IRI
A physician measures a young child's mid-upper-arm circumference to gauge the nutrition assistance needed at the Soeurs De Saint Joseph De Arbes Health Center near Kananga, Democratic Republic of Congo on Aug. 22, 2017. The latest World Food Programme/Food and Agriculture Organization data shows that acute malnutrition has gone up 30 percent in the region over the past year due to violence.

SALT LAKE CITY — As hunger has become a "mega-crisis" in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the LDS Church is giving $1 million to the World Food Programme to provide food staples.

"Thanks to the continued generosity from members and friends of the church, we have been able to channel humanitarian aid to thousands of people impacted by the conflict in the Kasai Region of DR Congo," Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a news release issued Wednesday.

The money will pay for important staples like cereals, salt and cooking oil.

The United Nations warned earlier this month that 2 million children are at risk of acute malnutrition in DR Congo, according to PM News Nigeria.

LDS Charities partners with the World Food Programme in 11 countries.

"The outstanding work of WFP has enabled us to send critical aid to some of the most challenging places in the world — places we may never have reached without their efforts," Bishop Caussé said.

The church has now donated more than $10 million to WFP since 2014, said Prerana Issar, the organization's director of private partnerships.

"Thanks to this generosity, we have been able to feed more than 1.26 million people in emergencies across the globe, people whose lives were at risk because of hunger," she said.

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Issar said the latest contribution will save lives in DR Congo's Kasai region, where because of violence more than 3 million people are hungry and 300,000 children are at risk of death due to severe acute malnutrition. Aid agencies have characterized it as a mega-crisis.

LDS Charities has provided over $2 billion in monetary donations in 191 countries and territories since 1985, the church release said.

The church has more than 52,000 members in 169 congregations in DR Congo. An LDS temple is under construction in the capital of Kinshasa. When completed it, it would be the fourth LDS temple in Africa.