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ReliefWeb - Updates
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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Baltimore, April 17, 2012 — A serious food crisis is brewing in the Sahel region of West Africa, a region where more than 10 million people already face the threat of hunger every day. Recent failed rains, drought and rising food costs, among other factors, now threaten an additional 3.4 million people.

    Thanks to a generous $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lutheran World Relief and partners are initiating Resilience Plus, a project in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger that will help vulnerable families earn immediate income while preserving their long-term agricultural livelihoods.

    Cash-for-work activities will provide immediate access to income for 134,000 people and help families to weather the crisis. This community work will simultaneously conserve soil and improve irrigation systems that will help grow food in the future.

    “Through this response, LWR is combining short-term emergency assistance with essential recovery and rehabilitation programs to increase community resiliency and reduce vulnerability to future crises,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s regional program director for Africa.

    LWR will also provide free seed distributions and connect farmers’ groups to financial institutions, where they can access credit to purchase agricultural supplies. When their crops fail, farmers in poor, developing communities are often unable to purchase seeds and supplies for the next season.

    Because women farmers are especially vulnerable to crises and often have to sell assets for their families’ survival, LWR will work with 10,890 women to maximize their incomes through improved marketing skills and crop processing and storage techniques. Proper storage for surplus crops allows crops to be sold when demand is highest, instead of right after the harvest when markets are saturated. Livestock distributions and training in animal husbandry will also provide women with skills and resources to earn additional income.

    “LWR is very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for this grant to respond to the worsening food crisis in West Africa” says John Nunes, LWR’s president and CEO. “Many families, and especially women and young children, are vulnerable. Resilience Plus will help LWR work with communities to cope through this crisis and become more resilient in the long-term.”

    To learn more about LWR’s response to this crisis, please visit lwr.org.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Baltimore, May 30, 2012 — Planting season has begun in Niger, but without serious intervention, the country will remain in danger of not producing enough food to feed its people. That’s why Lutheran World Relief (LWR) is working with the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) to help farmers continue planting.

    Harvest sizes in the land-locked country have decreased due to drought, leaving families extremely vulnerable to hunger.

    “Families are in urgent need of help,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s regional director for Africa programs. “During last year’s cropping season we heard reports that families were consuming immature grains because of food shortages.”

    In addition, food scarcity often forces the poorest families to sell off agricultural assets, like seeds, and use the proceeds to survive the short term. To help farmers keep up their agricultural production and promote food security in the region, LWR will distribute 221 tons of seeds and fertilizer to farmers in the heavily affected Tahoua Region.

    The distribution of these items is made possible by FAO, which is supplying the seeds and fertilizer and contributing toward the cost of distributing the goods. Farmers will immediately use these supplies to plant since the region began experiencing seasonal rains just a few weeks ago.

    “LWR is thankful for this opportunity to reach out to farmers in Niger and lessen the impact of the current food crisis,” says LWR president and CEO, John Nunes. “Investing in farmers is a way of sustainably increasing food security in Niger, and across Africa, and this distribution will undoubtedly help families cope through very difficult conditions.”

    FAO will supply 146 tons of millet seed, 49 tons of bean seed and 26 tons of fertilizer which will be distributed to 14,576 vulnerable households in the communities of Kalfou, Illéla, Badaguichiri, Baguaroua, Tajaé, Garhanga, Ibohamane, Keita and Tamaské, all areas heavily affected by food crisis.

    This intervention is one part of LWR’s larger response to the food crisis in the Sahel, specifically in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The response includes providing cash-for-work opportunities for 134,000 people in the region to earn immediate income for soil conservation and irrigation work. LWR is also reaching out to women farmers, who are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis, to maximize their incomes through improved marketing skills, crop processing and storage techniques.

    In addition, LWR is responding with Quilts and Kits that are currently being distributed in Mali and Burkina Faso to people affected by the ongoing food crisis. LWR has also committed Quilts, School Kits, Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, Fabric Kits and Soap to our partner in Mauritania, the Lutheran World Federation. LWR and LWF estimate these items will reach 24,000 people in need.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Baltimore, August 2, 2012 — Lutheran World Relief (LWR), through a generous $599,642 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is expanding its response to the food crisis in Niger.

