Humanitarian relief and other aid from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints totaled $1.36 billion in 2023, according to an annual report released Thursday.

The amount spent represented a 33% increase compared to 2022, when the church’s humanitarian and welfare spending reached $1.02 billion in 2022.

The information about last year’s efforts was released in “Caring For Those in Need: 2023 Annual Report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The report said the church provided 4,119 humanitarian projects in 191 countries. It also organized 6.2 million hours of volunteer service.

The report also noted the church had 11,368 welfare and self-reliance missionaries in 2023.

A message from the First Presidency said the church’s work in caring for those in need is intended as a response to the two great commandments to love God and “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“As followers of Jesus Christ, we consider this to be both a duty and a joyful privilege,” the First Presidency said. “We gratefully acknowledge the selfless contributions of time and means from church members, friends, and other trusted organizations that enable this work to progress and expand.”

The church has steadily expanded its humanitarian efforts globally. It surpassed $1 billion in 2022, which was an increase of nearly $100 million, up from $906 million in 2021.

The church did not release what it spent in the category in 2019 and 2020. However, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé told the Deseret News in early 2020 that the church had expanded its total humanitarian welfare expenditures over the five years from 2015-2019.

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The report acknowledged that its figures do not capture all the faith’s relief work.

“They do not include the personal services our members give individually as they minister to one another in called positions and voluntary member-to-member service. And our (summary) makes no mention of what our members do individually through innumerable charitable organizations not formally connected with our church,” the report said, quoting a 2022 statement by President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency.

The humanitarian and welfare spending captured in the report released Thursday also does not include the church’s extensive worldwide education program.

Additionally, the church makes more than $1 billion in annual charitable contributions to a global educational system that includes campuses like Brigham Young University, Institutes of Religion at other colleges and universities, seminary programs for high schools students and the innovative BYU-Pathway Worldwide program that offers inexpensive higher education around the world.

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This year’s report emphasized efforts to help women and children. It said 921 of the humanitarian projects focused on women and children in 114 countries.

The report details efforts in two major categories: Welfare and self-reliance efforts, aiding those in need in local congregations and communities, and humanitarian efforts which “benefit millions of God’s children across the world, without regard to race, nationality or religious affiliation,” the report said.

The church continues to grow the number and reach of its humanitarian projects.

  • 4,119 humanitarian projects in 191 countries.
  • 3,692 projects in 190 countries in 2022.
  • 3,909 projects in 188 countries in 2021.
  • 3,600 projects in 160 countries in 2020.
  • 3,221 projects in 142 countries in 2019.
  • 2,885 projects in 141 countries in 2018.

Among those projects are efforts to feed the world’s hungry and starving. The church and the U.N. World Food Programme are celebrating their 10-year collaboration this year. The church has donated at least $46 million to the WFP during that time, based on public reports.

The president and CEO of World Food Program USA told the Deseret News last month what the church’s contributions have meant.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is our most important partner,” Barron Segar said. “They are our first responder. When there’s an emergency, they’re the first ones to call us and we’re the first ones to call them for funding. They immediately respond.”

“Fewer people are hungry today because of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the World Food Program,” he said.

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Other humanitarian aid efforts included emergency relief, clean water, hygiene, sanitation, health care and mobility projects.

The church’s self-reliance programs educated more than 110,000 participants last year. They also sponsored 2,926 addiction-recovery meetings each week. The programs also helped find employment for more than 5,530 people.

Read the full, 48-page 2022 report here.