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Caritas and Development


Caritas takes an integrated approach in its development work – aiming to combat poverty, to support people who are excluded and to care for our common home. It works alongside and in solidarity with the more than 800 million people who still live below the poverty line, whether they live in poor countries or rich ones.

To Caritas, development means building a world in which we all live without fear of hunger and injustice, peacefully co-existing, providing for ourselves and protecting our planet. We focus on the root causes and multiple effects of poverty and on bringing the empowered voices of communities into the political process.

In this spirit, Caritas is pleased to have participated in the open and collaborative process out of which a new development agenda was born in September 2015. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals – or SDGs – the 17 goals and 169 targets, are ambitious and challenging. But, they are also offer hope.

While the SDGs are a follow on to the “unfinished business” of the Millennium Development Goals of the last 15 years, they now apply universally to every country and go further in pledging that no person will be left behind. They put the dignity of the human person at the heart of their vision in the same way as does the Laudato Si’ Encyclical of Pope Francis.

Caritas will work through its members worldwide to bring a visible difference to the success of the SDGs and to the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people.

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’

Caritas Updates on Development

  • Going local at World Humanitarian Summit

Going local at World Humanitarian Summit

  • 27 May 2016
One of the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul was an agreement to increase funding to local organisations better placed to help people in need.
  • Sustainable development and the future of work

Sustainable development and the future of work

  • 9 May 2016
Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Labour Organization strengthened ties to promote decent work at a conference held in Rome from 2-6th May.
  • A human rights school in Amazonia

A human rights school in Amazonia

  • 4 May 2016
The Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) aims to create a training programme for community leaders and pastoral workers in the Amazon region, who have an extensive track record in protection and may thus respond to the challenges highlighted by the Pope.
  • A roadmap for the future of children with HIV

A roadmap for the future of children with HIV

  • 11 April 2016
Massive progress has been made in relation to diagnosis and treatment of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, since the early 1980s. In 2015, UNAIDS announced we reached the milestone of getting 15 million people on anti-retroviral treatment.
Our key areas in Development
How Caritas works in Development

Caritas is focused on achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals during their lifetime of 2105 to 2030. The SDGs will greatly influence the national planning of governments and the funding priorities of donors.

With its grassroots network of 165 organisations Caritas will press hard for the necessary action to be taken at national, regional and global levels to bring about the real change the SDGs represent.

In caring for our common home, Caritas holds both extractive industries and national governments to account, calling for fair and responsible policies and deeds. It campaigns at high level meetings and events worldwide to bring economic and social justice to the poor.
Read more about these programmes



Resources on family and poverty