National Lutheran News

LWR, LCMS detail anti-malaria campaign with the U.N. Foundation

Lutheran World Relief (LWR), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the United Nations (U.N.) Foundation announced in late June an unprecedented partnership to mobilize Lutherans in the U.S. in the fight against malaria in Africa.

The campaign, called the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), aims to raise $45 million to contribute toward the global goal of eliminating malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, continues to devastate communities and perpetuate a cycle of poverty. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one million people die of malaria each year and every 45 seconds a child dies in Africa. In many communities where LWR and the LCMS work, extreme poverty creates conditions that allow malaria to take hold and spread with deadly consequence.

Photo courtesy of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

“For decades, we have been working with partners and fellow Lutherans at the ‘end of the dirt road.’ Today, we are delighted to come alongside the LMI partners to take a huge bite out of this horrid disease.”

At a news conference held at Detroit’s Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, leaders of the LMI partnership joined representatives from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), to announce the campaign and discuss the crucial role of churches and faith-based institutions in the effort to end malaria deaths.

The Rev. John Nunes, president and CEO of LWR, opened the news conference. “I am excited to be here today with the LMI partners,” Nunes said. “This is a day that has been years in the making, and for which millions around the world have been waiting.”

The Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of LCMS, said, “The Lutheran footprint for providing care and mercy to those suffering is enormous,” Harrison said. “For decades, we have been working with partners and fellow Lutherans at the ‘end of the dirt road.’ Today, we are delighted to come alongside the LMI partners to take a huge bite out of this horrid disease.”

Kathy Calvin, CEO of the U.N. Foundation, stated, “Between 40 and 60 percent of health care in developing countries is provided by faith-based organizations like our Lutheran partners.”

The news conference is available online at www.you tube.com/lutheranmalariavideo.

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