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Mobilizing communities to fight poverty.

Over 25 million beneficiaries.

When ActionAid was founded in the United Kingdom in 1972, its mission was to facilitate sponsorship of impoverished children – beginning with 88 young people in India and Kenya. Over the course of the next ten years, the program gradually expanded into aid for education, health, sanitation and agricultur in India, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and Gambia. By the mid-1980s, however, when the organization was reaching over 40,000 individuals, ActionAid began to shift its focus to combating the root causes of poverty through a rights-based framework, rather than merely providing relief. 

Headquartered in Johannesburg – the only large international development organization based in Africa – ActionAid International was established in 2003 with a renewed purpose of giving country programs a greater voice at the operational and strategic level. With projects in the areas of food rights, women’s rights, democratic governance, public education, disaster prevention and recovery, climate change and HIV/AIDS, ActionAid is present today in more than 40 countries and reaches over 25 million people. 

Aside from direct interventions to address the immediate conditions of poverty, ActionAid also focuses on campaigning and advocacy to change policies at local and national levels. The HungerFREE campaign, for example, is pushing governments to meet their commitments to halve hunger by 2015.

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