Concern Worldwide helped 28.6 million people in 2019

Community member Maceline* appears on the front of the 2019 Concern Annual Report. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Concern Worldwide  *name changed to protect the identity of individuals
Community member Maceline* appears on the front of the 2019 Concern Annual Report. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Concern Worldwide *name changed to protect the identity of individuals

Ireland’s largest overseas humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide helped 28.6 million people last year – an increase of 4.4 million on 2018, according to its annual report, published yesterday.

“The number of people Concern is helping is rising, because the number of people in need is increasing, driven over the last 18 months by conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Concern Chief Executive Dominic MacSorley said.

In an unpredictable world, where COVID-19 was unheard of this time last year, Concern’s ability to be agile and responsive was tested in 2019, he said. “The organisation’s ability to respond was enabled through the generosity of the public and the flexibility shown by key donors such as Irish Aid. Both these factors were critical in allowing us to adapt our on-going work while responding to the COVID crisis, “Mr MacSorley noted.

The year started with 168 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. COVID-19 has massively increased these needs. The impact on the poorest and most vulnerable is devastating and levels of human suffering are spiralling out of control, he said.

A network of supporters

“Concern will need to do more and we can. We are able to reach more people, by being more effective and efficient, using technology, mobile phones, cash distributions which all allow much greater scale and coverage. We have been leaders in these areas for some time but we also know technology can only complement, not replace the importance of community-based workers,” Mr MacSorley said.

The annual report, approved by members at yesterday’s annual meeting, shows that Concern’s income was €189.5 million last year-- €37.7million of which came from public donations and legacies.

Chair John Treacy paid tribute to Concern’s network of supporters and volunteers. “All of

them are contributing to the mission of Concern, an expansive team keeping the flame of compassion alive across Ireland and further afield,” he said. “Thanks to all for playing their part.”

The annual report highlighted the organisation’s work in 24 countries during 2019. The work spans a number of key areas including: emergencies; livelihoods; health and nutrition and education.

Highlights

Among the work highlighted in the annual report:

· Concern responded to 82 emergencies in 21 countries directly reaching over 3.9 million people, and a further 7.5 million indirectly;

· Concern’s response to Cyclone Idai which affected 2.8 million people in Malawi and Mozambique in March and April;

· Concern reached 569,000 farmers in 19 countries with climate smart agriculture interventions.

As part of the AGM – held for the first time using Zoom due to COVID-19 safety restrictions – Concern’s Country Director for Sierra Leone Austin Kennan gave a presentation on his team’s work to tackle the pandemic in the west African state.

The 2019 annual report can be accessed here.

For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at eamon.timmins@concern.net or 087 9880524.

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