In 1955, physician Wilbert Saunders and pharmacist Jim McCoy founded Medicines for Missions, the precursor to World Concern, and began supplying medicines to clinics and hospitals overseas. In 1970 Medicine for Missions officially joined the CRISTA family of ministries and became World Concern.
World Concern reached a turning point in 1976. After delivering relief supplies to Guatemala in the wake of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, it became clear that after the initial crisis is over, giving handouts and then leaving is detrimental to the long term development of a country.
World Concern began sending qualified professionals and dedicated volunteers into the field to work alongside the poor, helping them improve their standard of living and quality of life. World Concern’s work expanded to include emergency relief in response to famines in Bangladesh and Africa, a hurricane in Honduras and an earthquake in Nicaragua.
Over the past three decades, World Concern has continued to provide excellent service to the world’s poor through partner organizations and through our own projects. Often in some of the most dangerous places in the world, where suffering and disease are at their worst, World Concern continues to bring relief and hope to the desperate.
World Concern’s significant recent responses include its relief and recovery work after the 2004 Christmas weekend tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and a strong response in Myanmar to rebuild communities after Cyclone Nargis in 2008. World Concern has also supported refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan who have fled into Chad, as well as providing for displaced people from Chad.
Most recently, World Concern began its extended response in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. To date, more than 100,000 people have received assistance. The earthquake disaster response and long-term development in Haiti will likely be World Concern’s most significant single project in its history.