Counterpart International

There are thousands of non-profits that work in less developed countries with a responsibility to be ethical. Counterpart International is a nonprofit organization that stresses a commitment to integrity, transparency and respect in its work across the world.

The three main development sectors that Counterpart International focuses on are:

1) Food Security and Nutrition – Food security involves the obtainment of affordable, quality food in sufficient quantities.

2) Economic Development – Economic development involves creating opportunities for people to increase incomes and provide better for their families.

3) Effective Governance and Institutions – Addressing citizens’ needs by connecting civil groups within a country or region.

In January 2013, Counterpart International joined the United Nations Global Compact—an 8,000 plus member international initiative committed to corporate responsibility. The UN Global Compact has its volunteer members commit to 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, anti-corruption, labor, and the environment.

In Niger, extreme drought causes food shortages in which the marginalized populations suffer the most. Handicapped and blind children are often purposefully overlooked. Counterpart saw the need for these disabled people to get sufficient nutrition and created FAIR. FAIR, or Food Aid for Disabled Children Project, now provides over 300 children and 1,500 adults with hot meals or food rations. The children receive the hot meals at schools that are designed to teach the blind, deaf, or physically disabled.

Even more impactful work is being done in Mauritania, another drought-stricken country in Western Africa. Counterpart was hired by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement a Multi-Year Assistance Program titled the Community Action Nutrition and Livelihoods project. This particular project provides sustainable solutions to poverty for Mauritanians through micro-enterprise opportunities, community healthcare training and agriculture practices.

$250,000 in loans through Counterpart’s program helped approximately 3,500 Mauritanian entrepreneurs, most of which were women. Women empowerment is crucial in a region where women lack most of the UN’s Universally Declared Human Rights. In addition, nearly 600 healthcare workers were trained, providing local care to individuals who may be suffering from diseases and deficiencies that can easily be prevented and treated. Healthcare for farm animals was also implemented under the program in Mauritania. Training veterinary assistants not only provided jobs for the people, but prevented the loss of livestock.
Counterpart International is in charge of the Global Civil Society Strengthening Leader with Associates (GCSS LWA). This association teams up with the United States Agency for International Development and Global Civil Society Strengthening to encourage civic growth and participation. In addition to promoting better governance, GCSS LWA and its over 23,000 local and regional partners seek to empower independent media outlets.

This year, as Counterpart International celebrates its 48 year anniversary, nearly half a century of development work in over 65 countries, it continues to maintain transparency and uphold its responsibility to be ethical in all of its interactions.

– Aysha Rasool
Feature Writer

Sources: Counterpart International: News, Counterpart International: Blog, Global Civil Society Strengthening
Photo: Counterpart International