    The country is no stranger to food shortages. Periods of drought, unstable rains, decreased agricultural production and rising food costs threatened families in 2005, 2008, 2010 and now in 2012 as large sections of the West African Sahel also struggle to cope with these and other factors. More than 13 million people in the Sahel are now at risk of hunger.

    LWR’s Resilience Plus response in Niger is aimed at helping families weather Niger’s latest food emergency and lay the groundwork for greater food and nutrition security in the future.

    “LWR is grateful for this award and excited to extend our successful work in Niger to tens of thousands of other people in need of help,” says LWR president and CEO, John Nunes.

    LWR has responded to past crises in Niger through a cash-for-work approach that gives farmers the opportunity to earn income to feed their families now while making critical repairs and improvements to soil, irrigation systems and other structures that help them recover and improve their agricultural livelihoods in the future. LWR has seen great success with this approach in the past and through this grant will extend that work to 64,800 people living in previously underserved areas.

    In addition to cash-for-work programs aimed at preserving soil and water systems, Resilience Plus will help families work toward recovery by providing seeds and other agricultural inputs needed to replant crops.

    “Farmers are in great need of help,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s Regional Director for Africa programs. “During last year’s cropping season, households reported consuming immature millet grains to meet immediate food needs. In addition, food scarcity often forces the poorest families to sell their assets including seeds and use any proceeds as a temporary coping strategy.”

    Lutheran World Relief is also carrying out its Resilience Plus response in Burkina Faso and Mali, where it is also implementing cash-for-work activities and also working with women farmers, especially vulnerable in times food crisis, to improve their agricultural livelihoods.

    “Through a sustainable development approach, LWR is committed to working with rural communities in Niger to help them become stronger and better prepared to face the future,” says Nunes.

    Since 1961, the United States Agency for International Development has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. The Agency carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

    To learn more about LWR’s response to the food crisis in the Sahel, please visit www.lwr.org.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

    Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 (office); 443-220-3269 (cell); esollie@lwr.org


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Builds on LWR's Successful Resilience Plus Model

    Baltimore, January 28, 2014 - Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has received a $1.5 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to scale up community-based resilience building work in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The project, “Community Led Food Crisis Recovery in the Sahel,” will run through January 2016.

    During the last four years, the Sahel region of West Africa has experienced three severe food crises due to poor rains, inflated food prices and limited pasture for animal grazing. These food crises force poor families to sell land, livestock or other assets, go into debt, and limit food consumption just to survive, creating a cycle of food insecurity.

    LWR’s successful “Resilience Plus” program in West Africa takes a long-term view, prioritizing community recovery and resilience even during an immediate crisis response. By bridging the delivery of humanitarian assistance with sustainable development approaches, the program lays a foundation to break the recurring cycle of low agricultural productivity and low farm incomes and has already helped make more than 300,000 people less vulnerable to future food shortages.

    The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation builds on this success and enables LWR to reach more than 100,000 additional farmers in the Sahel region. The project, which runs through January 2016, addresses the underlying factors contributing to persistent poverty and food insecurity by providing livestock such as goats and sheep, and training farmers on their care; helping farmers access certified seeds for staple crops like millet, sorghum and cowpeas; training farmers on improved crop production techniques; providing short-term opportunities to earn income by contributing labor to soil and water conservation projects such as terraces, trenches and stone walls; building warehouses for crop storage; and training farmers on business and marketing skills and helping them access financial services.

    “We know this approach works – we’ve seen it improve countless lives in West Africa,” said Jeff Whisenant, LWR’s interim president and CEO. “It’s possible to break the cycle of extreme poverty, and this grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help to do that by investing in making communities more resilient.”

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

    Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 (office); 443-220-3269 (cell); esollie@lwr.org


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Colombia, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 1, 2015—Lutheran World Relief, an international NGO working in 35 countries to develop sustainable solutions to poverty and food insecurity, marked #GivingTuesday by releasing its 2016 Early Warning Forecast of regions it is monitoring for potential humanitarian crises over the coming year.

