Caritas Australia began in 1964 as the Catholic Overseas Relief Committee (CORC). The focus of the CORC was to distribute funds the Catholic Church had received for overseas relief from the United Nation’s “Freedom from Hunger” campaign. In 1966 the agency changed its name to Australian Catholic Relief, and as it grew, it began to see that responding to emergency situations was only a small part of the response to poverty and began to focus more on long-term development and self-sustainability in vulnerable communities worldwide. Since 1996, the agency has been called Caritas Australia.
Through effective relationships with the Church, partners and communities in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and Australia, Caritas Australia helps to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. Our programs, advocacy and education initiatives promote the dignity of every person, regardless of religious, political or cultural beliefs. We envisage a world in which children, women and men most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice are architects of their own sustainable development.
In 2015-16, Caritas Australia supported 35 humanitarian relief programs in 24 countries and 129 development programs in 29 countries promoting the good of every person and of the whole person, regardless of people’s religious, political or cultural beliefs.
In 2016, Project Compassion raised over $11 million for the world’s poorest communities, ensuring thousands of families are guaranteed life-changing support.
Caritas Australia’s head office is in Alexandria, Sydney, Australia. The organisation has 7 partnership support offices and sits within the auspices of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). It conducts operations across the agency in accordance with ACBC policy and mandate.
Global temperatures averaging almost 1oC above normal. For people in some parts of the world, this might still seem like a technical measurement, or a future concern. For us in Oceania, it is rapidly becoming a matter of life or death.
Up to 90 percent of buildings on one of Vanuatu main islands have been destroyed or damaged as aid workers rush to help survivors of Cyclone Pam. Caritas has sent emergency staff to Vanuatu to link up with local church structures.
UNAIDS is moving from a strategy of ‘zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, zero discrimination’ to one where 9 out of ten people who are living with HIV know their status, receive therapy and that the virus is surpressed in their bodies.
New technologies offer hope to sick people living in poverty. At an AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, four scientists associated with Catholic institutions discussed ways to measure HIV infections and treat them.