beasley toured the church’s sponsorship operations in Salt Lake City in 2019; The two organizations have worked together to close hunger gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My heart goes out to the millions of malnourished children who will benefit from this donation,” added Sister Camille Johnson, president of Religious Relief, a global women’s organization. “Jesus has a tender heart for children. He cries to see them starving. He rejoices in even the slightest effort to help them. A big thank you to the World Food Program and everyone who contributes in any way to this cause.”
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