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Coraid forms together with Memisa, Mensenin Nood and Vastenaktie one of the biggest international development organisations. Supported by half a million people in the Netherlands, Cordaid is working with more than thousand partners worldwide for an existence with dignity for poor people and those who are deprived of their rights.

The World Belongs to Everyone

Everyone has the right to a decent human life without poverty. This also included people living with HIV/AIDS, slum dwellers, and street vendors. Cordaid, an international development organisation based in the Netherlands, devotes its heart and soul to the poorest and those who are deprived of their rights in over 40 developing countries.

Throughout the world, 1.2 billion people have to get by on less than a dollar a day. 40 million people are infected with HIV. 800 million people suffer from finger. According to Cordaid, this is unacceptable.

A Decent Human Life without Poverty

Everyone has the right to a decent human life without poverty. This also applies to people living with AIDS, slum dwellers, and street vendors. It is these people that Cordaid Fights for every day, in more than 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and in the Netherlands. We believe in people’s individual strength. For this reason we work together with local organizations. Organizations that operate on one of cordaid’s spearheads : less poverty in the cities, a higher income for the poor, better health care and sustainable peace. There is extra attention for HIV/AIDS in Africa, a disease that has disastrous effects on society.

We also play an active role in the Netherlands, in Brussels and towards the United Nations. We want to be a voice for our partners in developing countries. That is why we make a stand against political decisions and developments that impede justice.

Half a Million Donors

Cordaid is the moving force behind Memisa Medic us Mundi, Mensen in Nood (Caritas Netherlands), and Vastenaktie (Dutch Lenten Campaign) in the Netherlands. At the end of 1999, Cordaid arose from a merger between these three Catholic development organizations. We can count on half a million donors in the Netherlands who support our work through these funds. Thanks, in part, to them we have a yearly budget of about 150 million euros, which we can devote to projects in developing countries. We achieve concrete results with these projects. We can make a difference, also for that one woman in the slums. because the world belongs to her as well.

Visit the websites of our funds (in Dutch) :

Identity & Mission

Our Identity

Cordaid is an international development organization based in the Netherlands. Our inspiration springs from the Catholic Social Teaching. For Cordaid, every single person counts. Values such as respect for life, solidarity and love for our fellow humans provide the basis for our mission : poverty eradication, justice, and peace.

Our Mission

Cordaid puts heart and soul into its work for the poor and those who are deprived of their rights throughout the world and for social and economic justice. We support them and their organizations, regardless of age, sex, disposition, race, religion or political conviction.

From Missionaries to Local Partner Organizations

Over the years, Cordaid supported an increasing number of development organizations, including organizations that are no longer directly linked to missionaries. Circumstances have changed the number of Dutch missionaries is rapidly declining. However, the gospel and the Catholic Social Teaching that is based on it, remain the source of inspiration for Cordaid in many cases, the missionaries have handed over their work to local orgnaizations in developing countries. Today, these support the poor and help build social organizations. Cordaid cooperates with over a thousand local organizations worldwide.

Beliefs and Actions Put into Practice

The daily practice of development work is very dynamic. No instant solutions are available. Cordaid seeks progress and development together with our partner organizations in developing countries. We are in continuous dialogue with each other about the directions and steps to be taken. We also keep in touch with our contributors in the Nethelands. it is a challenge to find the means to communicate our work and inspiration to the wide variety of people connected to us. If and when our values prove to be incongruous with reality, we are always willing to enter into debate. It is precisely this interaction between beliefs and actions that helps shape our Catholic values and put them into practice.

Our Approach

Cordaid Continues to Build on People’s Own Strengths

Cordaid does not implement projects in developing countries itself, except in cases of humanitarian emergencies. Instead, we cooperate with local organizations. These organizations may provide health care, shelter to children living in the streets or work to underprivileged young people, or they fight for the rights of slum dwellers.

Cooperation is more effective, and what is more, local organizations know best what is required in order to improve the living conditions in the area in question. For example, information of HIV/AIDS is provided differently in Africa to in the Netherlands. Together we draw us policy and we are jointly responsible for the results.

A Variety of Approaches to Poverty Eradication

Poverty is complicated issue. There is no one cause and therefore there is more than one solution.

Coraid therefore tackles poverty using a variety of approaches.

1. Direct Poverty Eradication

Cordiad provides financial support to its local partner organizations to enable them to implement projects. For example, in order to provide more people in the slums with clean drinking water.

2. Civil Society Building

Cordaid also provides local organizations with financial support so that they can become more effective. For example so that they can set up a sound administration system or engage in training in the area of fundraising. In some instances, if an organization requests such, Cordaid will also assign experts such as doctors. They can provide knowledge and skills and train local people. The goal of each assignment is to reinforce the local organization so that the overseas personnel in question eventually become superfluous to requirements. This approach makes a country less dependent on aid in the future.

