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CRS in Asia

Asia’s population exceeds 4 billion. It is the Earth’s largest, most populous continent, containing 48 countries.

Since the 1970s, a number of those countries have made dramatic quality-of-life gains as measured by the United Nation’s Human Development Index. Countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and India are contemporary economic powerhouses in their own right.

At the same time, Asian cultures have permeated the West. Asian tastes haven’t merely influenced Western palates; they’ve changed them. Restaurants serving Asian fare are often judged by authenticity. Manufacturing has seen a significant shift eastward. Major brands that originated in Asian countries have become leading brands in the West.

However, amid growing national economic gains and political power, many people in Asia remain mired in poverty. Others stagger from conflict or the aftermath of war. Some Asian nations are more prone to catastrophic natural disaster.

In all cases where we find the poorest of the poor – those least likely to have any safety net of any kind – CRS brings expertise and innovation and a comprehensive approach to problem solving.

While our response to disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons draw media attention, CRS is deeply involved in long-term programs that include agriculture, health, education, microfinance, peacebuilding and other disciplines. These efforts go well beyond mere recovery and strive to help make prosperity and stability the new normal for hundreds of thousands of our bothers and sisters throughout Asia.

While CRS serves many rural communities and agriculture, water and sanitation, and health are the focus of many programs, we are more likely to be involved in education in Asian countries than any other single discipline.