    The regions highlighted in the report are those that LWR is actively monitoring and, in many cases, is already in-country working to help mitigate the worst effects of a potential crisis, develop disaster response plans and strengthen community resilience, especially in the most vulnerable rural areas.

    LWR President & CEO Daniel V. Speckhard noted that the interconnected nature of today’s globalized world means that humanitarian crises overseas will inevitably affect people in the U.S.

    “Given these linkages and the rising vulnerability of global populations to both conflict and disaster, there is a vital need for an evolution in the way the international community thinks about humanitarian response that will have a lasting impact,” he said. “We need to move beyond short-term mobilization for the latest disaster or applying the Band-Aid approach to an emergency in an isolated ‘fragile’ state.”

    “Instead, we need to approach recovery and resilience with a long-term time frame in mind, as well as a more holistic understanding of the importance of sustainable development. Breaking people out of the cycle of poverty will make them more resilient in the face of future disasters,” he said.

    The countries and regions on the 2016 Watch List include:

    • Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia
    • Nepal
    • Iraq
    • Central America and the Caribbean
    • Sahel Region of West Africa
    • South Sudan

    In addition, there are several countries and regions where LWR sees signs of hope:

    • Colombia
    • The Philippines
    • Coffee and Cocoa production in Haiti, East Africa, Central America and Indonesia

    Among the immediate challenges facing humanitarian community that are highlighted in the 2016 Early Warning Forecast:

    The continuing refugee crisis, as the unprecedented migration we’re seeing shows no sign of abating. The Syrian civil war and terrorism wrought by ISIS is not only pushing out millions of refugees, but is destabilizing Northern Iraq. Refugee resettlement, complicated by security fears expressed by some communities and political figures, will be difficult.

    What some are calling a “gorilla” El Niño is causing drought conditions in some places and will bring damaging rain and flooding in others. We must be prepared for disaster response. Food crises in Central America could spur migration.

    The fuel blockade in Nepal has brought the post-earthquake rebuilding to a virtual halt. As winter approaches, isolated mountain communities will be cut off from supply deliveries, possibly auguring a second national crisis.

    Drought and conflict have displaced more than 3.5 million people in the Sahel region of West Africa. Instability caused by the recent coup attempt in Burkina Faso, as well as terrorism-related incidents and threats in Mali and southeastern Niger will continue to be push factors for migration and make the lives of already impoverished people even more miserable.

    The 2016 Early Warning Forecast can be downloaded at programs.lwr.org/2016-Early-Warning-Forecast.

    Contact:

    John Rivera
    Media Relations Manager
    jrivera@lwr.org
    410-230-2751

    About Lutheran World Relief

    Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit programs.lwr.org.

    Introduction

    If we have learned anything from living in our increasingly globalized world, it is that no community or no nation stands in isolation. For better or worse, we are all connected. This makes our existence on this planet simultaneously more creative, more dynamic, more complex and more dangerous. Inevitably, what goes on “over there” will somehow affect us “here.”

    Anyone working in the humanitarian sphere has experienced this complexity first hand. It’s becoming ever more evident that linkages among global poverty, climate change, conflict and migration undermine political and economic security and trigger humanitarian emergencies that are more frequent and of a greater magnitude, and which are outstripping the ability of local and international aid agencies to respond.

    Given these linkages and the rising vulnerability of global populations to both conflict and disaster, there is a vital need for an evolution in the way the international community thinks about humanitarian response and sustainable development.

    We need to move beyond short-term mobilization for the latest disaster or applying the Band-Aid approach to an emergency in a seemingly isolated “fragile” state. In order to better foster global security and avoid the disaster in the first place, we need to approach recovery and resilience with a long-term time frame in mind as well as a more holistic understanding of the importance of sustainable development. Breaking people out of the cycle of poverty will make them more resilient in the face of the future disaster. It will make them less likely to flee their homelands for an uncertain future abroad. And it will strengthen their communities, ensuring they are not the next fertile ground for a terrorist movement to breed.

