Africare works to improve the quality of life in Africa, with programs in food, water, the environment, health, emergency humanitarian aid, private-sector development, and governance.
Founded in 1971, Africare initially concentrated on helping to alleviate the effects of severe drought in West Africa. By the mid-1970s, the organization had shifted its emphasis to development programs in food, water, environment, and health — expanding in the 1980s to include private-sector development and governance. The organization also provides rapid humanitarian aid in times of crisis.
To date, Africare has delivered over $350 million in assistance to 2,000 projects and millions of beneficiaries in 35 nations. Today, the organization's 150-plus programs reach families and communities in 26 nations in every region of the African continent. Some projects are as small and simple as the digging of a village well, while others are as large and complex as HIV/AIDS prevention, child survival, and maternal health on a regional scale. But they are all African projects. Responding to local initiatives, Africare cooperates closely with African planners, field experts, village leaders, and workers — complementing rather than preempting local resources and skills.
Africare works in all the major regions of the continent and is currently assisting Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The organization has been a pioneer in village-based rural development in Africa, and in the area of health it has contributed to special achievements in child survival, river blindness control, nationalwide pharmaceutical management, and AIDS prevention at the grassroots level. Africare has constructed thousands upon thousands of wells and irrigation systems, bringing safe, reliable water supplies to some of the most isolated, desertified communities in Africa.
Food production, food monetization, and food security continue to represent major focal points of the organization's work — as does assistance to small-scale entrepreneurs, from edible oil producers throughout Southern Africa to women farmers and women-owned co-ops continent-wide.
Africare has worked on the front lines of virtually every humanitarian emergency in Africa for 30 years, including:
- the West African drought of the 1970s;
- the Somalia refugee crisis and the Africa-wide drought of the 1980s; and
- in the 1990s, crises brought on by warfare in Angola, Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi, and elsewhere.
HIV/AIDS program in Southern Africa. Africare provides support to community-based organizations engaged in the Adolescent Reproductive Health Initiative (ARHI) programs, including HIV/AIDS in Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The initiative's main objective is to identify and work with local communities to ensure that HIV/AIDS prevention and care needs are addressed. Estimated cost for program expansion: $500,000.
Polio Eradication Program in Angola. Africare, with its extensive experience working in communities in Kwanza Sul and Bie provinces of Angola, is playing a key role in the eradication of polio. Together with four other non-governmental organizations — CARE, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, and World Vision — Africare is providing the Ministry of Health with support to ensure that polio-eradication activities targeting children under five years of age are reaching local communities. The program depends on two critical elements: the reporting of newly detected cases of polio followed by timely vaccination. Estimated cost for program expansion: $60,000.
Available in four languages (English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic), the Africare Web site information about the organization and its work, a PDF version of its most recent annual report, links to relevant opinion pieces and helpful Web sites, and suggestions about how you can help the organization — including making a donation online — to meet the complex needs of the emerging nations of Africa.
Africare receives funding from the U.S. Government and from public and private sources.