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2021: 12 Months of Hope and Progress

Supporting the World's Most Vulnerable Communities

In 2021, with the support of our generous donors, partners and the people of Ireland, GOAL reached more than 18 million people in need in 14 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Together, we helped change the lives of communities experiencing crises and extreme poverty through nutrition, health, livelihoods and emergency response programmes.

Our work is driven by our vision for a world where poverty no longer exists; where vulnerable communities exposed to shock and stresses are resilient; where barriers to well-being are removed and where everyone has equal rights and opportunities.

Where We Work


The Year in Numbers


countries of operation

18.5 million

people supported globally

4.1 million

benefited from access to safe water

6.7 million

people reached through emergency response

Covid Response

2021 saw the world continue to be severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus continued to spread, affecting 192 countries on all continents. For the second year, GOAL was faced with a major humanitarian crisis occurring simultaneously in all our countries of operation.

While rates of infection and Covid-19 related deaths were particularly high in Europe, India and the Americas, other parts of the world including the Middle East and Africa have been severely hit by the secondary effects which included interrupted markets, lockdowns and movement restrictions. Countries and communities without well-established safety-nets and social welfare systems very quickly reached significant levels of hardship and hunger.


  • 2 million people reached directly with GOAL's Covid-19 response
  • Over 24.5 million people were reached with Covid-19 media messaging
  • Nearly 11.5 million people benefited from over 1,500 health facilities supported with infection prevention measures against Covid-19

Responding to Emergencies

Conflict and climate change continue to affect vulnerable communities, forcing millions to flee their homes.  A number of countries in which GOAL works, such as Syria, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, are host to over 10 million refugees and displaced people.

GOAL Syria


During 2021, the Syria crisis continued to be the world’s largest migrant crisis with more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees and another 6.2 million people displaced inside Syria. GOAL teams provided lifesaving food and water and other critical aid to over 2.8 million people.

GOAL continued to evolve its programming to fit the changing dynamics of this chronic conflict, by shifting more of its food assistance from in-kind assistance to cash and voucher solutions, as well as increasing early recovery and resilience programming.



GOAL Haiti was already responding to urban food insecurity in the capital when the island was struck by a 7.2 earthquake on August 14th. Besides direct aid to affected communities, an important element was to strengthen the coordination between the government and different state and non-state actors.

GOAL provided much-needed coordination support to the Haitian Civil Protection Agency to lead on damage assessments and on the effective distribution of aid. GOAL was also co-leading the security working group under UNOCHA.



In East Africa, GOAL Ethiopia has been responding to the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region since conflict began in late 2020. The focus was predominantly on life-saving services where it was possible to do so. The worsening situation is still a cause for much concern.

Other programme areas remained unaffected by the conflict, so programming continued as normal. Amid clear warning signs, an upcoming drought in the Horn of Africa was anticipated and crisis modifiers have been built into all programmes.

Haregewoyne’s Story

21-year-old Haregewoyne was forced to flee her home with her seven-month-old son, Biruk, when conflict broke out shortly after his birth.

The secondary school english teacher lived a happy and peaceful life with her husband in Tigray until violence cruelly changed her life.

Fearful for her safety and the health of her baby, Haregewoyne made the dangerous journey to Mekele, the capital of Tigray, in search of support.

Once there she found safe haven at a temporary internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. GOAL teams had set up in a local school where they are providing assistance to families fleeing the conflict.

“I don’t know how I made it here. I am amazed that my baby survived the journey,” Haregewoyne says.

GOAL teams provided her with blankets, cooking materials and a hygiene kit. Haregewoyne is also receiving financial support to help care for Biruk.

“Biruk was suffering from malnutrition when we reached this camp. But now he is doing well with the support we are receiving from GOAL”, Haregewoyne says.

While Haregewoyne is safe she still doesn’t know where her husband and family are. She hopes they are alive and well and that she will be reunited with them soon.

“All we need is peace and to be able to go back home to our former life,” Haregewoyne says.

Haregewoyne and her young son Biruk in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp teams have set up in a local school.

With 47 years of experience gained in some of the harshest environments in the world, GOAL’s team of highly experienced and dedicated individuals are well placed to offer some respite to the most vulnerable.

Barry O’Connell, GOAL Chairperson

Improving Health

In 2021 GOAL supported more than nine million people with quality health, nutrition and water and sanitation programmes, enabling them to care for their own health and helping local providers supply the essential care needed to facilitate the communities they serve.