    For the past 70 years, Lutheran World Relief has worked in some of the world’s poorest locales helping communities through some of the most complex emergencies, and our experience on the ground has given us a better idea of the complex relationships among poverty, human dignity and security. To that end, the global staff of LWR has compiled this 2016 Early Warning Forecast that includes the regions we are monitoring, the work we are doing in these areas and the steps we’d like to see the international community take to address some of these challenges.

    Above all, we are calling on the international community to redouble its effort at both humanitarian response and building the resilient and inclusive development called for in the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations. This effort should be aimed at empowering local civil society and communities in need to help them become more resilient to the new crises they will inevitably face, and to reaffirm the longterm commitment to sustainable development made by governments, businesses, as well as the faith-based and charitable community.

    Ambassador Daniel Speckhard (rt.)
    President and CEO


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Undertaking represents a comprehensive investment in fighting poverty in one of the world’s poorest regions by building agricultural productivity & resilience to climate-related disasters.

    BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, is launching a $13 million initiative in southern Niger to reduce poverty by increasing farmer incomes. The initiative aims to benefit more than 100,000 people, at least half of them women and girls.

    This innovative project, known as the 12/12 Alliance for its goal of providing year-round food security, is one of several LWR initiatives in the Sahel region of West Africa with a total program value of $41 million over the next five years that will help move poor rural farm families from relief to resilience. In addition to USAID and its foundation partner, LWR is also working with private sector entities in the 12/12 Alliance, and in the wider Sahel region with donors that include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the European Union.

    “We’re looking to make a significant impact in breaking the cycle of poverty for tens of thousands of poor farming families in the Sahel,” said Ambassador Daniel Speckhard (rt.), LWR’s president & CEO. “Through these projects, we are working with farmers and cooperatives to create sustainable solutions that will enable the farmers to provide year-round support to their families.”

    The 12/12 Alliance seeks to build 12-month food security in an underserved region of Niger. It will leverage private sector investments to apply complementary solutions to increase farmer incomes through improved agricultural production and marketing, with a focus on onions, small animals, cowpeas and wheat. The project will train trusted farmers in the Tahoua and Maradi regions to be local, village-based extension agents. Using innovative mobile technology to access critical market information and early warning of impending crises, and with support from farmer cooperatives, these agents will help their neighboring farmers to increase the quality and yield of their crops, improve their resilience to recurring drought, access sources of credit and sell their produce in bigger and more profitable markets. The project will also support and strengthen local farmer cooperatives so they will be able to offer better services to their members.

    The 12/12 Alliance is supported by a diverse group of public and private-sector partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, which administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide; the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies; mobile telecommunications provider Bharti Airtel Limited; African financial services provider Ecobank; SH Biaugeaud, a fruit and vegetable processing firm; and four local farming cooperatives.

    LWR’s wider Sahel programming efforts include a $24 million project to market sesame in Burkina Faso; a $2 million program to support long-term recovery and resilience for drought-affected farming families in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso through improved land management and crop and animal production; and a $1.8 million initiative to help farmers in Niger cope with climate change.

    The countries of the Sahel, which struggle with recurrent food and nutrition crises, are among the poorest and least developed in the world. LWR’s projects are located in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which are among the bottom 10 nations in the U.N. Human Development Index.

    LWR has been working in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso since the 1970’s, supporting local farmers and farmers’ cooperatives in building more resilient agriculture production systems that can help them adapt to the challenges that threaten their livelihoods and well-being, and transition from survival to stability.

    About Lutheran World Relief

    With nearly 75 years of demonstrated expertise helping to transform some of the hardest-to-reach places in the developing world, Lutheran World Relief is an innovative, trusted international humanitarian organization committed to those otherwise cut off from basic human services and opportunities. LWR works in partnership with local communities to build their capabilities and collaborate on long-term solutions to reduce extreme poverty. In times of emergency, LWR is also a trusted partner to distribute aid and ensure people are prepared to withstand the next unexpected challenge. Powered by the compassion of U.S. Lutheran individuals and congregations, LWR reached more than 3.4 million people in 32 countries in fiscal year 2016. For more information, visit lwr.org.


