Church donates $5 million to UNICEF to benefit global malnutrition program

Donation goes toward new ‘No Time To Waste program’ to help malnourished children in up to 24 countries

In a new effort to help young children receive proper nutrition and early intervention — and in an attempt to end the cycle of child malnutrition — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a $5 million donation to UNICEF’s new “No Time To Waste” global malnutrition campaign. 

The campaign is particularly designed to help children suffering from wasting, which is defined as low weight for height — the most immediate, visible and life-threatening form of malnutrition. Children with wasting have weakened immune systems, leaving them at a high risk of developmental delays, disease and death. 

The Church’s donation will include materials to assist with the prevention, detection and treatment of wasting and other forms of malnutrition, according to a release on

Sharon Eubank, director of the Church’s Humanitarian Services, made the announcement in recorded remarks that were shared in New York City at a United Nations General Assembly side event Wednesday, Sept. 21, with other nonprofit and private-sector leaders.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pleased to expand our long-term collaboration with UNICEF and pledge $5 million in support of the No Time To Waste malnutrition campaign,” said Sister Eubank. 

“This funding comes in small increments from hard-working families and from widows who have limited incomes and from little children themselves,” she added. “It was given by Latter-day Saints so that mothers will have healthier pregnancies and births and they can offer therapeutic food and micronutrients to their children who might be at risk.”

Malnutrition and wasting can be caused by poor maternal nutrition, low birth weight, poor feeding practices, poverty and infection. This new campaign will help malnourished children who are 5 years old and younger in up to 24 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Philippines.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Church’s Presiding Bishopric, said: “We are pleased to support UNICEF’s efforts to assist children experiencing malnutrition since this program closely aligns with the Church’s global focus on early childhood nutrition.”

UNICEF believes up to 41 million children suffering from malnutrition could be impacted in the first year of programming. Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO of UNICEF USA, spoke about the Church’s donation.

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“This support represents a significant new stage of our partnership, building on nine years of impact for children and investments towards lifesaving programs. The time for action on child wasting is now, and together we won’t stop until every child is healthy,” Nyenhuis said.

The campaign will work with ministries of health, local organizations and community health systems to implement the program and provide direct family education, training and resources. 

A mother feeds her infant son a therapeutic food supplement at the Bolgatanga Nutrition and Rehabilitation center in Bolgatanga, Ghana.
A mother feeds her infant son a therapeutic food supplement at the Bolgatanga Nutrition and Rehabilitation center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The news release said the Church’s contribution may benefit:

  • Thousands of children, with ready-to-use therapeutic foods, vitamin supplements, micronutrient fortification, early detection screenings and related treatment.
  • Thousands of women, with nutrition counseling, weight-gain monitoring, multiple micronutrient supplements and related treatment.
  • Dozens of health care workers, with trainings to treat uncomplicated wasting while also significantly reducing financial burden on parents.
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