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Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand: Annual Report 2010

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Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand maintained most of its international partnerships in 2010, despite a difficult financial year.

The Catholic aid and development agency released its Annual Report this week. Director Mike Smith said it was extremely gratifying to have strong donor support during a recession, and in a year where government funding changes meant Caritas' income from government sources fell from $2.6 million (in 2009) to $350,000. This was partly because of an economic development focus in the new government funding framework, and partly because of delays in implementation.

'Public support was especially evident in the response to appeals for the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods,' said Mr Smith. 'However, unspecified donations and bequests – available for use across all Caritas' activity – were also up by 24 percent from the previous year.

'In 2010, Caritas was able to support 34 development programmes across the Pacific, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and responded to 17 emergencies across the globe. Locally, we helped establish and support the Alternative Welfare Working Group; while our education programme produced the excellent video Without Rain – looking at climate change through the eyes of our Nepal partners, and promoting action on the issue.

'Increased spending on our domestic advocacy and education programmes was supported by specific grants from the JR McKenzie Trust and the Global Education Fund,' said Mr Smith.

The 2010 Annual Report figures show a higher proportion of Caritas' income allocated to administration (10%), and fundraising and communications (8%), compared to previous years. Mr Smith noted that this does not reflect a significant increase in actual expenditure in those areas, but reflects a higher proportion of overall expenditure, as a result of the severe decrease in Government funding over 2010. 'Caritas continues to maintain a lean approach to administration and fundraising costs, while working to ensure we meet our accountability and stewardship obligations to all stakeholders,' said Mr Smith.

In addition, a change in accounting policy meant an unusually high surplus of $339,000 was carried over to the following financial year. Mr Smith says the surplus will be used for international programmes in early 2011.

'As we continue to face uncertainty over future levels of government funding, we're extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the New Zealand public to support people in greatest need across the world,' he said.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of the Caritas Internationalis confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies working across 200 countries and territories.

For more information contact Martin de Jong +64-4-496 1782 or +64-21-909 688.