Last updated on 20 November 2017

ActionAid is an international non-governmental organization whose primary aim is to work against poverty and injustice worldwide.[1]

ActionAid was founded in 1972 by Cecil Jackson-Cole as a child sponsorship charity (originally called Action in Distress) when 88 UK supporters sponsored 88 children in India and Kenya, the primary focus being is providing children with an education, further the human rights for all, assisting people that are in poverty, assisting those who face discrimination[2], and also assist people who face injustice[3]. ActionAid works with over 15 million people in 45 different countries to assist those people[4]. Today its head office is located in South Africa with hubs in Asia, The Americas and Europe. The charity has received negative attention for its fundraising practices.

Actionaid logo.svg
Formation 1972
Legal status Non-profit organization
Purpose ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty
  • Johannesburg (Headquarters)
Region served
Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Americas
Child sponsors
Chief Executive
Adriano Campolina
Website ActionAid

Supporting social causes through the mass media

ActionAid made India's first Bollywood film focusing on AIDS, Ek Alag Mausam, a love story involving HIV positive people, based on a script by playwright Mahesh Dattani.[5]

ActionAid also supported Shyam Benegal's film, Samar, which is based on the book Unheard Voices: Stories of Forgotten Lives by Harsh Mander.[6] The film raises issues about Dalits.[5]


Charity Navigator recorded that in 2012 ActionAid USA had a high cost of fund raising (24%), with 53% of income spent on projects.[7] This was also reported in an International Business Times article in October 2014, which noted that the "accounting processes the charity uses resulted in its administrative costs appearing to be 'particularly high' in the fiscal year ending 2012, the timeframe Charity Navigator relied on when calculating its current Charity Navigator score."[8] Charity Navigator reports that for 2013 the cost of fundraising for ActionAid USA was much lower (9.4%), with 82.4% of income spent on projects.[7]

ActionAid has been criticized for spreading unsupported claims and "grotesque" pictures of adverse effects from consumption of some genetically engineered crops in Africa, in particular the unsupported claim of genetically engineered crops causing tumors and cancer. The organization apologized for their misleading actions in 2015, after publication in the media.[9][10]

ActionAid, who had supported coffee growing in 2000 and had earlier openly agitated against the democratically elected Haitian government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide,[11] is with a number of other NGOs, strongly criticized for supporting the US backed coup that removed this, the first democratically elected president of Haiti in 2004, a coup which is described as "perhaps the most successful act of imperial sabotage since the end of the Cold War".[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Who we are - ActionAid".
  2. ^ "What we do | ActionAid". Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  3. ^ "Who we are | ActionAid". Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  4. ^ "Who we are | ActionAid". Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  5. ^ a b "'Ek Alag Mausam' based on AIDS". Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Charity Navigator Rating - ActionAid USA". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  8. ^ Connor Adams Sheets (10 October 2014). "Ebola Relief Charities: 5 Aid Groups To Avoid Donating To". International Business Times. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  9. ^ "ActionAid: The charity spreading 'groundless' fears over GM - World - News - The Independent". 25 March 2015. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015.
  10. ^ Ongu, Isaac (30 March 2015). "ActionAid in Africa ensnared by its own ugly GMO cancer scare tactics".
  11. ^ Violence and boycott mar Haitian election campaign
  12. ^ Damming the Flood, Peter Hallward, Verso, 2007

Further reading

External links

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