Catholic Relief Services

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Catholic Relief Services
CRS logo
TypeHumanitarian aid
Tax ID No.135563422
Founded1943
HeadquartersBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Key peopleCarolyn Y. Woo,
President
Most Reverend Gerald Frederick Kicanas, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson,
Chairman of the Board
Area servedWorldwide
RevenueUS$ $918 million (2010) [1]
Employees5,211[2]
Websitehttp://www.crs.org/
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Catholic Relief Services
CRS logo
TypeHumanitarian aid
Tax ID No.135563422
Founded1943
HeadquartersBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Key peopleCarolyn Y. Woo,
President
Most Reverend Gerald Frederick Kicanas, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson,
Chairman of the Board
Area servedWorldwide
RevenueUS$ $918 million (2010) [1]
Employees5,211[2]
Websitehttp://www.crs.org/

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Founded in 1943 by the U.S. bishops, the agency provides assistance to 130 million people in more than 90 countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A member of Caritas Internationalis, the worldwide network of Catholic humanitarian agencies, CRS provides relief in emergency situations and helps people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives. Assistance is based solely on need, not race, creed or nationality. It is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, while operating numerous field offices on five continents. CRS has approximately 5,000 employees around the world. The agency is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 15 clergy (most of them bishops) and six lay people.[3]

Contents

History

Initially founded as the War Relief Services, the agency’s original purpose was to aid the refugees of war-torn Europe. A confluence of events in the mid 1950s — the end of colonial rule in many countries, the continuing support of the American Catholic community and the availability of food and financial resources from the U.S. Government — helped CRS expand operations. Its name was officially changed to Catholic Relief Services in 1955, and over the next 10 years it opened 25 country programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. CRS's executive director during this period (1947–1976) was Bishop Edward E. Swanstrom.

As the agency grew, its programming focus widened, adapting to meet the needs of the post-World War II Roman Catholic Church and the circumstances of the people it encountered. In the 1970s and 1980s, programs that began as simple distributions of food, clothing and medicines to the poor evolved toward socio-economic development. By the late 1980s, health care, nutrition education, micro enterprise and agriculture had become major focuses of CRS programming.

In the mid-1990s, CRS went through a significant institutional transformation. In 1993, CRS officials embarked on a strategic planning effort to clarify the mission and identity of the agency. Soon after, the 1994 massacre in Rwanda – in which more than 800,000 people were killed – led CRS staff to reevaluate how they implemented their relief and development programs, particularly in places experiencing or at high risk of ethnic conflict. After a period of institutional reflection, CRS embraced a vision of global solidarity and incorporated a justice-centered focus into all of its programming, using Catholic social teaching as a guide. All programming is evaluated according to a set of social justice criteria called the Justice Lens. In terms of programming, CRS now evaluates not just whether its interventions are effective and sustainable, but whether they might have a negative impact on social or economic relationships in a community.

Activities

CRS programming includes

Overseas

Overseas work is done in partnership with local church agencies, other faith-based partners, non-governmental organizations and local governments. CRS emphasizes the empowerment of partners and beneficiaries in programming decisions. Program examples include:

In the United States

The agency has also made engaging the U.S. Catholic population a priority. CRS is seeking to help Catholics more actively live their faith and build global solidarity. Program examples include:

Catholic Relief Services serves as a leading member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based coalition of over 400 major companies and NGOs that advocates for increased funding of American diplomatic and development efforts abroad.[10]

Disaster responses

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

As part of the massive, worldwide humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Catholic Relief Services donated $190 million dollars to fund a five-year relief and reconstruction effort to help 600,000 victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

2010 Haiti earthquake

Catholic Relief Services has served in Haiti since 1954. Over 50 years of experience allowed CRS to respond to the earthquake immediately and has positioned the agency to be a key development actor as the country rebuilds. The agency works through a broad network of partners, including the Catholic Church in Haiti.[11]

CRS is fostering local leadership and helping communities develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to build local capacity so that Haitians drive their own recovery.[12] CRS has committed to a $200 million, 5-year earthquake recovery program in partnership with more than 200 local organizations, focusing on community revitalization and shelter, health, water and sanitation, and protection.[13]

Awards and recognition

Accountability standards

See also

Notes

External references

External links