LWF churches prioritize prevention and vulnerable families in second RRF phase
Need for rapid COVID-19 response persists, the Lutheran communion’s support continues
(LWI) – Implementation of a second phase of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund (RRF) has begun, with 44 of the communion’s member churches providing pastoral care and basic survival support to vulnerable communities still struggling to cope with the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The churches in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Central Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean are prioritizing a wide range of support including ensuring safe working and living conditions for seniors and care providers in nursing homes. They are also delivering food packages to migrant workers, offering psychosocial assistance to families suffering from the trauma of domestic violence, and creating online communication platforms, among other activities.
While most of the support goes toward building on churches’ response in the first RRF phase, others have requested assistance due to growing demand for additional material and psychosocial support to first-line responders and families affected by COVID-19. In the first RRF round, the LWF approved 64 short-term projects, with each church receiving up to EUR 5,000 for activities that were implemented between April and October 2020. Disbursement of funds for the second round began in December last year.
It is therefore encouraging to see churches prioritize the ongoing and emerging needs in their own communities, even though they themselves are struggling to cope,
“One year into the pandemic, it is clear that most, or almost all, people around the globe have experienced its impact on their lives. It is heartbreaking to see that those who were facing harsh economic realities before are particularly hit hard by reduced incomes,” says Ms Rebekka Meissner, LWF program executive for Member Church Projects. “It is therefore encouraging to see churches prioritize the ongoing and emerging needs in their own communities, even though they themselves are struggling to cope,” she added.
By the end of 2020, the LWF had approved more than 100 projects in both phases, amounting to a total of EUR 550,000. Funding comes from LWF member churches, partner organizations, private donations and internal reallocations.
The second phase of the LWF COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund was launched in October 2020 and the funding disbursement began in December 2020. The goal is to continue supporting the communion’s member churches, particularly the most vulnerable ones that still require urgent assistance during the global health emergency. Similar to the first round, churches receive a grant of up to EUR 5,000 for their approved projects from the global fund supported by LWF’s member churches and partners around the world.