CARE packages were delivered after WWII. ©CARE

An original CARE package. ©CARE

Malcolm Fraser in the early days of CARE Australia

Malcolm Fraser in the early days of CARE Australia. ©CARE

The scope of our mission has changed considerably in the decades since we began operations but our core values have remained constant. 

Founded in America in 1945 after World War II, CARE was first known as the ‘Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe’. In these early days, CARE sent food aid and basic supplies in the form of 'CARE packages' to war-torn Europe.

On 11 May 1946, the first 20,000 packages reached the port of Le Havre, France. Some 100 million more CARE packages reached people in need during the next two decades, first in Europe and later in Asia and other parts of the developing world.

As the economies of the former wartime nations developed and improved, the focus of CARE's work shifted from Europe to the problems of the developing world.

In the 1950s, CARE began using US surplus food to feed the hungry in developing countries. The following decade, CARE pioneered primary healthcare programs and, in the 1970s, responded to massive famines in Africa with both emergency relief and long-term agro-forestry projects.


CARE today

Today, CARE International is a confederation composed of 14 national members Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany-Luxembourg, India (Affiliate Member), Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Peru (Affiliate Member), Thailand, the UK and the USA forming one of the world's largest independent, international emergency relief and development assistance organisations.

In 2013, CARE's activities benefitted 97 million people across 86 countries.

Visit the CARE International secretariat website


CARE Australia

CARE Australia joined the CARE International family in 1987, led by former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.

Today, CARE Australia manages programs in 24 countries.

Find out more about the places where we work


Find out more about the history of CARE Packages.

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