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How the Church of Jesus Christ Is Helping Displaced Women and Children

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is giving US$6 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help nearly 85,000 refugees in Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“We’re grateful for our longstanding relationship with USA for UNHCR,” said the Church’s Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé. “UNHCR’s efforts to help those in need find safety and shelter align with our mission to love God and love our neighbor. We pray that those who have been displaced by this conflict will find comfort and hope.”

A delegation from USA for UNHCR for Refugees visits the Humanitarian Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

This donation is a continuation of the work the Church of Jesus Christ and USA for UNHCR have engaged in for 30 years.

“The contribution means a lot,” said USA for UNHCR Executive Director and CEO Suzanne Ehlers. “It means that we can service and be present in some of the most critical emergencies around the world that, quite frankly, are not in the headlines, the places where people are suffering.”

“We know this will bless the lives of so many women and children,” said Camille N. Johnson, General President of the Relief Society. “About 80% of the refugees around the world are women and children. And this effort, this collaboration, will allow us to address the needs of so many that are suffering.”

President Camille N. Jonson (middle) and First Counselor J. Anette Dennis (right) of the Relief Society General Presidency greet Suzanne Ehlers (left), executive director and CEO of USA for UNHCR in the Relief Society Building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

President Johnson met with a delegation from USA for UNHCR on Temple Square on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, that included Ehlers, who has led USA for UNHCR for 15 months.

“It’s nice to walk into a collaborative effort with such a rich history,” said Ehlers. “It shows to me a longstanding commitment to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable around the world,” she said. “My job is to meet with, and learn from, and be curious about desires and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to see that we can manifest those in our programs supporting refugees around the world.”

The Church of Jesus Christ has engaged in 109 projects in many countries with USA for UNHCR, which is present in over 130 countries. This is but one example of the work the faith does around the world with many other organizations — a work that in 2023 comprised 4,119 humanitarian projects blessing people in 191 countries and territories.

“We work with our friends who are like-minded like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — those that have an interest, as we do, in blessing the lives of women and children,” President Johnson said. “We know that when you bless a woman, you bless a family. When you bless a child, you bless the future, you bless generations. Our efforts and our focus have been on these global needs of women and children. And it’s through collaborations with these kinds of organizations that we can do the most good.”

About the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, was established in the aftermath of the Second World War to help the millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. Today, UNHCR is a global organization working in more than 130 countries dedicated to protecting people forced to flee and those left stateless. It leads international action to protect refugees, deliver lifesaving assistance, safeguard fundamental human rights and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home.

UNHCR has helped more than 50 million refugees successfully restart their lives and continues to protect and provide support for the 114 million people who are currently displaced globally.

USA for UNHCR advances UNHCR’s mission by rallying the American public to support refugees. Through this work, USA for UNHCR protects refugees and empowers them with hope and opportunity. For more information, visit www.unrefugees.org.

About Humanitarian Services of the Church of Jesus Christ

The Church’s 2023 caring summary shows that the faith’s efforts to care for those in need included more than $1.3 billion in expenditures, 6.2 million hours volunteered and 4,119 humanitarian projects in 191 countries and territories.

The humanitarian efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service. The Church follows the admonition of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry and care for those in need.

This humanitarian outreach is made possible by the generous donations and volunteerism of Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith. The Church gives assistance without regard to race, religious affiliation or nationality. Aid is based on the core principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance and sustainability.

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