United Nations Foundation, Lutheran World Relief, and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Announce $45 Million Campaign to Fight Malaria

Washington, D.C.

June 30, 2011


Alexis Krieg

Today, the United Nations Foundation, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) announced the launch of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, a campaign to raise $45 million for malaria prevention and treatment in Africa. This unprecedented partnership will mobilize Lutherans across the United States in the fight against malaria, a disease that still kills a child every 45 seconds.

Malaria is both preventable and treatable. More than 90 percent of deaths from the disease occur in Africa, where LWR and the LCMS work daily to raise awareness about malaria within communities and provide the tools to prevent and treat the disease. The Lutheran Malaria Initiative will help drive resources to these communities, to advance the global goal of ending deaths from malaria by 2015. “This is a day that has been years in the making, and for which millions around the world have been waiting,” stated Rev. John Nunes, president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief.

“Up to 60 percent of health care in developing countries is provided by faith-based organizations, like our Lutheran partners,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “It is inspiring to see how the Lutheran community in the U.S. can help the UN reach families in rural villages on the other side of the world.”

Through faith-based and public-private partnerships, as well as its grassroots campaign Nothing But Nets, the UN Foundation has been saving lives through malaria prevention for more than five years.

At a news conference held at Detroit’s Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, leaders of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative joined representatives from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to announce the campaign and discuss the crucial role of churches and faith-based institutions in the movement to end malaria. “For decades, we have been working with partners and fellow Lutherans at the ‘end of the dirt road.’ Today, we are delighted to come alongside the Lutheran Malaria Initiative partners to take a huge bite out of this horrid disease,” said Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

In closing the news conference, Nicolas Demey, corporate partnerships officer with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said: “It is an honor to work with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative to help end malaria deaths in Africa. We have the tools and know what we need to do to end these needless deaths. We can do it.”

To learn more about the UN Foundation’s work to fight malaria, visit www.unfoundation.org. The full news conference is available online at www.youtube.com/lutheranmalariavideo.


About the United Nations Foundation 
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
Lutheran World Relief is an international nonprofit organization that works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world’s most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners around the world, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

LWR is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), individuals and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy, and social responsibility.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS)
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1847, the church body, which ranks as one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. In addition, the LCMS owns and operates KFUO radio, two seminaries, and 10 colleges and universities. Its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America.

The LCMS has relationships and active mission work in some 88 countries around the world and, in the last five years, has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans.

Media Contact:
Negin Janati, United Nations Foundation
(202) 378-7858, njanati@unfoundation.org