Catholic Relief Services History

Catholic Relief Services was first started in 1943 during the Second World War, with the aim of resettling European war refugees. It was established to help the war torn area of Europe and the refugees in the area to recover following the great conflict. Since its inception and even till the present day the focus has been to help the less fortunate people around the world.

During the 1950s, Europe started regaining its balance and Catholic Relief Services began to look at other areas of the world. From the 1950s through to the 1970s, the CRS expanded into Latin America, Asia and Africa. CRS increased their tradition of providing emergency relief during disasters.

They also started to seek ways of helping societies in the developing world break the ongoing cycle of poverty. They began sustainable initiatives that were community based. Today these programs include community banks, agricultural initiatives, clean water projects and health education making sure that the local community is the central player in its own development.

The 1990s brought Catholic Relief Services presence into natural disaster aftermath recoveries like Hurricane Mitch, which caused catastrophe in much of Central America. They also were present for man-made disasters like Kosovo and they continued their policy of helping create sustainability for the long term in the effected areas.

With nearly 70 years of experience working overseas, Catholic Relief Services has the understanding that a society is not rebuilt by only using mortar and brick. The agency seeks to create a sense of global solidarity in the US Catholic community to help them see the world as one.

Today Catholic Relief Services maintains its commitment to the most vulnerable people and continue to reassess their mission. It is constantly aware of fulfilling the mandate of the gospel that most clearly follows the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which is the foundation of all the work they provide.


NOTE: Information on this site is not guaranteed to be accurate. Some content is compiled from 3rd party sources. If you are aware of incorrect or outdated information, feel free to contact us.

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