Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund
|Founder||Catholic Bishops of Scotland|
|Type||Humanitarian aid, International development|
|Focus||Humanitarian aid, International development|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America Scotland|
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, better known by its acronym SCIAF, is the official aid and development agency of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. SCIAF works in 26 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America to help some of the poorest people in the world, regardless of religion, work their way out of poverty.
Today, SCIAF supports over 80 long term development projects helping people affected by conflict, hunger, HIV/AIDS, lack of health care and disability. SCIAF also responds to humanitarian disasters, such as the southeast Asian tsunami and the long running conflict in Darfur, with emergency provisions and support.
In Scotland, SCIAF campaigns to address the underlying causes of global poverty and injustice, such as unfair trade and debt, by lobbying governments, businesses, and international organisations to bring about long-term change. SCIAF works closely with schools and young people across Scotland to educate the ‘decision makers of the future’ and give them opportunities to get involved in fighting global injustice.
SCIAF was set up in 1965 by the Catholic Bishops of Scotland to give practical help to the world’s poorest people and to raise awareness of the causes of their poverty. In its first 40 years SCIAF raised over £65 million.
On SCIAF’s 40th anniversary, then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown paid this tribute: "From small beginnings in 1965 in a small school classroom in Rutherglen… with funds of just £8,000…SCIAF has grown into Scotland's leading international aid charity."
SCIAF is a member of Caritas Internationalis, the worldwide network of 163 Catholic aid agencies which is one of the biggest humanitarian organisations in the world. It includes SCIAF, CAFOD and Trocaire in the UK and Ireland.
SCIAF is also a member of CIDSE (International Co-operation for Development and Solidarity) which is an alliance of 16 Catholic development organisations from Europe and North America. CIDSE members work together to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice.
SCIAF helps to fund, and is aided with funds raised by, the national will-making scheme Will aid, in which participating solicitors waive their usual fee to write a basic will and in exchange invite the client to donate to charity.