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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The situation:
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a new respiratory infection, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). So far, more than 4 million people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 300,000 people have died, according to WHO.

Our response:

Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) is responding to this pandemic here in the United States and around the world, including:

  • Across the United States, LDR is providing support for ELCA World Hunger’s Daily Bread grants, which are supporting congregational feeding ministries as they do the critical work of providing those who are in need in their communities with food. 
  • In New Orleans, LDR is aiding the expansion of Bethlehem Lutheran Church's community meal program, which targets the at-risk population who are impacted at this time.
  • In Southern California, LDR is supporting Care Connection Network, a social ministry organization, to serve older adults and people who are home bound by delivering food and essential supplies, in collaboration with congregations in the Pacifica Synod. 
  • In China, we helped provide medical supplies including ventilators, protective face shields, disposable gloves and more, as well as daily necessities such as food.
  • In Italy, through the ELCA’s companion church, the Chiesa Evangelica Luterana in Italia, LDR is providing Betania Evangelical Hospital in Naples, Italy, with support and medical gear and supplies. 
  • In Palestine, LDR is working with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land to provide food and necessities to families whose livelihoods have been impacted.  
  • In Sierra Leone, we are supporting the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone so the church can participate in a national response plan with the government.
  • LDR is also working with the Lutheran World Federation and the ACT Alliance to support their global responses.

As the situation develops, LDR will continue to be in communication with companions and partners at home and abroad to assess the needs and provide support. We anticipate this public health crisis will escalate in coming weeks and will affect many more people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in our communities. Here in the U.S., we stand ready to work with Lutheran social service organizations affiliated with LDR and with ELCA synods to address the needs of those impacted.

What you can do:
Please pray for our nation and the world as we face uncertainties. May God's healing presence bring peace and hope in this time of need. Pray that God will deliver comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones and strength to those who are working diligently to care for affected communities. For more prayer suggestions, click here.

Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response’s general account enable us to respond quickly whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Give now.

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:

  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.
  • Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook and follow @ELCALDR on Twitter.

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