It works with local partner organisations in over 60 countries around the world to help the world's poorest communities. Christian Aid works where the need is greatest, regardless of religion or race.
Christian Aid campaigns to change the rules and systems that keep people poor, speaking out on issues such as trade justice, climate change, and Third World debt. It is a major member of the Trade Justice Movement and Make Poverty History campaigns.
Christian Aid also organises the UK's largest door to door collection, Christian Aid Week, which happens in the second week of May each year. The money raised makes up around 20% of the charity's total income.
Since the reorganisation of the Council of Churches in 1991, Christian Aid has been a separate legal entity, but remains in close relationship with it.
The 1950s saw the establishment of the first Christian Aid week (1957. The agency also helped establish Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Refugee and resettlement work in Europe was still a major focus, but by 1959 (World Refugee Year) there was a growing international recognition. Grants were made to Arab refugees from the Palestinian/Israeli lands, to the Chinese in Hong Kong, and to North Koreans in South Korea, as well as continuing the work in Europe. The 1959 income was £483,000.
The 1960s saw growing world food shortages. Christian Aid (then the Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service, before becoming Christian Aid in 1964) prioritised agricultural development in the third world. Christian Aid and the British churches set up the World Development Movement as well to campaign for political change and to tackle the causes of hunger. Christian Aid also started to educate people more on the causes of poverty and to appeal for donations. The annual income for 1969 was £2,500,000.
The 1970s found Christian Aid funding over 100 long-term development projects in over 40 countries. Reconstruction after various wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were major projects, alongside the aid given after the overthrow of dictators Idi Amin in Uganda and Somoza in Nicaragua. Yanomami Indians in Brazil were also supported, in a commitment to marginalised indigenous peoples. The 1979 income was nearly £5,500,000.
The Eighties saw Christian Aid highlight the role of banks in demanding high interest payments for loans during the global economic recession. The media was by now picking up far more on development issues, and the Ethiopian famine and the destruction of the rainforests brought a new focus onto global development and poverty issues. The 1989 income was £28,000,000.
The 1990s saw a major campaign to persuade governments and banks to drop international debt repayments from the Third World, and the promotion of fairer trade conditions, particularly targeting the IMF and World Bank. Christian Aid celebrated its 50th birthday in 1995. Its 1999 income was £42,000,000.
The new millennium finds one billion people still living in poverty, and aid being in great demand from the innocents in the 'war on terror'. Christian Aid has also worked with the Trade Justice Movement to again highlight unjust trade rules. The 2004-2005 income was £80,000,000.
Since its inception Christian Aid has worked on long term development projects where the need is greatest, co-operating with partner-organizations in sixty of the World's poorest countries. Christian Aid's essential belief is summed up in the statement "We believe in life before death", often used alongside the Christian Aid logo.
Peter Hallward, in his book 'Damming the Flood', accused Christian Aid of supporting US led violent regime change in [Haiti] in 2004.
The Development Economist Paul Collier in his book The Bottom Billion suggests that Christian Aid "deeply misinformed" the UK electorate in 2004 and 2005 with a campaign against reducing trade barriers in Africa based on a "deeply misleading" study conducted by an economist without the requisite expertise and whose purported review "by a panel of academic experts" who were two gentlemen chosen by said economist who were also not noted for their expertise on international trade.
Charitable acts: Christian Aid's Sara Chamberlain is keen to help charities exploit the potential of the Internet as a cost-saving tool that reaches the mass market.(Profile)
Nov 11, 2004; Sara Chamberlain's goal in life is to reinvent the way charities communicate. A passionate advocate of new media in the third...
Climate campaigners plan UK's longest march ENVIRONMENT: POLLUTION ENVIRONMENT: POLLUTION Christian Aid bid to cut carbon emission is overshadowed by its poor record on air travel
Mar 04, 2007; BRITAIN'S longest ever protest march is being planned this summer to demand cuts in the pollution that is creating climate chaos....
Cornerstone: Modern Bible to Help with Today's Issues; Christian Aid Hopes Latest Edition Will Assist Us to Seek God's Will
Jan 24, 2004; Byline: Billy Kennedy CHRISTIAN Aid has launched a new Anglicised edition of the Bible in co-operation with the Oxford University...