About CARE

Jeannie Nola receiving her CARE package shortly after Typhoon Haiyan

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Fighting poverty. Defending dignity.

CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.

CARE currently works in 100 countries, helping millions of the world’s poorest people find routes out of poverty.

We are there to provide life-saving assistance when disaster strikes, and to help people rebuild their lives afterwards.

And we are there to work alongside poor people and communities on long-term programmes to deliver lasting change.

Our programmes and our policy work tackle the underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. We place special focus on empowering women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to lift whole families and communities out of poverty.

Our history

CARE was founded in the United States in 1945 to send ‘CARE packages’ – packages of food and basic supplies – to millions of people in Europe in danger of starvation following World War Two.

Some 100 million CARE packages reached people in need during the next two decades, first in Europe and later in Asia and other parts of the developing world. Britain received its last CARE packages in 1955.

Initially we continued to focus on food aid, but in the 1960s we expanded our remit to set up pioneering primary health care programmes. In the 1970s, we responded to massive famines in Africa with both emergency relief and long-term food security and sustainable farming programmes.

In the following decades, we increasingly took a ‘rights-based’ approach to development – recognising that poverty is often caused by the absence of rights, opportunities and assets, due to social exclusion, marginalisation, and discrimination. We also started focusing on women’s empowerment, recognising from our decades of poverty-fighting experience that women are key: by empowering women, entire families and communities can be lifted out of poverty.

Originally CARE stood for Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, but in 1993 this was changed to Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. Today, CARE is one of the world’s leading global poverty-fighting organisations, supporting hundreds of development and humanitarian aid projects in more than 70 poor and developing countries around the world.

Our mission

Our mission

Save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice.

Our vision

We seek a world of hope, inclusion and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live in dignity and security.

Our focus

We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.

Find out more about our aims for 2015-20.

Our values

Our values

We commit to:

  • Do less to achieve more

We focus our skills and ambition where they will make the greatest impact to challenge injustice and inequality.

  • Collaborate for the greater good

Our impact is strongest when we pool our diverse experience, expertise and resources generously in pursuit of a common goal – both within CARE and beyond.

  • Learn together

We achieve more when we learn courageously: from each other, from the diversity of our experience, through research and through study and training.

  • Help each other thrive

Our biggest achievements come when we nurture each other’s differences, strengths and potential.

Our principles

1. Demonstrate personal and professional integrity.

2. Promote equal rights and opportunities, and respect for the dignity of individuals.

3. Deliver high quality development programmes that make a tangible difference.

4. Uphold Humanitarian Principles: Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, and Independence.

5. Work with others to multiply our impact.

6. Be accountable and transparent.

7. Be responsible stewards of all of our resources.

Read more about the principles that underpin decision-making and behaviour at CARE International UK in our Ethics Statement.

CARE International – a global organisation fighting global poverty

CARE International operates in 100 countries around the world. We run poverty-fighting programmes and deliver life-saving aid in 85 countries. This work is supported by global policy and advocacy work, fundraising, and programme management provided by CARE offices in countries like the USA and the UK.

CARE International UK was founded in 1985 and we are one of 14 full members of the global CARE International confederation.

As well as supporting CARE’s humanitarian and development work around the world, CARE International UK provides specific expertise in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, inclusive governance, humanitarian response (particularly shelter, and gender in emergencies), and engaging with the private sector. We also play a key role in CARE’s work engaging with and influencing policy-makers and decision-makers to tackle the structural causes of poverty and social injustice.

CARE’s programmes are implemented through CARE country offices which are supported with technical assistance and programme management by CARE members (including CARE International UK). We work in partnership with local organisations to deliver many of our programmes.

CARE is 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.