• Responding to an Unprecedented Refugee Crisis

We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in modern history. The global displaced population has surpassed 70 million — more than the entire population of the United Kingdom.

Lutheran World Relief was created to help those who lost everything in war. Though we have expanded our mission since 1945, we continue to support displaced women, men and children in some of the most challenging humanitarian crises in the world. We are currently on the ground with local partners supporting displaced people and the communities that host them with programming in Iraq, Lebanon, Uganda and Peru.

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Lutheran World Relief provides a range of services to displaced populations — from psychosocial support and the distribution of non-food items to technology-assisted information sharing and livelihoods training. We also engage host communities, many of whom are struggling with poverty, as a key part of our approach to helping displaced populations. Since displacement is likely a long-term situation for many, it is essential that displaced people positively integrate, socially and economically, into the communities where they now live if they are to truly be safe and to thrive.

Therefore, Lutheran World Relief strives to implement projects that bring the displaced and host community members together to improve livelihoods and food security, generate new economic opportunities, and mitigate community conflict whenever possible.

Programming Spotlight

  • Lebanon: We provide Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese families with specialized agricultural training in such skills as greenhouse crop production and other off-farm employment opportunities. We also employ a local workforce to repair and improve irrigation canals and water networks. Training in conflict resolution and prevention techniques helps these stressed local and refugee communities learn to work together.
  • Uganda: We bring together South Sudanese and Congolese refugees and members of the host communities in and around Palabek and Kyaka II refugee settlements to improve their agricultural livelihoods, food security and self-reliance. Because of the cooperation, this work has fostered, many of the refugees have access to host community land that they would otherwise not have had in the settlements.

As instability, climate change, disaster and poverty continue to drive families from their homes, the global community will be faced with the challenge that resettlement alone will not meet the world’s displacement needs. With the joining of Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health, we will now be able to bring expanded health support to displaced people and host communities in need.

Together, we will continue to serve those in crisis and the communities who offer refuge.

(Photo Credit: Håvard Bjelland/Kirkens Nødhjelp)

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