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Formation 1972
Legal status Non-profit organization
Purpose/focus Support organisation for child poverty in Africa and Asia
Region served Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia
Membership Child sponsors
Website Action Aid



ActionAid was founded in 1972 as a child sponsorship charity when 88 UK supporters sponsored 88 children in India and Kenya, the focus primarily being to provide children with an education. Global accounts are now reported in Euros and in 2007 and 2008 turnover was close to 180m Euros. [1]

International reach

ActionAid International works in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean. The international secretariat is based in South Africa, and operations are organised on a regional basis; managed from Kenya, Thailand and Brazil. Within each region there are a number of countries with an ActionAid office that manages the work there. The international functions for finance and fundraising are based in the UK, and there is a US office in Washington DC for fundraising and lobbying purposes.

ActionAid's work

Over time, ActionAid has moved from being a British charity based on child sponsorship to becoming an international coalition fighting poverty across the globe. ActionAid works with poor and marginalised communities throughout the world to help them recognise, promote and secure their basic rights, and control their own development. Its mission is to work with poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice.

In order to achieve its mission, ActionAid works in the following areas:

Action Aid has been fighting poverty worldwide for over 30 years and working in over 40 countries. The charity works within regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean; it is non-religious and has no political affiliations. The charity campaigns and lobby against the root causes of poverty, to try to ensure that poor people are treated fairly by governments, companies and international institutions whose decisions affect these people’s everyday lives and their basic human rights. Action Aid works in partnership with communities on practical projects aiming to improve the opportunities for these communities and provide them with facilities such as wells, water systems, schools and health centres in order to tackle the causes of poverty..


Organisation focus

The seven main areas that Action Aid is focused on are:

  1. Aid and Debt: this includes lobbying for debt cancellation with The World Bank, IMF, and donor governments
  2. Emergencies and Conflict: Providing immediate relief in emergencies, setting up long-term projects to help the most vulnerable people rebuild their lives, their communities and livelihoods.
  3. Women’s Rights advocacy: Lobbying for gender equality
  4. Corporate Accountability: The charity is campaigning for new UK and international laws to make multinational companies accountable for their impact on local communities and the environment.
  5. Trade: Action Aid are lobbying and campaigning for an international trade system to make fairer regulations.
  6. HIV and Aids: Action Aid is lobbying for greater provision of AIDS treatment in the developing world especially for women
  7. Education: Action Aid provides adult literacy and social change programmes. Action Aid also provides education funding and to ensure that schools are places where the right to education is respected.


Action Aid has been criticized for supporting US led violent regime change in Haiti in 2004.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Financial Report for 2008 from ActionAid(PDF document)
  2. ^ See Peter Hallward's Damming the Flood (Verso, London, 2008)

External links

Further reading

Video clips


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