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Annual report 2020

Multi-country -

The overriding challenge in fragile and conflict-affected countries is restoring trust and social cohesion. This is what Cordaid does, right in the heart of communities, by mobilizing global networks, resources and knowledge. By doing this, we help people move beyond survival and live in dignity.

Covid-19 education material in Afghanistan.
Mina, 11, reads the sign warning about the symptoms and preventions of the coronavirus in Largurang village, Bamyan, Afghanistan. Image: Stefanie Glinski/Catholic Relief Services

In 2020, our mission became even more relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated inequality worldwide.

A dignified and healthy life for all

Half of the world’s poor people live in countries that are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. This critical development challenge is becoming more complex due to emerging global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Conflicts drive 80% of all humanitarian needs, and force people to seek safer places to live. By mid-2020, 80 million people around the world were forcibly displaced. Many of them die while attempting to find a place where they can enjoy minimal levels of peace, security, and prosperity.

Cordaid does not accept this world of inequality, exclusion, and unsustainability. We envision a world where everyone can live life in dignity. Where people can break through barriers of poverty and exclusion, and influence decisions that affect them. A world with an economy not driven by greed and growth, but by inclusivity, social justice, and gender equality. That world is the goal to which we commit ourselves.

Working in and on fragility

Cordaid is inspired by compassion, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the values of the gospel. We see it as our mission to reduce fragility and the vulnerability of people where it is most needed and most difficult: in fragile and conflict-affected societies. Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’ is a source of inspiration as it calls for collective action on social justice and care for our common home. The recently published encyclical Fratelli Tutti equally encourages us to promote global solidarity and brother- and sisterhood amongst all peoples.

We focus our efforts on some of the world’s most conflict-torn and volatile areas in countries such as the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali and Myanmar. We do this by promoting equality and social inclusion, increasing the resilience of people and societies, and strengthening the social contract between citizens and their governments. In the Netherlands, we actively participate in the public dialogue on the plight of forced migrants and refugees both in Europe and in the countries in which we carry out our work.

Wherever we can, we combine lifesaving humanitarian aid with longer-term improvement of health and education systems, economic opportunities, and climate resilience, and the promotion of security and justice.

This report provides insights into the results we achieved in 2020.