Caritas Asia is one of the seven Regional Offices under the Confederation of Caritas Internationalis (CI). It was established by the Asian Member Organizations with the endorsement and approval of the Confederation, during the General Assembly of CI in 1999 in Rome.
Caritas Asia is made up of 24 Member Organizations, of national identity, mandated by their respective Episcopal conferences or Ecclesiastical authorities, responsible for the local Church’s socio-pastoral works. Each Member Organization maintains its own individual autonomy in its relationships and operating procedures within the legal framework of the global Caritas confederation.
There are four Caritas Asia sub-regions: Central, East, South and Southeast Asia. These are based on Member Organizations geographical proximity and common cultural context and understanding.
The primary role of Caritas Asia is to serve and support its Member Organizations in the region in the achievement of their mission, in conformity and under the guidance of the local and universal Church, and in line with the decisions and plans approved by the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis. In fulfilment of this role, Caritas Asia has the responsibility to intensify interchange and mutual aid among Member Organizations for the promotion and harmonization of their work to achieve the goals pursued in the region by the Confederation.
The Caritas Asia Secretariat is located in Bangkok, with a special focus on the capacity building of its members.
Caritas young volunteers have been out in force in Indonesia distributing water, food stuffs and other essential items to at least 25,000 people in Indonesia following unprecedented flooding and landslides caused by Cyclone Seroja. Caritas is also providing psychosocial help for those traumatised by the disaster.