Caritas Cyprus was originally founded to provide support to Cypriot refugees fleeing the North during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. In 1979, Caritas Cyprus became a member of Caritas Internationalis and was registered as an official Cypriot charitable association in 1986. Since then it has responded to humanitarian crises on the island with the mission to provide compassionate care and support as well as to bring hope to those living in poverty, the oppressed, and the vulnerable.
The work of Caritas Cyprus is done through local parish initiatives as well as cross-island programs that focus on migrants, local needs (diaconia), and youth engagement.
The Migrant Sector provides critical services to hundreds of migrants and refugees through the operation of two centres, which serve as resource and information hubs for migrants in need of support accessing their legal rights and basic needs. Caritas Cyprus also operates two shelters for vulnerable migrants and wraparound case management services. The Migrant Sector is supported, in part, through partnership with Catholic Relief Services.
The Diaconia Sector has been responding to the ongoing needs mainly resulting from the repercussions of the economic crisis in Cyprus. The Job Search Program connects jobseekers with potential employers using networks within the community.
The Youth Sector supports the work of Caritas Cyprus through providing volunteer and fundraising support as well as social events to encourage youth to participate in humanitarian efforts. Inspired and guided by the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, Caritas Cyprus works with all who are marginalised, regardless of race or religion.
Its head office is in Nicosia with a presence in various regions, cities and parishes. The agency is run by a staff of 5 members and a council that consists of its board and representatives of all the regions and parishes.
The Caritas teams in Gaza have accompanied Gazans through bombings, hunger and humanitarian tragedy. They have a contingency plan in place in the case that COVID-19 spreads though communities in the same way it has in many places in the world.