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The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), previously known as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, is the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales. It is an international aid agency working to alleviate poverty and suffering in developing countries. It is funded by the Catholic community in England and Wales, the British Government and the general public by donations.

CAFOD was founded in 1962. CAFOD's aims are to promote long-term development; respond to emergencies; raise public awareness of the causes of poverty; speak out on behalf of poor communities; and promote social justice in witness to Christian faith and gospel values. It is also involved in short-term relief. It is a sponsor of the new Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.[citation needed]

CAFOD is an agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and part of the Caritas International Federation which operates in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

CAFOD is a member of the DEC Disasters Emergency Committee and the British Overseas Aid Group.

In 2010/11 it raised £69 million and employed 369 staff.

Mission statement[edit]

CAFOD's mission statement describes its vision, mission and values as follows:

Drawing inspiration from The Bible, Catholic social teaching and the hopes of people who are poor, marginalised, or oppressed, CAFOD is committed to help build a world free from poverty and injustice where:

  • the rights and dignity of each person are respected, discrimination is ended and all are gathered into a single human community from which no one is excluded.
  • the good things of creation are developed and shared by all, and the structures that rule people’s lives express justice and enable peace.
  • the lives and choices of rich and poor alike have been transformed by solidarity.
  • all have access to food, clean water, shelter and security; to a livelihood, health and education; all can participate in shaping their societies and their world.

Short-term and long-term aid[edit]

Short-term aid[edit]

  • Provide aid to disaster stricken countries
  • Set up temporary shelters for those left homeless
  • Gives a sufficient amount of food and water to those who need it

Long-term aid[edit]

  • Improving food availability and farming methods
  • Helping to provide improved shelter
  • Health care and education
  • Developing better livelihoods and improving income


CAFODs stated mission is "to promote human development and social justice in witness to Christian faith and Gospel values". To fulfil this mission CAFOD raises funds from within the Catholic community and beyond so that it can:

  • work alongside people in need to reduce poverty and bring about sustainable change through development and humanitarian programmes.
  • increase understanding of the causes of poverty and injustice and encourage the Catholic community to embrace values, attitudes and lifestyles that are rooted in the gospel.
  • challenge governments and international bodies to adopt policies that promote social justice and end poverty. This is done both directly and by rallying the Catholic community.Lots of schools raise money for CAFOD.


The values that CAFOD declares as inspiring its work are compassion, hope, dignity, solidarity, partnership, sustainability and stewardship.


CAFOD was spawned after the National Board of Catholic Women organised the first "Family Fast Day" on Friday 11th March 1960. In 1962, two years later, CAFOD was officially registered as a public charity. In 1965 CAFOD became a member of Caritas Internationalis and in 1969 joined the CIDSE, a collection of European and North American Catholic Charities. In 1979 its first campaign was launched in the Philippines and they kept growing. Caritas in 1987 asked CAFOD to lead and lobby for a worldwide programme on HIV and Aids. In 1993 its first international office was formed in CAFOD Albania. In 1988 offices were formed in Zimbabwe and Kenya and 1 year later it's Kosovo Appeal raised £8 million. In 2005 the MakePovertyHistory rally in Edinburgh was attended by 249000 people and in 2012, on the same year as the Queens Diamond Jubilee, CAFOD celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

International programmes[edit]

CAFOD has offices in Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa & Goma), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan (Khartoum and Juba) and Zimbabwe. CAFOD also has staff based with partners in Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.


External links[edit]