CRS in Thailand
CRS’ work in Thailand focuses on the HIV and AIDS crisis. More than 443,000 Thai people are living with HIV and AIDS, especially the rural poor in the south and northeast areas of the country where fear of stigma and discrimination discourages residents from seeking help.
We support the Thai Bishops Catholic Committee on HIV/AIDS, a network body in Thailand helping Catholic agencies more effectively strengthen their staff skill and knowledge on prevention, care, support and counseling, as well as other vocational technical skills for people living with HIV.
Finally out of Thailand, we also work with the networking body called Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV/AIDS (CAPCHA), which provides learning and information exchange among Catholic organizations and staff working on HIV/AIDS in the region.
In addition to its HIV and AIDS work, CRS also manages a microfinance program in the northeastern part of the country, which provides low-interest loans to help people launch or expand businesses.
Finally, CRS provides support to Caritas Thailand to develop the diocesan level Caritas capacity to develop and implement projects for the poor.
CRS' History in Thailand
CRS has been working in Thailand since the mid-1950s. In the 1970s, CRS and the Catholic Organization for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COEER) launched a major project on the Cambodian border providing food, clothing, and social services to refugees. CRS closed its Thailand office in 1995, but continued to support its microfinance program in Surin.
In 2001, CRS returned to Thailand and opened an office in Bangkok to oversee programs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and East Timor.