How We Work

How We Work

CARE tackles the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice in order to deliver lasting change in the lives of poor and vulnerable people. We believe that at its root, poverty is caused by unequal power relations that result in inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities between women and men, between power-holders and marginalised communities and between countries. Poverty cannot be overcome without addressing these underlying power imbalances.

In 2016, thanks to the generous support of our funding partners, we reached over 70 million people in 94 countries around the world, supporting 962 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid projects. In addition, almost 256 million people benefited indirectly from our work through changes in policies, and through governments and other organisations replicating our projects and scaling up our innovations. 


''Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It’s an act of justice”

-Nelson Mandela

Our focus on women and girls

Most of the 1.2 billion people around the world who live in poverty are women and girls. They are denied basic human rights, have limited access to health care, to education and to the opportunity to earn a living. They are frequently denied the opportunity to have a say in the decisions that affect their future. When families struggle to grow enough food, girls are often the last to eat and the first to be kept home from school. Women are those who are frequently denied the right to own the land they have farmed their entire lives.

Women and girls are not just the faces of poverty – they are the key to overcoming it and CARE invests in them as the greatest sources of untapped human potential in the world. When women are healthier, their children and families are healthier. For every year a girl spends in school, she raises her family income by up to 20 percent.  And when women have an income, they invest in their children and families, creating benefits for generations to come. But women’s empowerment can only be achieved when we include men and boys, engaging with them so that they realise  that the empowerment of their wives, sisters or mothers benefits the whole family. Promoting gender equality and empowering women is one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For CARE, women’s empowerment  is the key to lifting entire families out of poverty – and it defines our programmes worldwide.

Our 2020 goals

By 2020, we aim to support 150 million people from the most vulnerable and excluded communities to overcome poverty and social injustice, including:

CARE’s Programme Strategy

CARE seeks to impact poverty and social injustice to promote inclusive development. Together with our partners, we play three main roles in our efforts to achieve lasting impact at scale: 

Humanitarian action: in emergencies, CARE and our partners respond to save lives, with special emphasis on the needs of women and girls and the most vulnerable. Our humanitarian work includes emergency preparedness and early action, emergency response and recovery, and also encourages future resilience and equitable development.

Promoting lasting change and innovative solutions: based on our deep understanding of the drivers of poverty and social injustice in particular contexts, we trigger innovative solutions for sustainable development, through supporting new ways of supplying or strengthening essential service delivery, building capacities, strengthening resilience to reduce risks, and empowering the most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. The evidence and learning from these innovative programmes is essential to the third role, to amplify our impact.

Multiplying impact: together with our partners, CARE uses the evidence, learning and innovation from our humanitarian and long-term development work to influence broader change, at significant scale. Documenting successful models, leveraging knowledge, advocating for replication and expansion of proven approaches, promoting pro-poor solutions and influencing power holders at all levels to change policies and practices, allows CARE and partners to contribute to deeper, broader and more sustainable impact.


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