Lutheran World Relief today increased its financial commitment to Haiti relief efforts to $2.25 million, up from an initial pledge of $1 million. The Rev. John Nunes, LWR’s president and CEO, said the increase is “thanks to the overwhelming generosity of U.S. Lutherans in the face of this disaster.”
LWR increased the number based on early fundraising returns, including pledges from both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, and a member match from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
LWR is working with partners on the ground to ensure people have food, water and shelter. LWR has also sent a shipment of health kits and layettes, and is mobilizing more resources for future shipments. LWR partners active on the ground include Action by Churches Together members Lutheran World Federation, Church World Service, Norwegian Church Aid and Christian Aid.
LWR is also planning for a longer-term response of at least three to five years, focusing mainly on underserved rural areas outside Port-au-Prince. The earthquake also affected many of these areas, and even those communities that did not sustain damage in the quake will be strained by the anticipated migration of hundreds of thousands of people leaving the Port-au-Prince area.
“The needs are great, and they will continue to be great for a long while,” Nunes said. “LWR is known for being in it for the long haul – remaining with affected communities long after the media and other aid agencies have moved on. We were already working in Haiti before the quake, and we will be walking with these communities for years to come as they work to rebuild their lives.”