Aid to the Church in Need in the Middle East: support that has continued from 2016 through to 2017. © ACN

Aid to the Church in Need

Another record year


Königstein/Montreal 05.07.2017—  In 2016, the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has once more generated a record sum in donations. The charity collected $189,550,370 in total, nearly 13.5 million more than in 2015, making possible the funding of 5,303 projects in 148 countries last year. Africa gained the lion’s share with 34 percent of projects funded on the continent.


The growth of the Church in Africa is seen reflected in a significant fraction of the projects also being located in Africa. The countries situated in the Sahelian zone receive particular attention, as do Northern Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania—all countries in which an aggressive form of Islam is spreading. Emergency and subsistence aid in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, is a major cost factor. This aid went to securing a Christian presence in its region. Among all the countries, Iraq and Syria received the most aid in 2016 with 14.2 and 8.7 million dollars, respectively. This is, of course, due to the political situation in this region. Over 87.9 million dollars have flowed into the crisis areas in the Middle East since 2011, 26.6 million dollars in the past year alone.  Aid is expected to continue its exponential growth in 2017 as well.



 Packing ACN food parcel bags for Internally Displaced People at the packing centre in Ankawa, Erbil, in the Kurdish Region of Iraq


For example, the reconstruction project put in place by ACN, with three other Churches in the Nineveh Plains region of Iraq. This initiative has been created to help Christians return to their villages liberated from the grip of ISIS.


Vicariate of Chaco, Paraguay: Sisters are able to support the poorest of people through education, catechesis, presence, etc. – without the worry of what they will be eating tomorrow, thanks to ACN benefactors.

Construction Supporting Religious Sisters

As in previous years, a majority of the total aid approved for reconstruction projects received a 30 percent share of the total amount.  Over 1,200 chapels, churches, cathedrals and seminaries received co-financing around the world, mainly in the regions most devastated by forces of nature, with one third of these construction projects funded in Africa.


Emergency aid for the Middle East and subsistence aid for Religious Sisters follows closely, as well as formation aid helping an estimated 30,000 catechists and pastoral agents. Much attention was given to aid in Central and Eastern Europe who in the process of shifting from construction to training and continuing education. The Balkan countries received much attention because of the presence of radical forms of Islam.


Thanks to Mass Offerings, one in nine priests (43,015 in total) received help in the form of Mass Offerings in Africa (14,403) and in particularly in  Asia (11,293). Aid for 10,760 seminarians was approved, a number equivalent to every eleventh seminarian worldwide. Most were preparing for the priesthood in Africa (4,667), Latin America (2,900) and Eastern Europe (1,577).



DEM.REP. CONGO 800 ordinary masses for 10 Redemptorist Missionary Fathers, 2015 – 2016

With regard to Religious Sisters, formation and/or subsistence aid were granted to 11,080 among them, or to every 62nd Sister worldwide. In 2015, every 67th Sister received aid. In most cases, the help was in the form of subsistence aid for Religious Sisters in contemplative orders. Additional funding was provided for transportation in the form of 375 cars, 149 motorcycles, 239 bicycles and 2 boats.


Never before has Aid to the Church in Need collected so many funds in a one year span. Just under two thirds of donations (65 percent) issued from individual donations, a fifth (or 21.8 percent) from legacies.


The pontifical charity received most of its donations from France (43.2 million), followed by Great Britain (26.6 million), Spain (over 19.3 million), Germany (18 million) as well as Switzerland and Liechtenstein (13.3 million).

TOGO  Construction of the catechism rooms for the parish of St Paul Apostle of the Nations of Dapaong.


The Canadian office collected 3 million dollars.  Overall, the pastoral charity maintains its national offices with fundraising activities in 23 countries. Finally, 2,109 projects did not receive approval. Administration costs accounted for 6.4 percent of the budget (in 2015: 6.5 percent). These figures and statistics were audited and attested by the international auditing firm KPMG.


Read the ACN Annual Report 2016




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