Covid-19 pandemic ‘has profoundly changed Trócaire’s work,’ says chief executive

People in poverty ‘unable to take preventative measures such as hand washing, social distancing and remote working’

Trócaire experienced “a slight dip in funding” in the year to February 2020, according to its annual report published today (tues). The Catholic Bishops’ development agency, it helped 2.5 million people in 27 of the world’s poorest countries in its last financial year, which concluded just prior to the global outbreak of Covid-19.

It raised “approximately €64m from the Irish public and our institutional funding partners”, representing “a slight dip in funding from both sources” the report said.

Donations from the Irish people in 2019/20 amounted to €23million with the Irish Government its single largest donor, contributing 34 per cent of total Trócaire income.

Overall the agency received €40.7million from "institutional funding partners", compared to €45.8 million in 2018/19. This breaks down as €29.6million from Governmental organisations (€32million in 2018/19), €5.8million from other funders (€7.6million in 2018/19), and €5.3million from the Caritas network (€6.2million in 2018/19)


Of the €29.6million secured from Governmental organisations, €21.7million of this was from Irish Aid (up from €21.5million in 2018/19). The greater part of this, approximately €17million, was allocated for long-term development work under the Irish Aid Programme Funding scheme. The remainder, approximately €5million, was allocated towards emergency response.

This mirrored allocations between development and humanitarian aid in 2018/19.

Both Trócaire’s major public appeals in 2019 did “very well” with €8.3 million raised in the Lenten Appeal, a 10 per cent increa se onfunds raised in the 2018 Lenten campaign. Its 2019 Christmas appeal raised €2.3 million, a slight drop on the 2018 Christmas figure.

Monthly donors in 2019/2020 contributed €4.4million , the same as in 2018/19, while €0.91million donated in response to direct mail letters was a 22 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of €0.88million.

Expressing gratitude to all who had donated to and helped Trócaire with its work, chief executive Caoimhe de Barra said "the Covid crisis has profoundly changed Trócaire's work."

She continued that “people living in poverty have been unable to take preventative measures such as hand washing, social distancing and remote working. They lack the most basic of services and depend heavily on income from daily labour”, she said.

Trócaire’s programmes and the contexts in which they operated had “shifted dramatically in response to the new reality. This crisis has had a devastating effect on families already living in poverty and facing food insecurity. We are committed to supporting our partners and the communities they serve as they deal with these long-term impacts,” she said.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times