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Baltimore, April 17, 2012 — A serious food crisis is brewing in the Sahel region of West Africa, a region where more than 10 million people already face the threat of hunger every day. Recent failed rains, drought and rising food costs, among other factors, now threaten an additional 3.4 million people.

    Thanks to a generous $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lutheran World Relief and partners are initiating Resilience Plus, a project in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger that will help vulnerable families earn immediate income while preserving their long-term agricultural livelihoods.

    Cash-for-work activities will provide immediate access to income for 134,000 people and help families to weather the crisis. This community work will simultaneously conserve soil and improve irrigation systems that will help grow food in the future.

    “Through this response, LWR is combining short-term emergency assistance with essential recovery and rehabilitation programs to increase community resiliency and reduce vulnerability to future crises,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s regional program director for Africa.

    LWR will also provide free seed distributions and connect farmers’ groups to financial institutions, where they can access credit to purchase agricultural supplies. When their crops fail, farmers in poor, developing communities are often unable to purchase seeds and supplies for the next season.

    Because women farmers are especially vulnerable to crises and often have to sell assets for their families’ survival, LWR will work with 10,890 women to maximize their incomes through improved marketing skills and crop processing and storage techniques. Proper storage for surplus crops allows crops to be sold when demand is highest, instead of right after the harvest when markets are saturated. Livestock distributions and training in animal husbandry will also provide women with skills and resources to earn additional income.

    “LWR is very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for this grant to respond to the worsening food crisis in West Africa” says John Nunes, LWR’s president and CEO. “Many families, and especially women and young children, are vulnerable. Resilience Plus will help LWR work with communities to cope through this crisis and become more resilient in the long-term.”

    To learn more about LWR’s response to this crisis, please visit lwr.org.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger

    Baltimore, May 30, 2012 — Planting season has begun in Niger, but without serious intervention, the country will remain in danger of not producing enough food to feed its people. That’s why Lutheran World Relief (LWR) is working with the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) to help farmers continue planting.

    Harvest sizes in the land-locked country have decreased due to drought, leaving families extremely vulnerable to hunger.

    “Families are in urgent need of help,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s regional director for Africa programs. “During last year’s cropping season we heard reports that families were consuming immature grains because of food shortages.”

    In addition, food scarcity often forces the poorest families to sell off agricultural assets, like seeds, and use the proceeds to survive the short term. To help farmers keep up their agricultural production and promote food security in the region, LWR will distribute 221 tons of seeds and fertilizer to farmers in the heavily affected Tahoua Region.

    The distribution of these items is made possible by FAO, which is supplying the seeds and fertilizer and contributing toward the cost of distributing the goods. Farmers will immediately use these supplies to plant since the region began experiencing seasonal rains just a few weeks ago.

    “LWR is thankful for this opportunity to reach out to farmers in Niger and lessen the impact of the current food crisis,” says LWR president and CEO, John Nunes. “Investing in farmers is a way of sustainably increasing food security in Niger, and across Africa, and this distribution will undoubtedly help families cope through very difficult conditions.”

    FAO will supply 146 tons of millet seed, 49 tons of bean seed and 26 tons of fertilizer which will be distributed to 14,576 vulnerable households in the communities of Kalfou, Illéla, Badaguichiri, Baguaroua, Tajaé, Garhanga, Ibohamane, Keita and Tamaské, all areas heavily affected by food crisis.

    This intervention is one part of LWR’s larger response to the food crisis in the Sahel, specifically in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The response includes providing cash-for-work opportunities for 134,000 people in the region to earn immediate income for soil conservation and irrigation work. LWR is also reaching out to women farmers, who are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis, to maximize their incomes through improved marketing skills, crop processing and storage techniques.

    In addition, LWR is responding with Quilts and Kits that are currently being distributed in Mali and Burkina Faso to people affected by the ongoing food crisis. LWR has also committed Quilts, School Kits, Personal Care Kits, Baby Care Kits, Fabric Kits and Soap to our partner in Mauritania, the Lutheran World Federation. LWR and LWF estimate these items will reach 24,000 people in need.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Baltimore, August 2, 2012 — Lutheran World Relief (LWR), through a generous $599,642 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is expanding its response to the food crisis in Niger.

