Foreword from the Chief Executive Officer
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, bringing death, devastation and misery to the stricken population. I saw the scale of that devastation for myself five days after the earthquake. Frantic efforts to find survivors were still going on but already it was clear there was massive loss of life. The final death toll was close to 250,000 and more than 1.3 million were made homeless. Concern has worked in Haiti since 1994 andour team of 100 staff on the ground responded immediately to the earthquake, reinforced by additional experienced resources from Concern Worldwide (US) Inc. and across the organisation.
As the months went by, the life-saving response of providing water, food and the basic necessities of living changed to laying the foundations of longer-term recovery and rebuilding lives. The details of that longer-term response – nutrition and health services for mothers and children, disease prevention through providing water and sanitation, building houses and managing camps for the displaced – are given in this report. By year end, Concern continued to provide over 110,000 people with the means of survival and with the prospects for a better future. But the road to recovery in Haiti will be long and Concern will remain committed to this country for many years to come.
Eight months later, in Pakistan, another natural disaster struck when massive floods impacted on the lives of almost 20 million people over a vast area of the country. Here again, Concern was in a good position to respond quickly and effectively, building on our long-term presence in the country and on the emergency response capacity of 36 local non governmental organisations (NGOs) which Concern had supported and trained over the previous three years. We rapidly provided shelter, food and household supplies to over one million people in 15 of the most affected districts. Our demonstrated response capacity was a key factor in the award of a significant grant from the US Government’s Office for Overseas Disaster Assistance (OFDA) (which we received via Concern Worldwide (US) Inc) to provide humanitarian assistance through our partner NGOs and from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) for recovery programmes.
The two major emergencies in Haiti and Pakistan were among the largest and most complex disasters in recent years. I am very proud of Concern’s response in each case. That response was implemented while carrying on our programme in an additional 23 countries and completing our exit from Angola, Lao PDR, Nepal and Timor Leste. The decision to exit the latter four countries had been taken with regret during 2009 when Concern faced serious financial constraints and we were striving to use our financial and human resources to best effect. We passed on our programmes to partners and we left these countries with a sense of pride in what has been achieved.
This report provides much fascinating detail of our work in all our programme countries during 2010. It highlights the many practical and exciting achievements in our work in education, in supporting livelihoods, in improving health services and in responding to the tragedy of HIV and AIDS. Many of these achievements bring important short improvements to the lives of our target group – the poorest people – but we always aim to situate such improvements within a vision of longer-term sustainability.
The thread of innovative thinking and practice runs through the many examples of our work. For the past five years of our 2006-10 strategic plan, we have been committed to the 3Is – Innovation, Influence and Impact. This report provides ample evidence that the 3Is have been fully absorbed into the essence of how Concern thinks and operates.
Read the Annual Report here.