Changing Aid Landscape: The Rise of Faith-based Aid Groups

    Secular liberals should “give up some of their snootiness” and faith-based groups should drop some of their sanctimony to allow for greater progress in addressing illiteracy, maternal mortality and other detriments to development, Nicholas Kristof writes in an opinion piece published by the New York Times.

    This, he observes, is slowly happening as faith-based organizations begin to embrace the idea of using aid to further their pro-life mission.

    The largest U.S.-based international nonprofit, Kristof notes, is in fact the Seattle-based Christian organization World Vision, which has more staff worldwide than CARE, Save the Children and the U.S. Agency for International Development combined.

    “A growing number of conservative Christians are explicitly and self-critically acknowledging that to be “pro-life” must mean more than opposing abortion,” Kristof writes.

    He explains that while there are still several faith-based groups with more conservative views, a lot of Christians nowadays are becoming increasingly engaged in aid work. Some Catholic nuns and priest are providing care, and at times condoms, to AIDS patients, Kristof notes.

    A large chunk food distributions in Haiti is manned by religious groups, Kristof observes, concluding that it would be a “catastrophe” if liberals ended the practice of coursing American assistance through religious organizations.

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.