    The country is no stranger to food shortages. Periods of drought, unstable rains, decreased agricultural production and rising food costs threatened families in 2005, 2008, 2010 and now in 2012 as large sections of the West African Sahel also struggle to cope with these and other factors. More than 13 million people in the Sahel are now at risk of hunger.

    LWR’s Resilience Plus response in Niger is aimed at helping families weather Niger’s latest food emergency and lay the groundwork for greater food and nutrition security in the future.

    “LWR is grateful for this award and excited to extend our successful work in Niger to tens of thousands of other people in need of help,” says LWR president and CEO, John Nunes.

    LWR has responded to past crises in Niger through a cash-for-work approach that gives farmers the opportunity to earn income to feed their families now while making critical repairs and improvements to soil, irrigation systems and other structures that help them recover and improve their agricultural livelihoods in the future. LWR has seen great success with this approach in the past and through this grant will extend that work to 64,800 people living in previously underserved areas.

    In addition to cash-for-work programs aimed at preserving soil and water systems, Resilience Plus will help families work toward recovery by providing seeds and other agricultural inputs needed to replant crops.

    “Farmers are in great need of help,” says Evariste Karangwa, LWR’s Regional Director for Africa programs. “During last year’s cropping season, households reported consuming immature millet grains to meet immediate food needs. In addition, food scarcity often forces the poorest families to sell their assets including seeds and use any proceeds as a temporary coping strategy.”

    Lutheran World Relief is also carrying out its Resilience Plus response in Burkina Faso and Mali, where it is also implementing cash-for-work activities and also working with women farmers, especially vulnerable in times food crisis, to improve their agricultural livelihoods.

    “Through a sustainable development approach, LWR is committed to working with rural communities in Niger to help them become stronger and better prepared to face the future,” says Nunes.

    Since 1961, the United States Agency for International Development has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. The Agency carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

    To learn more about LWR’s response to the food crisis in the Sahel, please visit www.lwr.org.

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

    Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 (office); 443-220-3269 (cell); esollie@lwr.org


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Builds on LWR's Successful Resilience Plus Model

    Baltimore, January 28, 2014 - Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has received a $1.5 million grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation to scale up community-based resilience building work in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The project, “Community Led Food Crisis Recovery in the Sahel,” will run through January 2016.

    During the last four years, the Sahel region of West Africa has experienced three severe food crises due to poor rains, inflated food prices and limited pasture for animal grazing. These food crises force poor families to sell land, livestock or other assets, go into debt, and limit food consumption just to survive, creating a cycle of food insecurity.

    LWR’s successful “Resilience Plus” program in West Africa takes a long-term view, prioritizing community recovery and resilience even during an immediate crisis response. By bridging the delivery of humanitarian assistance with sustainable development approaches, the program lays a foundation to break the recurring cycle of low agricultural productivity and low farm incomes and has already helped make more than 300,000 people less vulnerable to future food shortages.

    The grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation builds on this success and enables LWR to reach more than 100,000 additional farmers in the Sahel region. The project, which runs through January 2016, addresses the underlying factors contributing to persistent poverty and food insecurity by providing livestock such as goats and sheep, and training farmers on their care; helping farmers access certified seeds for staple crops like millet, sorghum and cowpeas; training farmers on improved crop production techniques; providing short-term opportunities to earn income by contributing labor to soil and water conservation projects such as terraces, trenches and stone walls; building warehouses for crop storage; and training farmers on business and marketing skills and helping them access financial services.

    “We know this approach works – we’ve seen it improve countless lives in West Africa,” said Jeff Whisenant, LWR’s interim president and CEO. “It’s possible to break the cycle of extreme poverty, and this grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help to do that by investing in making communities more resilient.”

    WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, 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, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

    Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

    Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802 (office); 443-220-3269 (cell); esollie@lwr.org


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Colombia, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    BALTIMORE, Dec. 1, 2015—Lutheran World Relief, an international NGO working in 35 countries to develop sustainable solutions to poverty and food insecurity, marked #GivingTuesday by releasing its 2016 Early Warning Forecast of regions it is monitoring for potential humanitarian crises over the coming year.

