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CRS in Benin

Benin and Togo are two of the world's poorest countries, ranking 166 (Togo) and 165 (Benin) out of 187 countries in the 2014 Human Development Index (UNDP report for 2013). 

In Benin, 

  • Life expectancy at birth is 59.3 years.

  • Under-5 mortality is 90 deaths per 1,000 live births.

  • The average education of adults is 3.3 years.

  • The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is high at 350 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

Our priorities in Benin and Togo include: health, especially malaria, nutrition, and HIV and AIDS; small business development; girls’ education; and justice and peacebuilding.  


People Served:  Benin: 3,326,060 (FY 2014 indirect and direct); Togo: 38,869 (FY 2014 indirect and direct)    

Population: Benin: 10,160,556 (July 2014 est.); Togo: 7,351,374  (July 2014 est.)

Size: Benin: 43,484 sq mi.; slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; Togo: 21,925 sq mi.; slightly smaller than West Virginia

CRS' History in Benin

Catholic Relief Services began working in Benin and Togo in 1958. We have worked continuously in Benin for the past 55 years. In 1992, we closed our office in Togo because of the country’s political crisis, but we returned in 1998 at the request of the Conference of Bishops of Togo.

CRS' early years in Benin and Togo were characterized by projects to support rural communities in their economic, health, cultural and social development. Project activities included school feeding as well as health and nutrition activities.

We continue to build the future in Benin and Togo through diverse education and health programming, while focusing on building livelihoods through microfinance programs and justice and peacebuilding activities.