International Aid

Principles and Guidelines

The Principles and Guidelines of Our International Work

The partnership and solidarity within the global Caritas movement make efficient support possible and enable the resources, skills and expertise of 162 national Caritas associations to be utilised effectively.

Aid for All People in Need

We provide assistance and protection to everyone, regardless of their race, religion, nationality or political persuasion. When we plan how to distribute aid most effectively, we focus only on the individual situations of the people affected.

Taking Sides with Those in Need

Caritas Germany stands up for the victims of violent clashes, conflicts and natural disasters. We help fight for those who are poor and marginalised. Regardless of what political interests are at stake, we look for ways that lead to justice, peace, reconciliation and dialogue.

Without wanting to replace the initiative taken by those affected, we help to represent their interests and to influence local, national and global policy-makers.

Respecting and Protecting Human Dignity

Caritas Germany encourages people to help themselves and does not try to deprive them of their right to make their own decisions. We actively work to protect human rights and we integrate those affected in the organisation and development of relief projects as much as possible. In our view, their strengths and skills hold the key to their being able to overcome a difficult situation.

Confidence in Skilled Partners

Caritas Germany works to empower those in need so they can shape their own futures. This is why cooperating with local Caritas staff is vital. They are familiar with the local conditions, they have emotional and familial ties to the area, and they are trusted by their fellow citizens. They follow the principle of providing aid effectively so people can help themselves.

Staff from Caritas Germany advise in the field when local Caritas organisations require additional support or local networks are overwhelmed by the scale of a crisis situation. Caritas also works together with local civil society partners in many of its projects.

Caritas Germany respects and promotes the responsibility, skills and expertise of its local partners. Our joint aid efforts focus on people’s ability to help themselves wherever they are. When forging close links with partners, it is essential to have mutual respect, the highest possible transparency and a readiness to enter into dialogue. These characteristics form the basis for the effective implementation of our programmes.

Our help supports the efforts of our local partners according to the principle of subsidiarity. When the assignment of international experts to an area appears necessary and effective, these experts have to follow the principles and guidelines stated here.

Action Based on Need

Caritas Germany’s humanitarian projects are organised according to people’s cultures and customs. We respect the social context to avoid inadvertently causing more injustice and conflicts. Local resources and possibilities are crucial to our planning. We procure relief supplies locally in order to promote local economic cycles.

Avoiding Long-Term Dependency

Caritas Germany takes care that help does not lead to a long-term dependency. It is therefore only in exceptional cases that we support relief programmes which require a long-term financial commitment from abroad.

Sustainable Support

Caritas Germany’s involvement goes far beyond immediate survival needs. We support sustainable development through mid-term reconstruction and rehabilitation projects – also in disaster areas.

Ensuring Financial Transparency

The work of Caritas Germany is only made possible through the funding we receive from donors and government institutions. We ensure a high level of transparency and a conscientious allocation of our funds. We follow the guiding principles of the General Financial Reporting Standards set by the international Caritas network for the administration, implementation and accounting of funds. The German Central Institute for Social Affairs (Deutsches Zentralinstitut für soziale Fragen - DZI) has awarded Caritas Germany a seal of approval for correctly planning, implementing, accounting and monitoring its projects and relief measures.

Further Links

International Aid


How You Can Help

International Aid

Facts and Figures

Transparency Creates Trust

International Aid

Disabled People

A World for Disabled People

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A World for Children

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Age and Illness

A World for the Aging and the Ill

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Long-Term Disaster Aid