World Concern’s Asia programs are concentrated in Southeast Asia—a part of the world where extreme poverty has been a reality for generations. Adding to the great need, this area of the world has been hit with some of the worst natural disasters in recent years.
In parts of Southeast Asia the life expectancy is only 56 years. Literacy rates are as low as 43%. In Bangladesh where we work, more than 5 million people live in slums. Lack of healthcare and sanitation has led to rampant disease, and the infant mortality rate is up to 12 times higher than in the U.S.
We focus our efforts in the Sub-Saharan region of eastern Africa, which includes countries that have been torn apart by war and devastated by drought. In Kenya, where 1.2 million people are living with AIDS, orphans who have lost one or both parents to the disease are left in the care of relatives or neighbors who cannot afford to feed their own families. In Chad, 185,000 people were driven from their homes by armed militia and now live in displacement camps without permanent homes, adequate food or water. The average income in some of these countries is as low as $530 per year.
World Concern has operated programs in Haiti for more than 30 years. A country with overwhelming need, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Since January 2010 we have shifted our emphasis in Haiti to disaster response, following the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake. In all of our programs in Haiti, we work to alleviate poverty through income generating activities, vocational training, microlending, agricultural support and education.
Looking at the 17 countries where we work, we have "operational countries," where we work directly with the people we help in a transformational way. It includes educating children, empowering people to start and grow businesses, and providing opportunities for clean water and better health.
In our "partnership countries," we provide guidance and financial support to other agencies who execute the work on the ground. Much of our partnership work involves distributing deworming medication and vitamin A (the 44¢ Cure). It also includes support to AIDS orphans in Zambia and projects to prevent human trafficking and support trafficking victims in Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia.
Africa: Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe
Asia: Cambodia, Nepal
The Americas: Nicaragua
All information is FY12