International Cooperation

Country Programme of India

In India, Caritas Switzerland works in the fields of Climate Change Adaption & Disaster Risk Reduction, Food Security & Markets and Migration.


Facts and Figures:

  • Engagement in the country since: 1973
  • Main partners: Caritas India, Chetanalaya, Bhoomika Vihar, Shakti Vardhini, Nirmala Mahila Kalyan Kendra
  • Main donors: Swiss Development Cooperation, Swiss Solidarity, Leopold Bachmann Stiftung

Key achievements:

  • 3,500 domestic workers have registered with the Domestic Workers Forum, founded by Caritas Switzerland and its partners, and are now able to fight for better working conditions.
  • 25,200 persons who lost their homes during the 2017 Bihar floods have received emergency shelter kits containing a tarpaulin sheet, a ground sheet, four bed sheets, a mosquito net, and plastic mats.

Why we are here

The development of India in recent years, especially in the economic sector, has been remarkable. However, not everybody benefits equally. Despite the improvements in many sectors, as well as a significant reduction of the poverty rate, more than 20% of the total population still live below the poverty line. This results in very poor Water Sanitation & Hygiene, food and nutrition security indicators.

There are huge regional differences between the states, and between the rural and urban areas. Most of the people living in poverty are from scheduled castes (SC) or scheduled tribes (ST). Climate change, an increased risk of natural disasters, as well as population growth will challenge theefforts of further improving the country’s development in the future.

Natural resources such as land, forest and water, which are especially relevant for the poor and rural communities, are overstretched and at risk in many regions of India due to climate change, high population densities and ongoing population growth. These trends will be further intensified in the future through the continuously fastgrowing economy, with rapid industrialisation and urbanisation accompanied by increasing demand for energy resources.

Climate change in India is evident through changing weather conditions, which lead to an increased risk of natural hazards as, for example, extreme rainfall patterns, floods, heatwaves or droughts. Furthermore, the consequences of climate change, such as rising sea levels, sea water intrusion, decreasing ground water levels or melting of glaciers are already visible and are most likely to increase. All of these factors are likely to lead to more migration and more complex and dynamic migration patterns.

The current geographical focus is on the north-eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand. They have the lowest development indicators in the country and are especially prone to trafficking and migration. There is also a focus on Delhi, the vibrant and dynamic capital of India with an extreme population density.


Fields of Activity

Food Security & Markets

Caritas Switzerland aims to support poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities in improving their nutritional status through integrated resource and farm management. Furthermore, the processing and marketing of agricultural products will make the poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities more resilient and improve their livelihood. Caritas Switzerland addresses these goals with the following approaches:

  • Promotion of efficient use of natural resources (e.g. irrigation systems)
  • Introduction of innovative technologies
  • Awareness-raising and specific capacity building in agriculture, value chain development and marketing
  • Promotion of collective farming and marketing

Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction

Risk Reduction In terms of climate change adaptation, Caritas Switzerland aims to enhance the adaptation capacities with knowledge, innovative solutions and technologies. Additionally, in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction, poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities shall become more resilient to natural hazards. The following approaches are used to reach these goals:

  • Participatory development of preparedness plans and Disaster Risk Reduction mapping
  • Promotion of Disaster Risk Reduction technologies (e.g. mobile stoves, elevated Water, Sanitation & Hygiene facilities, Horlick lad-doos (food rations during disaster, grain banks))
  • Awareness-raising and specific capacity building in Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Introduction of innovative technologies to adapt to climate change, as well as to promote efficient use of natural resource
  • Promotion of sustainable agricultural practices and technologies (system of rice intensification methods, seed banks, flood/drought resistant crops, dry-landfarming etc.)


Through prevention activities, the risk of human trafficking in the source areas of Bihar and Jharkand will be reduced. Victims will be assisted in a more effective and efficient way in both source and destination areas. By enhancing livelihoods and improving working conditions, as well as through awareness-raising and lobbying, the living conditions of migrants in urban areas such as Delhi will be improved. The following approaches are used to contribute to reaching the mentioned goals:

  • Awareness-raising and specific capacity building on prevention of migration
  • Connecting the different stakeholders
  • Promotion of livelihood alternatives to avoid migration or assist in destination areas
  • Rescue and legal assistance to trafficked people
  • Networking with, and capacity building for, local partners and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders on a regional and national level
  • Advocacy to make law enforcement stringent and government machinery functional
  • Building linkages between source and destination areas
  • Reintegration of trafficked persons
  • Producing evidence on migration and human trafficking

Documents on running programmes and projects

  • India Country Programme (Flyer)
    File format: pdf / 175 KB
  • India Country Programme: Fields of Activity (Flyer)
    File format: pdf / 245 KB
  • p180032: Domestic Workers Forum: Ensuring rights and addressing unsafe migration of marginalized women (Project overview)
    File format: pdf / 70 KB

Contact persons