    The regions highlighted in the report are those that LWR is actively monitoring and, in many cases, is already in-country working to help mitigate the worst effects of a potential crisis, develop disaster response plans and strengthen community resilience, especially in the most vulnerable rural areas.

    LWR President & CEO Daniel V. Speckhard noted that the interconnected nature of today’s globalized world means that humanitarian crises overseas will inevitably affect people in the U.S.

    “Given these linkages and the rising vulnerability of global populations to both conflict and disaster, there is a vital need for an evolution in the way the international community thinks about humanitarian response that will have a lasting impact,” he said. “We need to move beyond short-term mobilization for the latest disaster or applying the Band-Aid approach to an emergency in an isolated ‘fragile’ state.”

    “Instead, we need to approach recovery and resilience with a long-term time frame in mind, as well as a more holistic understanding of the importance of sustainable development. Breaking people out of the cycle of poverty will make them more resilient in the face of future disasters,” he said.

    The countries and regions on the 2016 Watch List include:

    • Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia
    • Nepal
    • Iraq
    • Central America and the Caribbean
    • Sahel Region of West Africa
    • South Sudan

    In addition, there are several countries and regions where LWR sees signs of hope:

    • Colombia
    • The Philippines
    • Coffee and Cocoa production in Haiti, East Africa, Central America and Indonesia

    Among the immediate challenges facing humanitarian community that are highlighted in the 2016 Early Warning Forecast:

    The continuing refugee crisis, as the unprecedented migration we’re seeing shows no sign of abating. The Syrian civil war and terrorism wrought by ISIS is not only pushing out millions of refugees, but is destabilizing Northern Iraq. Refugee resettlement, complicated by security fears expressed by some communities and political figures, will be difficult.

    What some are calling a “gorilla” El Niño is causing drought conditions in some places and will bring damaging rain and flooding in others. We must be prepared for disaster response. Food crises in Central America could spur migration.

    The fuel blockade in Nepal has brought the post-earthquake rebuilding to a virtual halt. As winter approaches, isolated mountain communities will be cut off from supply deliveries, possibly auguring a second national crisis.

    Drought and conflict have displaced more than 3.5 million people in the Sahel region of West Africa. Instability caused by the recent coup attempt in Burkina Faso, as well as terrorism-related incidents and threats in Mali and southeastern Niger will continue to be push factors for migration and make the lives of already impoverished people even more miserable.

    The 2016 Early Warning Forecast can be downloaded at programs.lwr.org/2016-Early-Warning-Forecast.

    Contact:

    John Rivera
    Media Relations Manager
    jrivera@lwr.org
    410-230-2751

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    About Lutheran World Relief

    Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit programs.lwr.org.

    Introduction

    If we have learned anything from living in our increasingly globalized world, it is that no community or no nation stands in isolation. For better or worse, we are all connected. This makes our existence on this planet simultaneously more creative, more dynamic, more complex and more dangerous. Inevitably, what goes on “over there” will somehow affect us “here.”

    Anyone working in the humanitarian sphere has experienced this complexity first hand. It’s becoming ever more evident that linkages among global poverty, climate change, conflict and migration undermine political and economic security and trigger humanitarian emergencies that are more frequent and of a greater magnitude, and which are outstripping the ability of local and international aid agencies to respond.

    Given these linkages and the rising vulnerability of global populations to both conflict and disaster, there is a vital need for an evolution in the way the international community thinks about humanitarian response and sustainable development.

    We need to move beyond short-term mobilization for the latest disaster or applying the Band-Aid approach to an emergency in a seemingly isolated “fragile” state. In order to better foster global security and avoid the disaster in the first place, we need to approach recovery and resilience with a long-term time frame in mind as well as a more holistic understanding of the importance of sustainable development. Breaking people out of the cycle of poverty will make them more resilient in the face of the future disaster. It will make them less likely to flee their homelands for an uncertain future abroad. And it will strengthen their communities, ensuring they are not the next fertile ground for a terrorist movement to breed.

