Earthquakes, a tsunami and massive flooding have combined to make 2011 the costliest year for natural disasters on record according to a recently released Welfare Services report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). [1]

Mormon humanitarian aid Japan

LDS Presiding Bishop David H. Burton Delivers Aid to Japanese Fishermen

Disasters which occurred during the first half of the year caused $265 billion worth of damage.  This broke the record set in 2005, the year that hurricane Katrina hit the southern states in America.  The amount of damage caused by disasters in 2005 was approximately $220 billion.   Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damage alone has been estimated at $235 billion.

The humanitarian services arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”) offered help throughout the year.  The LDS Church responded to 111 disasters in 50 countries, providing a total of $22 million in emergency aid and organizing thousands of volunteers through the Mormon Helping Hands program to assist those affected. In addition to natural disasters, east Africa experienced one of the worst droughts and famines in more than 60 years.

2012 is starting out to be another difficult year.  The end of February and beginning of March yielded over 100 destructive tornadoes in the Midwest and southern U.S. states.   The Church of Jesus Christ always has relief supplies standing at the ready to offer aid fast.  Hygiene kits and other supplies were immediately shipped to stricken areas.

The Church of Jesus Christ participated in the following initiatives:

  • After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, more than 250 tons of supplies were distributed during the first few months following the disaster, including food, water, blankets, bedding, hygiene supplies, clothing and fuel.   Twenty-two thousand Church-sponsored volunteers have provided more than 175,000 hours of service in Japan to date.  The Church of Jesus Christ continues to give aid in Japan.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded to the famine in east Africa by committing $2.25 million in support of relief efforts.  The Church partnered with Islamic Relief, International Medical Corps, International Relief and Development and other organizations to provide food, clean water and medical supplies.
  • After a rash of violent tornadoes in the United States, the Church of Jesus Christ provided relief in 8 states, with 5,000 Latter-day Saint volunteers helping with cleanup efforts.
  • In response to flooding in Thailand, church members in Thailand assembled food kits, sanitation kits, blankets, clothes and other relief items for those affected by the floods.
  • In response to Hurricane Irene in the U.S., the Church provided 120 tons of relief supplies and 50,000 hours of service from more than 7,000 Church volunteers and missionaries.

Read More at LDS Newsroom.

Additional Resources:

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

LDS Philanthropies

Mormon Self-Reliance

 

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