Church donates $10 million to UNICEF to help mothers and children

Donation aims to help UNICEF serve vulnerable women and children in four countries

A new $10 million donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to UNICEF aims to help the humanitarian organization serve vulnerable women and children in four countries.

The money will strengthen health systems in the Central African Republic, Haiti, Mali and Mozambique, reported on Aug. 17. These areas have high rates of maternal and infant deaths. Improved health infrastructure and human resources are needed to keep mothers and children healthy and safe.

“As Latter-day Saints, it is our joyful privilege to work together in weaving a tapestry of hope and healing for all of God’s children,” said Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson. “We are grateful for our longstanding collaboration with skilled professionals at UNICEF who extend the reach of our helping hands.”

In Haiti, parents and other caregivers join Parenting Clubs to learn about best nutritional practices. They learn how to avoid malnutrition and preventing diseases. Parenting Clubs are one of the strategies developed by UNICEF in Haiti to face malnutrition. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $10 million to UNICEF on Aug. 17, 2023. | UNICEF

Said Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé: “We are pleased to work together with UNICEF as we strive to create a world where every woman and child is cherished, protected and empowered. Guided by the pure love of Christ, Latter-day Saints stand united with our brothers and sisters to build a brighter future for generations to come.”

What will the Church’s donation help UNICEF do?

UNICEF works to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children.

In the Central African Republic and Mozambique, UNICEF will focus on regions where high numbers of children have not received any immunizations. This has left those children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

In Haiti and Mali, UNICEF will give support to hospitals and health districts with high neonatal mortality rates and poor health services. This way they can help provide access to better, more resilient heath care services for mothers, children and their communities.

On July 19, 2022, nurse Jeanne Claudine Chéry Voltaire administers vaccines in Troirac village near the town of Camp Perrin, Haiti, as part of a health outreach program. | UNICEF

Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO of UNICEF USA, said, “Through more than 10 years of partnership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting UNICEF’s mission to reach children around the world with lifesaving health and nutrition services.

“We are grateful for this generous contribution to help UNICEF scale up routine immunizations for preventable diseases and invest in sustainable health systems to build their resiliency to ongoing and future threats to the survival of mothers and children.”

Other efforts between the Church and UNICEF

The Church and UNICEF have collaborated globally since 2013. Their closely aligned goals include child nutrition and immunization — including maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination across nine countries.

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The two organizations also work together to assist refugees in emergency situations and have reached refugee children in multiple countries through the Learning for Life program

Children hold vaccination cards in Lichinga, Niassa Province, Mozambique, in February 2023 in conjunction with a campaign for vaccination against cholera. | UNICEF

During the pandemic, the Church joined a global effort to distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccines in hundreds of countries.

The Church has given millions of dollars as well to support UNICEF’s No Time to Waste initiative.

In March, President Johnson traveled to Uganda to see the aid provided with UNICEF to malnourished children in the area.

“This is an effort to go beyond our members to address the needs, the humanitarian needs, of the world’s children, and we found them. It was glorious,” said President Johnson. “It was heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time, but I left there feeling hopeful.”

Bishop Caussé expressed gratitude for the long-standing collaboration with UNICEF.

“Their work to care for vulnerable children and their families around the world closely aligns with the Church’s global focus on early childhood nutrition. We strive to follow Christ’s admonition to love and serve our neighbor,” he said.

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A cross section of mothers wait their turn to have their children vaccinated from polio at Milange Hospital in Mozambique. | UNICEF
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