Catholic community in the United States. Founded in 1943 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the agency provides assistance to 130 million people in more than 90 countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A member of Caritas International, the worldwide network of Catholic humanitarian agencies, CRS provides relief in emergency situations and helps people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development nostra aetate summary pdf as well as Peacebuilding. Assistance is based solely on need, not race, creed or nationality.
Catholic Relief Services is headquartered in the Posner Building in Baltimore, Maryland, while operating numerous field offices on five continents. CRS has approximately 5,000 employees around the world. Initially founded as the War Relief Services, the agency’s original purpose was to aid the refugees of war-torn Europe.
A confluence of events in the mid 1950s — the end of colonial rule in many countries, the continuing support of the American Catholic community and the availability of food and financial resources from the U. Government — helped CRS expand operations. Its name was officially changed to Catholic Relief Services in 1955, and over the next 10 years it opened 25 country programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
As the agency grew, its programming focus widened, adapting to meet the needs of the post-World War II Roman Catholic Church and the circumstances of the people it encountered. In the 1970s and 1980s, programs that began as simple distributions of food, clothing and medicines to the poor evolved toward socio-economic development. By the late 1980s, health care, nutrition education, micro enterprise and agriculture had become major focuses of CRS programming. In the mid-1990s, CRS went through a significant institutional transformation.
In 1993, CRS officials embarked on a strategic planning effort to clarify the mission and identity of the agency. CRS staff to reevaluate how they implemented their relief and development programs, particularly in places experiencing or at high risk of ethnic conflict.
After a period of institutional reflection, CRS embraced a vision of global solidarity and incorporated a justice-centered focus into all of its programming, using Catholic social teaching as a guide. All programming is evaluated according to a set of social justice criteria called the Justice Lens. In terms of programming, CRS now evaluates not just whether its interventions are effective and sustainable, but whether they might have a negative impact on social or economic relationships in a community. AIDS, micro finance and peace building.
Overseas work is done in partnership with local church agencies, other faith-based partners, non-governmental organizations and local governments. CRS emphasizes the empowerment of partners and beneficiaries in programming decisions.
Agriculture — CRS’ immediate goal is to improve family well-being through agro-economic development and environmental stewardship. The long-term goal is to strengthen the capacity of local communities to take control of their own development.
Emergency Response — Natural and human-caused disasters disproportionately affect the lives of the poor. CRS works to ensure that disaster-affected populations are at least able to meet their basic needs and live a life with dignity. The agency works directly with affected communities and local partners to help restore and strengthen their pre-disaster capacities.