    For the past 70 years, Lutheran World Relief has worked in some of the world’s poorest locales helping communities through some of the most complex emergencies, and our experience on the ground has given us a better idea of the complex relationships among poverty, human dignity and security. To that end, the global staff of LWR has compiled this 2016 Early Warning Forecast that includes the regions we are monitoring, the work we are doing in these areas and the steps we’d like to see the international community take to address some of these challenges.

    Above all, we are calling on the international community to redouble its effort at both humanitarian response and building the resilient and inclusive development called for in the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations. This effort should be aimed at empowering local civil society and communities in need to help them become more resilient to the new crises they will inevitably face, and to reaffirm the longterm commitment to sustainable development made by governments, businesses, as well as the faith-based and charitable community.

    Ambassador Daniel Speckhard (rt.)
    President and CEO


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    Source: Lutheran World Relief
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Undertaking represents a comprehensive investment in fighting poverty in one of the world’s poorest regions by building agricultural productivity & resilience to climate-related disasters.

    BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, is launching a $13 million initiative in southern Niger to reduce poverty by increasing farmer incomes. The initiative aims to benefit more than 100,000 people, at least half of them women and girls.

    This innovative project, known as the 12/12 Alliance for its goal of providing year-round food security, is one of several LWR initiatives in the Sahel region of West Africa with a total program value of $41 million over the next five years that will help move poor rural farm families from relief to resilience. In addition to USAID and its foundation partner, LWR is also working with private sector entities in the 12/12 Alliance, and in the wider Sahel region with donors that include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the European Union.

    “We’re looking to make a significant impact in breaking the cycle of poverty for tens of thousands of poor farming families in the Sahel,” said Ambassador Daniel Speckhard (rt.), LWR’s president & CEO. “Through these projects, we are working with farmers and cooperatives to create sustainable solutions that will enable the farmers to provide year-round support to their families.”

    The 12/12 Alliance seeks to build 12-month food security in an underserved region of Niger. It will leverage private sector investments to apply complementary solutions to increase farmer incomes through improved agricultural production and marketing, with a focus on onions, small animals, cowpeas and wheat. The project will train trusted farmers in the Tahoua and Maradi regions to be local, village-based extension agents. Using innovative mobile technology to access critical market information and early warning of impending crises, and with support from farmer cooperatives, these agents will help their neighboring farmers to increase the quality and yield of their crops, improve their resilience to recurring drought, access sources of credit and sell their produce in bigger and more profitable markets. The project will also support and strengthen local farmer cooperatives so they will be able to offer better services to their members.

    The 12/12 Alliance is supported by a diverse group of public and private-sector partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, which administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide; the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies; mobile telecommunications provider Bharti Airtel Limited; African financial services provider Ecobank; SH Biaugeaud, a fruit and vegetable processing firm; and four local farming cooperatives.

    LWR’s wider Sahel programming efforts include a $24 million project to market sesame in Burkina Faso; a $2 million program to support long-term recovery and resilience for drought-affected farming families in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso through improved land management and crop and animal production; and a $1.8 million initiative to help farmers in Niger cope with climate change.

    The countries of the Sahel, which struggle with recurrent food and nutrition crises, are among the poorest and least developed in the world. LWR’s projects are located in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which are among the bottom 10 nations in the U.N. Human Development Index.

    LWR has been working in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso since the 1970’s, supporting local farmers and farmers’ cooperatives in building more resilient agriculture production systems that can help them adapt to the challenges that threaten their livelihoods and well-being, and transition from survival to stability.

    About Lutheran World Relief

    With nearly 75 years of demonstrated expertise helping to transform some of the hardest-to-reach places in the developing world, Lutheran World Relief is an innovative, trusted international humanitarian organization committed to those otherwise cut off from basic human services and opportunities. LWR works in partnership with local communities to build their capabilities and collaborate on long-term solutions to reduce extreme poverty. In times of emergency, LWR is also a trusted partner to distribute aid and ensure people are prepared to withstand the next unexpected challenge. Powered by the compassion of U.S. Lutheran individuals and congregations, LWR reached more than 3.4 million people in 32 countries in fiscal year 2016. For more information, visit lwr.org.