Mormon Humanitarian Aid
As part of the Mormon Church’s welfare program, their humanitarian aid program is internationally recognized. Over the past 25 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (as it is officially known), has helped in 201 major disaster relief efforts, including the following: Haitian earthquake, 2010; Chilean earthquake, 2010; Pakistani flood, 2010; Samoan tsunami, 2009; Filipino typhoon, 2009; Indonesian earthquake, 2009; Ethiopian famine, 2008; and the Peruvian earthquake, 2007–2009.
Since 1985, the Mormon Church has donated $1.3 billion in humanitarian assistance efforts. These efforts are for more than natural disasters. They also include programs which strengthen the self-reliance of individuals, families, and communities. These programs are made possible by hundreds of full-time volunteers with skills and experience in such diverse areas as education, agriculture, social work, business, and medicine. More than 178 countries and territories have benefited from the service of relief or improvement efforts. Food (63,377 tons), medical supplies (14,345 tons), and clothing (93,196 tons) have all been donated, as well as 11.1 million hygiene, newborn, and school kits. These are truly staggering numbers. In fact, the Mormon Church’s humanitarian aid program is so well organized that it is often one of the first groups allowed in to help in natural disasters.
Some of the other programs the Mormon humanitarian aid effort includes are: clean water, neonatal resuscitation training, vision care, wheelchairs, food production, and immunizations.
The clean water program helps communities with no access to clean water build wells or other water systems to ensure they all have clean drinking water.
The neonatal resuscitation program trains individuals in countries with limited medical resources to help newborns revive. Since 2002, more than 193,000 health care workers have been trained in these life-saving techniques.
The vision care program has helped more than 550,000 people worldwide get vision treatment since 2003. The Church has provided training, equipment, and supplies to assist local eye care professionals and programs.
The wheelchair program provides wheelchairs for rough terrain, hospital wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and canes. Since 2002, more than 415,000 people have received one of these devices.
The food production program provides training and tools for home food production, food storage, nutrition training, and preparation techniques to help families become more self-reliant. Since 2002, nearly 40,000 people have been helped through this program.
Through the vaccination program, the Mormon Church has contributed financially to, and 59,000 of its members have volunteered in, 35 countries since 2003 for a combined effort with other worldwide programs of a 92 percent reduction in measles deaths in Africa and a 78 percent reduction of measles worldwide. An estimated 4.3 million lives have been saved.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to contribute on an international level to humanitarian aid efforts because Mormon doctrine teaches that each person is a child of God and has divine worth and potential.