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Scotland
Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF)

Set up in a Rutherglen classroom in 1965 by the Catholic Bishops of Scotland with the funds of just £8,000, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) has been helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world to overcome poverty and injustice. Today, SCIAF has grown to become one of Scotland’s leading international aid and development agencies and works in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, helping people of all religious backgrounds and none.

SCIAF supports over 70 long term development projects that focus on three key areas: helping people to grow food and make a living; building peace in countries that have been torn apart by war; and education for marginalised groups. Across all of its programmes, SCIAF seeks to promote equality between men and women, empower people with disabilities, care for those affected by HIV and AIDS, and action to help communities affected by climate change.

SCIAF’s Emergency Team responds to humanitarian disasters by providing immediate relief and long term support. This involves working with local partners on the ground to provide aid such as food, clean water, shelter, hygiene kits, medical care and cash for work. Long term recovery work ranges from rebuilding homes in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake to income diversification in drought-prone areas of East Africa.

Advocacy is a core part of SCIAF’s response to global poverty and injustice. This includes running targeted campaigns in Scotland to lobby governments, institutions and big business, to demand that they address the underlying causes of poverty such as unfair international trade practice. SCIAF also plays a key role is large coalitions including Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign. At a grassroots level SCIAF works closely with schools, parishes and community groups to promote awareness and action across Scotland.

With its main office in Glasgow, Scotland, SCIAF employs approximately 35 staff and benefits from the active support of 200 volunteers. Overseas, SCIAF and its sister agencies CAFOD (England & Wales) and Trócaire (Ireland) run joint programmes from an office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. In addition, SCIAF is also a member of CIDSE (International Co-operation for Development and Solidarity), an alliance of 16 Catholic development organisations from Europe and North America.

SCIAF is a member of Caritas Internationalis and partners with the worldwide network of Catholic aid agencies.

Caritas Updates from Scotland