Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Bishops in the United States founded Catholic Relief Services in 1943 to serve World War II survivors. Since then it has expanded and reaches over 100 million people on five continents in over 100 countries.

Catholic Relief Services works in the spirit of social teaching to help promote the dignity of people and the sacredness of human life. Even though it is rooted in Catholicism, CRS serves people based solely on their need regardless of ethnicity, religion or race.

Catholic Relief Services has a board of directors of clergy that govern its operations with the majority being bishops with Catholic laymen and women. They maintain strict accountability, efficiency and transparency. Over 94% of revenues were used directly in programs that helped the poor overseas.

They work in a number of different programs that focus on agriculture, emergency response, HIV/AIDS eradication and peace building. With agriculture, their aim is improving the well-being of families through developing agriculture not only for sustainability but also to create an income for the community, so that the communities can eventually develop their own.

Their emergency response is for man-made and natural disasters that affect the poor. They ensure that the most basic of needs are covered in the disaster area population so people can live with dignity. They promote programs that are community based and help those with HIV/AIDS and try to address the causes in each community to control the spread of the disease and ways to reduce it.

The agency is also committed to instill peace in where ever they go and it on top of their priorities list. In this context, it is defined for the long term as a way to build stable, peaceful societies and communities. A team was assembled of regional advisors along with technical staff that was based in their headquarters to work with their partners. Following that, a number of peace building programs were initiated.


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