3. Lobby and Advocacy

Poverty eradication without paying any attention to political structures is a waste of time and effort. That is why Cordaid also focuses on policy makers such as governments and the United Nations in order to exert influence on decisions which have consequences on poor people. One example is the initiative aimed at making aids inhibitors available in Africa at affordable prices. Another involves contributing to the relief or cancellation of the debts of poor countries.

Structural Assistance and Emergency Aid

Cordaid supports both structural development programmes and emergency aid programmes. Assistance in emergency situations, such as those brought about by earthquakes or floods, does not ceases as soon as food and shelter have been provided. Instead, houses have to be built and people have to be able to resume their old jobs.

After that we teach people, in cooperation with local organizations, how they can prepare more effectively for a disaster so that less damage is caused should another disaster occur in the future. It is precisely the combination of emergency aid and structural assistance that makes progress possible.

Cordaid‘s choices for 2003 – 2006

Cordaid chooses for a coherent support policy, and organisational approach and working method focused on learning within a limited number of field. Cordaid profiles itself as a social organisation.

Cordaid will support both structural development programmes and emergency aid programmes. An analysis of experience of Coraid and its partners shows that this unique combination can be used to arrive at better results for the target group.

A central place in partner focus policy is taken up by the shift by Cordaid from acting as a project funding agency to a supporter of social organisations. This involves building up the capacity of partners in general – organisationally, in relation to their field of work, or administration – and in the field of lobby, advocacy, marketing and fundraising. In transferring knowledge and skills, technical assistance (TA) is an indispensable tool. By reducing the number of relationships from 1,548 to 860 in 2006. of which around 300 will be strategic partners.

Cordaid’s chokes in relation to the Millennium Development Goals

  • Cordaid’s choices are closely linked to the objectives the international community has taken up in the Millennium Development Goals.
  • All Cordaid’s activities are focused on alleviating poverty and hunger.
  • Promoting a ‘global partnership for development’ occupies a central position within Cordaid policy.
  • Cordaid is working actively for equality for women and men by focused assessment of all programes and intensive discussions (and where required, capacity strengthening) with partners.
  • Central to Cordaid’s activities in the Health and Care theme (30 million euro per year) in improvement health, increasing access to affordable basic medicines and combating (the consequences of) HIV/AIDS.
  • Within the Peace and Conflict theme (total 15 million euro per year), Cordiad devotes attention to sustainable management of natural resources, particularly by cultural minorities (nomadic herdsmen, dalits, tribals).
  • The millennium goal ‘halving the number of poor people by 2015’ also aims to improve the living conditions of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020 (United Nationals Millennium Declaration, paragraph 19). Cordaid will contribute actively to this (20 million euro per year). For Cordaid, the availability of clean drinking water and improving the living conditions in slums is an important part of activities in the theme ‘quality of urban life’.
  • Improving the position and circumstances in which young people live is also an important part of Cordaid’s activities in slums.

Cordaid’s themes

A. Quality of urban life

Definition and objective

Quality of urban life is the totality of circumstances, activities and interactions within an urban context, which jointly ensure that the quality of life of poor and/or marginalised groups improves. Coradi’s objective is to support local organisations in setting a process in motion which results in poor communities (CBOs), NGO, local governments and other urban actors together and on an equal basis – working to improve the physical, social, economic and political and institutional situation of urban poor people within a gender perspective. Cordaid is primarily focusing on poor communities whom it wants to enable to participate in the urban decision-making process as equal partners.

Cordaid thrust

Cordaid will concentrate on the following sub themes.

1. Sustainable urban living environment

A. Physical sustainability : secure tenure.

B. Social sustainability: social cohesion and diversity.

C. Ecological sustainability: a clean and healthy living environment.

2. Improving the income position of the urban poor

Cordaid will aim at growth in the income of the urban poor by focusing on strengthening the informal sector.

B. Access to markets

Definition and objective

During the next few years, Cordaid wants to pay greater attention to the accessibility of markets for poor people. Cordaid wants to bring people to the market but also the market to the people. The objective of the theme ‘access to markets’ is to support initiatives which result in a sustainable improvement in income of poor men and women. With its partners, Cordaid wants to support access to markets and to support the development of the required capacities, information provision and services. Cordaid does not intend to develop parallel structures : as far as possible, it will link up with existing facilities in an attempt to improve them and make them more accessible to poor men and women.

C. Health & Care

Definition and objective

Health and care cover the totality of facilities and activities used to promote the health and welfare of a population. In addition, it includes the strategies aimed at securing the quality of life and promoting the rights and integration of marginalised groups. Cordaid wants to achieve a sustainable achievement in the health of the poorest population. Cordaid mainly supports initiatives aimed-at renewal and reform in which quality improvement and access to health care and other social bodies, social importance and sustainability of the programmes occupy a central position.

