India, farmer

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CRS in India

In India, over 250 million people (21% of the population) lives on less than $1.90 per day, while over 48 million (39%) of children under age five suffer from stunting—an indicator of chronic malnutrition. In addition, human trafficking remains a major concern throughout the country while natural and man-made disasters continue to affect India every year. CRS works with Caritas India and other local partners; international and regional NGOs; and the US Government, private foundations and other donors to respond to these needs.

CRS collaborates with 30 local partners to work with vulnerable and marginalized populations to strengthen agriculture livelihoods, improve health systems and service delivery, support communities to prepare and recover from disasters, and reduce trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence.

Some examples of our work in India:

  • Improved Rice-Based Rainfed Agricultural Systems (IRRAS) project in Bihar, which works with government extension workers, partner staff, and NGO extension workers to promote innovative practices that improve agricultural production in stress prone areas.
  • Through the Reducing Maternal and Newborn Deaths (ReMiND) project in Uttar Pradesh, CRS supports Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and their supervisors to improve the quality of maternal and infant care, using mobile technology to promote healthy practices and facilitate access to health services.
  • Through the From Victim to Survivor project in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, CRS and its local partner offer a continuum of care to survivors of trafficking, including psychological rehabilitation, civic rehabilitation, and economic rehabilitation.
  • Following floods that hit many parts of India in 2016, CRS and its partners provided immediate relief to meet affected communities’ basic needs and to support longer-term recovery by rebuilding homes and livelihoods.

Through these projects, and many others throughout India, CRS improves the health, livelihoods, security and resilience of the country’s most vulnerable groups.

CRS helps family farm despite flooding


People Served: 922,979

Population: 1,281,935,911

Size: 1,269,219 sq mi; 1/3 size of United States

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CRS' History in India

Catholic Relief Services began working in India in 1946 to help the local Church in Bombay to provide food to people affected by the war. During the next several years, child feeding programs and assistance to families in Calcutta continued in collaboration with Mother Teresa. By 1957, CRS was supporting 72 dioceses and 900 schools and health clinics with feeding programs.

Throughout the next several decades, CRS continued to provide U.S. government food support to its local partners to implement education, health, agriculture and emergency programs. U.S. Government food programming in India ended in 2009, but CRS has continued to work with partners in India to address issues of poverty, social justice, resource access, and poor living conditions among marginalized groups. CRS programming in India focuses on emergency resilience, relief and recovery, strengthening agricultural livelihoods, improving health systems and services, and preventing human trafficking and sexual and gender based violence.