Christian Aid

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Christian Aid
Christian Aid logo
Founded 1945
Type NGO
Registration no. UK (1105851)
Location
  • Interchurch House, 35 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RL, UK
Origins London, England (UK)
Area served Worldwide
Slogan We believe in life before death.
Mission Christian Aid insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. We work globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality.[1]
Website www.christianaid.org.uk
Activists from Christian Aid lobbying for trade justice

Christian Aid is the official relief and development agency of 41 British and Irish churches,[2] and works to support sustainable development, stop poverty, support civil society and provide disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Christian Aid campaigns to change the rules and systems that keep people poor, speaking out on issues such as tax justice, trade justice, climate change, and Third World debt. Christian Aid has fought poverty for more than 65 years.

Christian Aid's essential belief is summed up in the statement "We believe in life before death", often used alongside the Christian Aid logo. Christian Aid states it works where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, nationality or race. One of its other messages is "Poverty Over", represented by the word "Over" highlighted within the word "Poverty".[3] It works with 570 local partner organisations in 45 countries around the world to help the world's poorest communities. It is a major member of the Stop Climate Chaos, The Fairtrade Foundation and Trade Justice Movement campaigns. Christian Aid's headquarters are in London and it has regional teams across the UK and Ireland. Christian Aid also organises the UK's largest door-to-door collection, Christian Aid Week, which takes place in May each year.

Its director is Loretta Minghella who was appointed in 2010.[4] The 2012–2013 income of Christian Aid was £95.4 million.[5]

Development projects[edit]

Reconstruction after various wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were major projects, alongside the aid given after the overthrow of dictators Idi Amin in Uganda, Somoza family in Nicaragua, and Pol Pot in Cambodia.[6] Yanomami Indians in Brazil were also supported, in a commitment to marginalized peoples.[7]

Fundraising[edit]

Christian Aid raises income from a wide number of sources, such as institutional grants, regular gifts, Christian Aid Week campaign, general donations, legacies, and emergency appeals. In 2013, the institutional income, part of which comes from the Department for International Development and the European Commission, constituted 41% of the total income.[8] A significant percentage of the remaining income comes from thousands of individuals in churches and communities. The main fundraising moments include Christmas, Lent, Easter, Harvest, and Christian Aid Week.[9] In 2013, £12.6 million (or 13% percent of the total income) were raised during this week.[5] Throughout the year supporters give regularly using direct debit, cash donations, and Will Aid. Churches and community groups also take part in the annual calendar of events (e.g., walks, soup lunches, and quizzes) raising thousands of pounds.

Criticism[edit]

Peter Hallward, in his book Damming the Flood, accused Christian Aid of supporting US led violent regime change in Haiti in 2004.[10]

The development economist Paul Collier in his book The Bottom Billion suggests that Christian Aid "deeply misinformed" the UK electorate in 2004 and 2005 with a campaign against reducing trade barriers in Africa based on a "deeply misleading" study conducted by an economist without the requisite expertise and whose purported review "by a panel of academic experts" who were two gentlemen chosen by said economist who were also not noted for their expertise on international trade. He quotes an unnamed Chief Economist at the British Department of Trade and Industry as saying "they know it's crap, but it sells the T-shirts".[11]

Several of the Britain’s leading foreign aid charities, including Christian Aid, British Red Cross, Save the Children, and Oxfam, have been criticized for paying excessive salaries to some of their managers.[12][13][14] In 2013, Christian Aid's CEO was paid £126,206 and four other staff members were paid between £80,000 and £89,999.[5] Christian Aid's response to this is: "We want to reassure you that we make every effort to avoid paying higher salaries than are necessary. We pay our staff salaries the same as, or below, the median of other church-based and/or international development agencies."[15]

The organization faced criticism from Israeli academic Gerald M. Steinberg in 2005. He wrote for The Jewish News that several of Christian Aid's campaigns, such as a Christmas appeal called 'Child of Bethlehem' focusing on an injured seven-year-old Palestinian child, unfairly presented the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a religiously-charged, exclusionary Christian lens. He argued, "Victims of the bitter Arab-Israeli conflict are found on both sides... [y]et Christian Aid... chooses consistently to emphasize only one side".[16]

See also[edit]

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Aims and Values". Christian Aid. 
  2. ^ "Our Sponsoring Churches". Christian Aid. 
  3. ^ "Poverty Over - Christian Aid". 
  4. ^ "Our Directors". Christian Aid. 
  5. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2012-2013". Christian Aid. 
  6. ^ "Our History". Christian Aid. 
  7. ^ "Brazil - Roraima fires and drought - Brazil". ReliefWeb. 
  8. ^ "Institutional Funding - About Us". Christian Aid. 
  9. ^ "Annual Review - Christian Aid Scotland". Christian Aid. 
  10. ^ Peter Hallward, Damming the Flood (Verso, London, 2008).
  11. ^ Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion, pp. 157-159
  12. ^ Hope, Christopher (August 6, 2013). "30 charity bosses paid more than £100,000". The Telegraph. 
  13. ^ "Charity Commission chairman issues charity pay warning". BBC News. August 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ Slack, Becky (October 28, 2013). "Justifying the value of your chief executive". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ "CEO salary debate". Christian Aid. 
  16. ^ Gerald M. Steinberg (January 7, 2005). "The Outrage that is Christian Aid". The Jewish News. 

External links[edit]

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