  • 2.4 million people provided with soap and other hygiene items to help prevent the spread of Covid-19
  • Over 1,500 health facilities supported with provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) supplies.
  • Over 9 million people supported with health, nutrition, and water and sanitation programmes including;
    • Over 650,000 provided daily clean drinking water in Syria
    • 730,000 people in South Sudan now accessing adequately equipped health centres and hospitals
Kenema in community dialogue session with a GOAL facilitator demonstrating contraceptive methods

Despite the challenges it can be very rewarding. When I see the smiles on the faces of the families we work with, it takes away all the stress of the job. And drives me to do more for them.

Nasser Alhiraky, Area Coordinator, GOAL Syria

Providing Food and Nutrition

Nearly 800 million people globally do not to have had enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs. The world’s demand for food is increasing against a background of population growth, conflict, migration and climate change. The economic and public health impacts of the Covid-19 put people already vulnerable to shocks further at risk.

Last year GOAL teams provided nutritional support to 1.7 million people, and we continued to focus on innovative and sustainable ways to achieve food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable.

Programme support focused on:

  • Providing and promoting adequate diets in communities
  • Enhancing subsistence food production and commercial food production
  • Delivering market access and making nutritionally diverse foods available
Humberto Marquez (1) rs

Time and again, I am moved by our teams’ ability to meet the moment at times of great challenge. I am also grateful to all of our collaborative partners across all of our country operations and beyond who work tirelessly to ensure the communities we serve are supported in every way we possibly can.

Siobhan Walsh, GOAL CEO

Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods

In 2021, GOAL supported thousands of families through our sustainable livelihood programmes, focusing on the development of resilient livelihoods by giving people what they needed to create and maintain a living.

GOAL worked in communities where livelihoods were often within the informal economy and typically characterised by low and unstable income and an inability to access institutional support and credit.


  • GOAL supported over 211,000 vulnerable people to help them building livelihoods and care for their families
  • In Uganda, the Young Africa Works programme reached almost 12,000 people, with plans to scale significantly in 2022
  • Village Savings & Loans groups, which promote financial literacy and access to savings and loans, assisted members with 28 health emergencies in Sierra Leone

There is no better way to value the lives of refugees and create empathy and understanding of the fact that they are people like us, than to tell their story, and tell it well and tell it in detail.

Former President Mary Robinson on GOAL's 2021 'Home from Home' documentary

German’s Story

German Adalid Mejía (35) is a father of two and an entrepreneur.

When Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Honduras in November 2020 his village of San José del Cayo in Yoro in the Municipality of El Progreso was one of many areas left devastated. Homes and entire livelihoods were lost.

“It was difficult for everyone with water coming in on top of us. The community thought we were all going to drown. I had a business and I lost it. So many people lost everything. It was very hard for us.” he said.

GOAL put in place a multisectoral emergency response focused on saving lives, promoting early recovery and improving food security.

A critical support to those affected by the Hurricane was financial assistance in the form of cash transfers. These helped people meet their essential needs such as water, food and other vital services and goods.

German was amongst those that benefitted from the financial support. He used the money to recover what he had lost in the floods. This also allowed him to restart his ‘pulperia’ business – a small grocery store serving food – to support his mother and two daughters.

“Thanks to GOAL and the cash assistance I was able buy things to start over… I was able to get back to work again”


Supporting Gender Equality

GOAL has a longstanding commitment to gender equality, and we adopt a 'gender lens' in everything we do. We believe gender equality is critical to achieving poverty reduction, food security, more peaceful and inclusive communities and enhancing human capital through health and education.


Eva with her son Daniel and daughter Elianis in front of their new home in Colombia

GOAL teams are working with Venezuelan refugees in Colombia to support integration and boost employment prospects.

Eva has received support to kick start her own retail business.

Acio Jennet sorting her harvest as she sets off for the market_

In Uganda, thousands of young women like Jennet are being trained in farm enterprise management, as well as being linked with market partners and microfinance institutions.

The innovative Young Africa Works project aims to provide over 200,000 young women with the skills needed to establish and run sustainable businesses.

ET_MeselechCooperative_Sep21 (2)

With support from GOAL, Meselech’s dairy cooperative in Ethiopia creates income and opportunities for hers and 25 other families in her community.

Meselech has plans to scale operations in the future.

Impact In Numbers