Cordaid started as a result of Belgians fleeing their country in fear of a German invasion during World War I.For nearly 100 years, Cordaid – the Catholic Organisation for Relief & Development Aid – has been protecting vulnerable human beings, wherever poverty, injustice and violence have struck the hardest, both close to home and further afield.
Today, it is one of the largest development organisations in the Netherlands operating in 34 countries across the world but with a particular focus on fragile areas in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Cordaid’s promise is building flourishing communities in fragile and conflict areas.
Cordaid excels in financial and organisational innovation in projects and programmes. Using the slogan ‘Care. Act. Share. Like Cordaid’ the organisation is binding partners worldwide in bringing about real change. In 2012, Cordaid spent roughly €129 million working with 634 organizations on almost 2000 projects in 34 countries.
Cordaid activities focus on several topical issues such as healthcare (including HIV/AIDS programmes, entrepreneurship (microfinance), emergency aid and disaster resilience, rehabilitation, and conflict settlement.
Recent projects include providing emergency relief after the tsunami in 2004, the Pakistan earthquake in 2005, the flooding in Indonesia in 2006, and after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
Domestically, Cordaid focuses on Dutch community projects to fight poverty and exclusion. Also Cordaid works with migrant organisations on initiatives to look after people in their country of origin as well as on religious initiatives and supports local institutions to provide proper healthcare, such as training of healthcare staff, improved financing structure and advocacy for patients.
Cordaid head office is located in The Hague, Netherlands and consists of a staff of approximately 240 people, with an additional 300 people working for Cordaid abroad. Cordaid works in close connection with governments, churches, private organisations, corporations, hospitals, knowledge and educational institutions, international development aid organisations, and the Catholic network CIDSE (16 development organizations from Europe and North America).
Cordaid chooses its partners on the basis of their vision, fundamental premises, objectives, and capacities. About half of their partners in 28 focus countries are church/faith-based organisations. As a member of Caritas Internationalis, Cordaid works closely with the over 160 Caritas members, to build a just and sustainable world together.
Currently, they are working with Caritas Lebanon to provide emergency relief to the more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon