The LWF is a global communion of 145 churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 74 million Christians in 98 countries. The LWF was established in 1947 as a Federation of Lutheran churches. Lutherans worldwide wanted to confess, reflect, reconcile, and to respond together to human suffering in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Department for World Service is LWF’s internationally recognized humanitarian and development arm.

Global thematic areas of intervention are directly linked with achieving human rights as well as with specific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and are categorized as: –

DRR & Emergency Preparedness and Response

In all our emergency response and disaster risk reduction (DRR) work, we aim to be a compassionate, professional presence that partners with communities in their time of need. We go beyond just providing assistance, and seek to directly engage and support communities to advocate for their own rights in the short and long-term. Most importantly, we enable communities to care for the most vulnerable, including women, children, the disabled, and minority groups. Strategic objectives under DRR goal includes, building resilient communities, rapid response when disasters strike and an integrated, long-term approach.

Sustainable Livelihoods in a Changing Climate

We believe in a world where the poor and marginalized are not hungry or thirsty. We believe in the innate human dignity of every person and their inherent right to achieve sustainable livelihoods and food security for their families. With our long track record of community-based development, we relentlessly work to help communities lift themselves out of poverty in harmony with creation. Strategic objectives under sustainable livelihoods includes, access to food and water, economically sustainable livelihoods and climate change adaptation.

Community-led Action for Justice and Peace

Advocacy is central to our work at every level as we help communities to achieve their goals for justice and peace. This includes human rights education and advocacy, peace building, and conflict resolution. We also pro-actively develop local capacities for leadership and governance and promote access to essential services. We know we are stronger when we join our voice with others and so we work closely with ecumenical partners, ACT Alliance, and the World Council of Churches to influence international policy.


What we’re doing in Ethiopia

The LWF-DWS Ethiopia program is one of the 14 DWS country programs, and has been operational in Ethiopia for over four decades. LWF Ethiopia established its presence in 1973 at the request of the EECMY to alleviate the suffering caused by the severe drought in Ethiopia. By 1985, LWF Ethiopia had expanded and become one of the main international organizations providing a large-scale humanitarian assistance to millions of famine affected people through a Joint Relief Programme.

In our work with rural Ethiopian communities, the LWF assists with agricultural development through inputs, small-scale irrigation schemes, training and technical support, and veterinary support. In addition, the LWF supports tens of thousands of refugees with programs in water and sanitation, education, psychosocial support, livelihood development, and environmental conservation. We provide assistance both to refugees and the host communities that receive them, helping to reduce potential new conflicts over water resources. We help refugees to develop their livelihoods by combining seed and tool distribution with training in multi-story gardening, poultry production, and vegetable production.

The Food Security and Livelihoods Program aims to assist households to achieve sustainable food security through improved agricultural production and livelihoods, which go hand in hand with ecological management of the natural resources and community empowerment. This is achieved by promoting crop and livestock productivity through provision of improved inputs and agricultural technologies, small scale irrigation systems and value chain, environmental conservation practices, in effect enhancing the capacity and resilience of the target population facing the effects of climate change.

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