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Who we are

About CARE International

Sophich sits at his desk at a CARE education project in Cambodia. © CARE / Karina CoatesSophich sits at his desk at a CARE education project in Cambodia. © CARE / Karina Coates

We fight poverty and injustice in more than 80 countries around the world to help the world’s poorest people find routes out of poverty. We also deliver emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and help people rebuild their lives in the aftermath. Read more about our vision and mission

At least 83p in every pound raised is spent on our poverty fighting programmes in the world's poorest communities. We invest the rest in fundraising and the efficient running of the organisation.

CARE and women
We tackle the underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. Recognising that women and girls suffer disproportionately from poverty, we place special emphasis on working with women to create permanent social change. Women are at the heart of our community-based efforts to improve basic education, increase access to quality healthcare and expand economic opportunity for all.

We are non-religious and non-political, allowing us to deliver humanitarian and development assistance to anyone in need regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, political view or sexual orientation.

With almost 70 years’ practical and hands-on experience, our programmes tackle the deep-seated root causes of poverty, not just the consequences.

How we are funded

A woman from Laos uses a water pump which was provided by CARE. © CARE / Josh EsteyA woman from Laos uses a water pump which was provided by CARE. © CARE / Josh Estey

CARE International UK is part of the global CARE International confederation of 13 member organisations which has its secretariat in Geneva.

We receive funding from a variety of different sources. These include the UK public, the UK government, the European Commission, grant-giving trusts such as the Big Lottery Fund, and the corporate sector including Barclays, GlaxoSmithKline, Mondelēz International, Anglo American and Diageo.

The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) is CARE International UK’s largest single donor, funding major projects such as the Girls’ Education Challenge in Somalia and Afghanistan, as well as research into good development practice.

A voluntary Board of Trustees governs CARE International UK. Find out more about our Board of Trustees

Our Approach

Junior Rodriguez, 10, and her sister Bessy, 11, work at a dump in Honduras. In Honduras CARE fights child labour and runs education projects. © CARE / Nile SpragueJunior Rodriguez, 10, and her sister Bessy, 11, work at a dump in Honduras. In Honduras CARE fights child labour and runs education projects. © CARE / Nile Sprague

CARE's vision for a world without poverty requires us to address the underlying causes of poverty, rather than to simply focus on its symptoms.

Poverty is the product of complex social processes that affect people’s dignity and security as well as their material well-being.

CARE seeks to understand all the factors that make people poor before choosing which ones to concentrate on in each individual project.

Complex causes

A mother in Malawi, for example, who struggles to grow enough food for her family year after year could be struggling because drought or another natural disaster continually causes her crops to fail.

But there may be other reasons for her poverty. She might not have the skills to get the highest yield from her crops, for instance.

And, on top of that, she might be marginalised by people in her community – maybe because she has been diagnosed with HIV or is caring for a sick family member – and as a result faces a number of difficulties.

The reasons why people around the world are poor – and cannot break out of a cycle of poverty – are many.

Causes of poverty

To make sense of all this, CARE finds it useful to describe our work under three categories, examining the causes of poverty from three different perspectives:

  • First, from the perspective of people’s basic needs
  • Then from their position in society
  • And last from the way the society in which they live works

Effects of poverty

And we address the effects of poverty from these three different points of view.

  • Human conditions: we ensure that people’s basic needs – such as the need for food and clean water – are met, and that future generations have these needs met as well
  • Social positions: we help people to take control of their lives, end inequality and discrimination and fulfil their rights, responsibilities and aspirations
  • Enabling environment: we focus on creating sound and equitable government, private sector and thriving civil society to establish a climate that promotes equity, justice and secure livelihoods for all

These three perspectives bring together the breadth of CARE’s work – from helping poor people find work which gives them a steady income, to teaching them about how to realise their rights, to lobbying for governments to be fair.

By addressing the underlying causes of poverty, CARE is developing sustainable solutions for the future.

How we approach this work is also enshrined in our six programme principles:

  • Promoting empowerment
  • Working in partnership with others
  • Ensuring accountability and promoting responsibility
  • Addressing discrimination
  • Promoting the non-violent resolution of conflicts
  • Seeking sustainable results


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