Cordaid’s thrust

I. Community Based Health Care and Basic Health Services.

II. Reproductive health

III. Care for and rights of marginalised groups

D. Peace and conflict

Definition and objective

The peace and conflict theme involves development co-operation as a whole in (pre and post conflict regions)

Cordaid is working for the following main objective : working for sustainable peace through poverty reduction, civil society building and advocacy by supporting political, social and economic structures and mechanisms that enable people to fight injustice and inequality themselves and to deal with their conflicts in a peaceful manner. Cordaid wants to contribute to sustainable peace using a holistic and integrated approach.

Cordaid’s thrust

1. Reconciliation and sustainable peace

  • The creation of strong local, national or regional reconciliation initiatives and increasing access to these structures.
  • This involves working to improve relationships between groups of people at local and regional level. Interventions in the field of inter-religious dialogue, peace education and independent media form part of this effort.

II. Empowerment of marginalised groups

  • The presence of democratic institutions and strong consultative bodies which make it possible for marginalised groups to fight for their political, social and cultural rights in a peaceful manner.
  • This mainly involves programmes which aim to promote human rights and democratic processes by means of lobby and civil society building.

E. Theme specific to the region


Definition and objectives

Within the HIV/AIDS theme, Cordaid will focus on:

a) prevention of HIV/AIDS and dealing with its immediate consequences at the level of the individual, next of kin and the community.

b) maintaining or improving effective poverty alleviation in the context in which AIDS occurs on a large scale.

Cordaid will focus on preventing and combating HIV/AIDS and its social consequences.

Cordaid’s thrust

Direct results

Organisations have developed sustainable responses in relation to the influence of the epidemic on the target groups they work with : risk and vulnerability reduction but also care and support strategies.

Indirect result

HIV/AIDS has been mainstreamed, i.e. all organisations that Cordaid works with realise the consequences of HIV/AIDS both for the effectiveness and impact of their intervention and for the sustainability of their own organisation and have under taken appropriate action.

F. Emergency Aid

Definition and objective

Through emergency aid, Cordaid provides support to survival and reconstruction of the existence of those worst affected by natural disasters, conflicts and humanitarian emergency situations. Emergency aid also provides for preparing for disasters in Cordaid’s geographic focus areas and a number of specific emergency aid areas, with special attention for the linkage between structural development and emergency aid. Cordaid devotes attention both to structural development and disaster preparedness, acute emergency aid and rehabilitation. These can occur simultaneously if the situation requires this.

Cordaid’s thrust

Emergency aid programmes

The emphasis is on support in the areas of shelter, food and nutrition, water and sanitation, healthcare and psycho-social aid (aid in recovering from traumas). Within this, there is special attention for disaster preparedness. In focus areas will work with partners as far as possible. Types of results are, for example, the number of persons with shelter, the number of persons with access to safe drinking water and the number of trained aid workers.


Definition and objectives

Gender indicates the roles of and relationships between women and men in a society. The roles and relationships indicate the division of responsibilities, access and power. In line with its vision, Coraid is aiming two main objectives.

Achieving equal access for women and men, boys and girls to natural resources and to the enjoyment of the results or outcomes of their uses.

Making a contribution to increasing decision-making power for women and girls in order to remove inequality between women and men.

The following apply, as guidelines for the themes and the continents:

I. By 2006, 80% of our partners will comply with the following

The organisation has a vision on gender.

The organisation makes gender analyses

At least 25% of higher positions in the organisation are held by women

The organisation translates its gender analysis into concrete activities.

Women from the target group are involved in the decision-making process in relation to the project/ programme.

II. 15% of all Cordaid’s partners comprises women’s organisations.

III. Learning processes are set up in relation to Coraid themes. 10% of the budget for these learning processes will be used to increase gender expertise.

III. Innovation

  • Innovation takes place within Cordaid’s priorities : the themes, gender and emergency aid and within technical assistance and the provision of financial services. In addition, a number of organisation-wide innovation programmes are planned for the coming period.
  • Reaching ‘unreachable’ target groups
  • Promoting local fundraising in the South.
  • Promoting professional involvement by black, migrant and refugee organisations in the Netherlands in international co-operation.
  • Actively involving social organisations in the North and South in systematically monitoring compliance with (international) agreements by governments and using this together as a means of pressure : finger on the pulse.

If pilot activities are successful, these innovations will be mainstreamed in the 2007 -2010 business plan.

Reaching ‘unreachable’ marginalised groups

Encouraging local fundraising in the South

Cordaid supports the wish of its partner organisations to achieve maximum autonomy in relation to their activities and to their finances and wants to facilitate this process.

Encouraging the professional involvement in development co-operation of black migrant and refugee organisations in the Netherlands.



P.O. Box 16440, 2500 BK The Hague Lutherse Burgwal 10, The Netherlands Tel.:+31 70 3136 300, Telefax: +31 70 3136 301, Email : [email protected] website: