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Actionaid logo.svg
Formation 1972
Legal status Non-profit organization
Purpose ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty
  • Johannesburg (Headquarters)
Region served
Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Americas
Child sponsors
Chief Executive
Adriano Campolina
Website ActionAid

ActionAid is an international non-governmental organization whose primary aim is to work against poverty and injustice worldwide.[1]

ActionAid was founded in 1972 by Cecil Jackson-Cole as a child sponsorship charity (originally called Action in Distress) when 88 UK supporters sponsored 88 children in India and Kenya, the primary focus being on providing children with an education. Today its head office is located in South Africa with hubs in Asia, The Americas and Europe. The charity has received negative attention for its fundraising practices.

Supporting social causes through the mass media[edit]

ActionAid made India's first bollywood film on AIDS titled 'Ek Alag Mausam'. It is a love story about a couple and the denial of basic rights to HIV positive people. It is based on a script by playwright Mahesh Dattani. Jeroninio Almeida, the fund-raising director of ActionAid asserted that a serious subject can be dealt with in an entertaining way, without trivializing the issue. ActionAid spent Rs 50 lakh for the making of the movie.[2]

ActionAid also supported Shyam Benegal's 'Samar', starring Rajit Kapoor and Rajeshwari Sachdev. It is based on the book Unheard Voices: Stories of Forgotten Lives, written by Harsh Mander. The film raises issues about Dalits.[2]


ActionAid has been criticized for supporting US-led violent regime change in Haiti in 2004.[3]

Charity Navigator recorded that in 2012 ActionAid USA had a high cost of fund raising (24%), with 53% of income spent on projects.[4] This was also reported in an International Business Times article in October 2014, which noted that the "accounting processes the charity uses resulted in its administrative costs appearing to be 'particularly high' in the fiscal year ending 2012, the timeframe Charity Navigator relied on when calculating its current Charity Navigator score."[5] Charity Navigator reports that for 2013 the cost of fundraising for ActionAid USA was much lower (9.4%), with 82.4% of income spent on projects.[4]

ActionAid has been criticized for running misleading safety claims about genetically engineered crops in Africa, spreading unsupported claims regarding adverse affects of the consumption of some genetically genetically modified crops, in particular, the unsupported claim of genetically engineered crops causing tumors and cancer. The organization has apologized for their actions since the publication of the actions in media.[6][7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]