With the addition of Namibia and Burundi, the ELCA Malaria Campaign is now working with Lutheran companions and organizations in 13 countries in Africa to support community-based malaria programs. (See map at right.)
The ELCA Malaria Campaign has raised $9.3 million so far, and plans to raise a total of $15 million by 2015 to support programming implemented by Lutheran churches and organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. These relationships build on decades-long partnerships between the ELCA and our Lutheran companions in Africa. Funds raised by the ELCA Malaria Campaign underwrite the programming and ELCA Global Mission staff provide technical support as our Lutheran sisters and brothers in Africa plan, implement and monitor the programs that offer anti-malaria resources to their communities.
Malaria programming in Namibia will take place under the umbrella of the LUCSA Regional Malaria Program. LUCSA–the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa–is a sub-regional expression of the Lutheran World Federation, of which the ELCA is also a member. The LUCSA Regional Malaria program is already operating successful country programs in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the program in Namibia will benefit from the experiences of those existing programs.
Since malaria a key health issue in the northern part of Namibia (Ovamboland), the Lutheran Malaria Program in Namibia will work primarily with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), whose congregations are mostly in the north.
Malaria concerns in Namibia are exacerbated by widespread hunger. Lutheran churches in Namibia are currently working to ameliorate the effects of a severe and long-lasting drought emergency that is causing 14 percent of the Namibian population to suffer from food insecurity. Through Lutheran Disaster Response, the ELCA is helping the Lutheran churches in Namibia to provide economic assistance to those in greatest need.
ELCA Global Mission is working with LUCSA and our companions in Namibia to finalize a malaria proposal. Programming is expected to begin in 2014.
The small country of Burundi has been hit hard by malaria. Burundi has by far the highest rates of malaria in the Eastern Africa region. Despite the great need, Burundi has not received adequate support for its malaria initiatives and lags behind other countries in the region in progress toward its health-related targets. With support from the ELCA Malaria Campaign, Lutherans in Burundi are stepping up to help close this gap.
The Lutheran World Federation is active in Burundi, and plans are in place to integrate malaria work within the framework of existing projects and networks and staff in Burundi. Because there is an active Lutheran Malaria Program in neighboring Uganda (underwritten by the ELCA Malaria Campaign and implemented by LWF), the Burundi program can be run with existing structures and oversight. This makes the Burundi malaria program a very economical one that will deliver maximum impact for a minimal cost.
Programming in Burundi will begin immediately.