Biafran Civil War
In response to the hunger crisis during the civil war in Biafra (present-day Nigeria), Africa Concern is founded. Raising $6.5 million in 6 months, Concern buys a 600-ton ship, the Columcille, and sails to Biafra with food, medicines, and batteries.
Cyclone Bhola Hits South Asia
Cyclone Bhola hits East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), taking the lives of 500,000 people and sparking a civil war of secession from Pakistan. Africa Concern responds to the crisis, renaming itself “Concern” and, later, “Concern Worldwide.”
Concern responds in Bangladesh
As conflict displaces millions in the newly founded nation of Bangladesh, Concern launches a response. Concern co-founder Aengus Finucane, who helped coordinate the Biafra response, becomes country director in 1973.
As a historic famine strikes Ethiopia, images of emaciated children again shock the world, and again Concern responds. Jack Finucane, brother of Aengus and coordinator the Biafra response, is named country director.
Khmer Rouge Genocide
As Cambodians flee the Khmer Rouge genocide and then a Vietnamese invasion, Concern starts an operation on the Thai border to meet the needs of a swelling number of refugees. Hundreds of thousands would remain there for over 13 years.
Famine strikes Ethiopia again
Famine breaks out again in Ethiopia. Media coverage galvanizes worldwide support of aid efforts, including the advocacy of Irish entertainers Bob Geldof and Bono, who visit Concern’s operations and help organize Live Aid, a global concert event broadcast around the world to raise funds for the victims.
Mozambique Civil War
Concern Mozambique opens in the midst of one of the deadliest and most intractable civil wars in Africa.
Concern’s Sudan program opens as the hunger that gripped Ethiopia and the rest of the region continues to take a heavy toll.
Liberian Civil War
Concern’s Liberia program opens to meet the needs of returning refugees as the country stabilizes after several years of conflict, only to be wracked again by war in the succeeding decade.
Indochina refugee crisis
Concern arrives in Laos to help resettle returning Laotians who had fled their homeland during the Indochina refugee crisis, which resulted from the fallout of the Vietnam War and the rise of the communists in 1975.
With a focus on treating malnourished children, Concern expands its programming when a massive hunger crisis strikes Somalia in the midst of intense civil warfare.
Valerie Place Killed
Valerie Place, a 23-year-old staff nurse from Ireland, is shot to death on the road from Mogadishu to Baidoa in Somalia. Aengus Finucane escorts her body home on what he would call “the saddest journey of my life.”
Conflict and Famine in Sudan
Concern’s Sudan program opens as millions flee civil war and fall victim to food shortages, extreme hunger, and malnutrition.
Hurricane Gordon Hits Haiti
Concern arrives in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Gordon, focusing efforts on forgotten communities in Port-au-Prince, Saut d’Eau, and the island of La Gonave.
Concern launches a massive regional response that will encompass Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC as millions are displaced by the Rwandan genocide and aftermath.
Sierra Leone Civil War
Concern responds to the needs of people displaced by violence during Sierra Leone’s civil war.
Concern Enters North Korea
Concern begins a long-term commitment to meet the needs of the poor and hard-to-reach in North Korea who are beset by crop failures and harsh winters that lead to cyclical hunger.
Hurricane Mitch Strikes Honduras
Concern mounts a short-term emergency response in Honduras, our first operational intervention in Latin America, after Hurricane Mitch causes catastrophic flooding.
Concern enters Kosovo to provide emergency relief to people affected by the violence and later assists with reconstruction efforts after the war.
Indian Ocean Tsunami
Concern responds to the massive Indian Ocean tsunami by launching operations in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Passing of Aengus Finucane
Aengus Finucane, after more than 40 years of service to Concern, including 16 years as CEO in Ireland and 12 years as honorary president in the US, passes away at age 77.
Concern launches its largest ever emergency response in Haiti after a magnitude 7 earthquake takes more than 200,000 lives and displaces 1.5 million.
Concern responds in Pakistan after massive flooding affects the lives of 20 million people.
East Africa drought
East Africa experiences the worst drought in 60 years, resulting in crop failures and food shortages. Concern responds in some of the worst-affected areas in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Syrian Civil War
The violent sectarian war in Syria reaches a tipping point, with over 100,000 dead and 7 million displaced. Concern launches operations in northern Syria and Lebanon, focusing on providing clean water and shelter.
Typhoon Haiyan Hits the Philippines
After Typhoon Haiyan affects over 14 million people and displaces more than five million in the Philippines, Concern launches an emergency response to help fishing communities living on remote, hard-to-reach islands.
Ebola Breaks out in West Africa
Ebola sweeps through West Africa. In Sierra Leone, Concern manages two cemeteries to ensure the safe and dignified burial of victims.
Conflict in the Central African Republic
Concern begins operations in the Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, where sectarian violence has displaced over a million people and left many in need of emergency assistance.
Earthquake Hits Nepal
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes near Kathmandu and a series of aftershocks, including a major 7.3-magnitude tremor near Mount Everest, further rocks the country. Concern immediately sends an emergency team to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Passing of Jack Finucane
Concern co-founder Jack Finucane passes away at age 80, leaving a legacy of service with the organization that spanned several decades and countries.
Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Concern provides life-saving emergency support on the Bangladesh border as more than half a million Rohingya refugees – a large majority of them children – flee Myanmar.