Christian Aid has announced plans to cut programmes in 12 countries, putting up to 200 staff at risk, as part of a new global strategy to “streamline” its work.
Standing Together will entail reducing Christian Aid’s unrestricted spend of £47m down to £40m over the next 12 months.
Amanda Mukwashi, chief executive, said: “This will, unfortunately, require that up to 200 staff are at risk of redundancy, in a process that will begin with a formal consultation by early October.”
The charity said it had “made the difficult decision” to exit its programmes in 12 countries: Angola, Egypt, Zambia, Mali, South Africa, Ghana, the Philippines, Nepal, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Mukwashi said the charity does not "know all the answers yet” but it plans to be more focused and deepen its interventions in fewer countries in order to save the £7m needed as part of its new strategy.
Christian Aid was founded in 1945 by British and Irish churches, to help refugees following the Second World War, and has around 990 employees and 425 volunteers.
Its accounts for the year ending March 2018 put its income at £117.9m and expenditure at £111.1m.
'Uncertainty in funding spheres'
Mukwashi said: “The external challenges are great. The world is waking up to the climate emergency that is hitting the poorest first and hardest, and at least 800 million people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030 if the Sustainable Development Goals are not delivered.
“We live in a time of political and social intolerance, added to which there is uncertainty in the political and development funding spheres, changes in church membership, an increase in INGO regulation and a more competitive fundraising environment.
“All of this we must respond to as a Christian organisation with an unshakeable faith and commitment that will help to restore healing in a world that has been assaulted by relentless economic, political and social trauma.
“Christian Aid’s new global strategy, Standing Together, calls us to focus our work so that every programme reflects our commitment to the very poorest, speaking truth to power and working, as we always have, with and through very local organisations.
"This will help to amplify the voice and agency of local partners and ensure long-lasting resilient communities able to stand in the face of multiple challenges.”