History: Started in 1968 as a response to the famine in Biafra by group of Irish and African catholic priests. At that time it was called ‘Africa Concern’. However, in 1970 the situation in cyclone hit Pakistan prompted the group to widen its activities and Africa Concern just became Concern. Concern now operates in 26 projects and is involved in long term development and emergency response.

Finance and Governance: Concern receives more than half of its income from voluntary public donations. Of the remaining portion, the largest donor is the British Government. Concern is governed by a 35 member council which meets at least 4 times a year. There are offices in Dublin, Belfast, London, Glasgow and New York.

Mission: Defined as ‘working for a world where no-one lives in fear, poverty or oppression.’ To enable absolutely poor people to achieve major improvements in their lifestyles which are sustainable without ongoing support from Concern.

What they do:

All Concern programmes involve one or more of the five main focus points:

1.    Education: Policy – to provide basic education to all those who need it in order to reduce poverty and enhance living conditions. Aim – to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015 and eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005.
2.    Emergencies: Policy – to bring quick relief with dignity and adhere to Red Cross and Red Crescent codes of conduct. Aim – to utilize and enhance local capacities so as to maximize effectiveness and to ensure a rapid return to normality.
3.    Health: Policy – to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and WHO’s Global targets for 2020 (See website for detailed target list). Aim – to assist in the long term reduction of mortality and morbidity rates, and to improve health security for all.
4.    HIV/AIDS: Policy – to empower target groups to minimize their vulnerability to and risk of HIV infection, and to minimize the impact of AIDS among those infected and affected by it. Aim – to achieve a 25% reduction in HIV infection rates among 15 – 24 year olds in worst affected countries by 2005, and globally by 2015.
5.    Livelihoods Approach: Policy – broaden analysis of resources available to communities from tangible physical and financial resources to include social, political, human and natural resources. In addition the approach emphasises the role the external environment can have on the livelihoods of the poor especially in terms of conflict, natural disasters and economic shocks and environmental degradation. Aim – contribute to the improvement of poor peoples’ long term, sustainable access to food and income (see website for detailed targets).

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822