Praise for Concern

Concern nutritionist Kate Golden with mother and child at a special feeding center in Ethiopia.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2004

A major new report praises Irish aid agencies for their efforts in tackling southern Africa’s food crisis.

The report by consultants for the U.K.’s Disasters Emergency Committee criticizes its 12 member charities for overstating the seriousness of the crisis which arose in 2002/03 and tot failing to consult the people they were trying to help. However, the Irish agency Concern is singled out the effectiveness of its response and the quality of its work. Other DEC members operating in Ireland, such as Action Aid and Christian Aid, are also praised.

Concern produced the best final report seen by the evaluators and the agency’s monitoring of the impact of their programs was also good. Overall, Concern raised Euro16 million for the crisis, which was spent in Malawi. The report commends Concern’s “very appropriate” program that was delivered by staff with a good understanding of local issues. The report also extols Concern’s system for learning from its projects.

The British Red Cross is criticized in the report for running misleading adverts. The report is also critical of agencies that compared the crisis to the catastrophic Ethiopian famine of 1984-85. ♦

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