Latter-day Saint Charities’ 2020 annual report includes more than 3,600 projects in 160 countries

Latter-day Saint Charities is helping fund Convoy of Hope’s school feeding programs in several developing countries, according to a Feb. 4, 2021, Newsroom press release. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Latter-day Saint Charities has supported global immunization initiatives led by UNICEF and the WHO. This woman receives a vaccination in Chad. Credit: UNICEF
The United Nations predicted in July 2020 that COVID-19 disruptions could push an additional 130 million people into chronic hunger. Latter-day Saint Charities is helping provide 30 million meals to school children, according to a Feb. 3, 2021, Newsroom r Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church’s long-standing commitment to helping refugee families is evident in their ongoing support of refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. In 2020, Latter-day Saint Charities supported several such agencies to assist with needs during th Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities and first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, participates in the G20 Interfaith Forum from her Utah home on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attends a collection drive for homemade clinical masks at the Deseret Industries in Ogden as part of the ProjectProtect initiative by Latter-day Saint Charities and local health care networks on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Credit: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Bao Dinh Tran is helped by his wife Quyen Thi Mai into his wheelchair given to him by Latter-day Saints Charities in Hanoi, Vietnam on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Latter-day Saint Charities donated wheelchairs to recipients and played games with them at the Villa Urquiza Ward in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
A long-time resident of Baomahun recalls joy that clean water brought to her village. Latter-day Saint Charities constructed wells in Sierra Leone. Credit: Howard M. Collett, Latter-day Saint Philanthropies
Sister Jean Barrus Bingham, right, and Sharon Lynn Eubank of LDS Charities tries local fruits picked by refugee women at Imvepi Refugee Settlement in Arua district of Uganda 28 February, 2017. With thousands of new arrivals fleeing to Uganda every day, South Sudan is now AfricaÕs largest refugee crisis and the worldÕs third after Syria and Afghanistan Ð with less attention and chronic levels of underfunding. Credit: Latter-day Saint Charities

Latter-day Saint Charities — the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — participated in more than 3,600 projects in 160 countries in 2020, according to its annual report released Friday, March 26. 

Of those projects, the COVID-19 relief effort included more than 1,000 projects in 150 countries and territories — the Church’s largest humanitarian effort to date. Other projects included refugee support and volunteer work through JustServe. 

President Russell M. Nelson expressed gratitude in a social media post last year to those who have donated their time and resources to help others during the pandemic. “Together we will overcome this difficult time,” he wrote on Aug. 16, 2020. “The Lord will bless you as you continue to bless others.”

In a video released March 5, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé thanked the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for combined efforts in combatting COVID-19.

“We hold hope in our hearts, not only of overcoming the pandemic, but of seeing a brighter future for all children, their parents and their families,” Bishop Caussé said. “This future becomes a reality as we follow the example of Jesus Christ in loving our neighbor and seeking out those in need.”

The following is a summary of Latter-day Saint Charities initiatives in 2020:

  • Clean water: 593,025 people in 23 countries and territories
  • Emergency response: 1,147 projects in 158 countries and territories
  • Food security: 357,378 people in 18 countries and territories; 114 scholarships awarded in 11 countries and territories
  • Immunization: 10 campaigns to eliminate diseases in developing countries
  • Maternal and newborn care: 16,473 people in nine countries and territories
  • Refugee response: 294 projects in 50 countries and territories
  • Vision care: 401,548 people in 17 countries and territories
  • Wheelchairs: 17,381 people in 16 countries and territories
  • International community projects: 654 projects in 99 countries and territories
  • U.S. and Canada community projects: 50 states and 3 provinces

COVID-19 relief

Throughout 2020, Latter-day Saint Charities provided medical and emergency supplies, trained health care professionals, raised awareness in communities and delivered food to vulnerable populations around the world. 

In partnership with Convoy of Hope, Latter-day Saint Charities provided 30 million meals to feed school children in nine developing countries and territories. 

And in partnership with the World Food Programme, Latter-day Saint Charities provided 35,000 meals to children and their families in Somalia. The food supply lasted for at least five months while schools were closed due to COVID-19.

Another notable COVID-19 relief effort was ProjectProtect — in which more than 57,000 volunteers sewed over 6 million medical-grade face masks, in collaboration with partners at Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health. 

In the United States and Canada, 53 projects provided support to immigrants, refugees and the homeless. Production schedules at Church-owned canneries and food processing plants in the U.S. were adjusted to meet the increased community needs. 

In 2020, the Church sent 800 truckloads of food to 380 food banks, homeless shelters and charitable agencies throughout the U.S. In all, more than 26 million meals were provided to those in need throughout the country.

Refugee support

Latter-day Saint Charities provided funds to 23 agencies to benefit more than 1.8 million refugees, internally displaced people and host community members in 39 countries. In the U.S., nearly 9,000 people were supported in resettlement efforts.


Through Latter-day Saint Charities’ volunteer arm JustServe, almost 75,000 volunteers registered to help with nearly 20,000 new projects from more than 2,000 new organizations last year.

Read more: How the Church’s JustServe initiative offers a unifying remedy for the divisive ills of the day

Since 1985, Latter-day Saint Charities and its affiliates have provided over $2.5 billion worth of assistance in 199 countries and territories, according to the annual report. This amount does not include the value of volunteer labor — worth millions of dollars.

In 2019, Latter-day Saint Charities completed 3,221 projects in 142 countries and territories, according to its 2019 Annual Report.

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