The EU and faith-based organisations in development and humanitarian aid

08-11-2017

All over the world, faith-based organisations (FBOs) are active in the fields of development and humanitarian aid. Their faith-based character can stem from various dimensions (link to a religious organisation, funding, mission statement or main beneficiaries), but collectively they are important actors on the ground. Nonetheless, there is no fixed definition of an FBO, and in practice there are many different forms of FBO active in providing aid and development assistance. Indeed faith-based organisations are among the biggest NGOs active in the development and aid fields. In the past 20 years, national and international funders have developed an interest in better understanding and cooperating with FBOs. The World Bank, and a number of EU Member States have developed programmes and expertise in this field. Part of the reason for the growing interest in the work of FBOs is the recognition that religious affiliation often plays a major role in the beneficiary societies, and that working with religious leaders in those communities is often the most effective way of reaching local people. The European Union itself also cooperates with FBOs in development and humanitarian aid, through various programmes with civil society and on human rights. Nevertheless, the EU does not keep precise statistics, because the faith-based character of the beneficiary is not among the criteria for selecting them as partners.

All over the world, faith-based organisations (FBOs) are active in the fields of development and humanitarian aid. Their faith-based character can stem from various dimensions (link to a religious organisation, funding, mission statement or main beneficiaries), but collectively they are important actors on the ground. Nonetheless, there is no fixed definition of an FBO, and in practice there are many different forms of FBO active in providing aid and development assistance. Indeed faith-based organisations are among the biggest NGOs active in the development and aid fields. In the past 20 years, national and international funders have developed an interest in better understanding and cooperating with FBOs. The World Bank, and a number of EU Member States have developed programmes and expertise in this field. Part of the reason for the growing interest in the work of FBOs is the recognition that religious affiliation often plays a major role in the beneficiary societies, and that working with religious leaders in those communities is often the most effective way of reaching local people. The European Union itself also cooperates with FBOs in development and humanitarian aid, through various programmes with civil society and on human rights. Nevertheless, the EU does not keep precise statistics, because the faith-based character of the beneficiary is not among the criteria for selecting them as partners.