Malteser International

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Malteser International
Formation January 2, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-01-02)
Type Aid agency
Purpose Humanitarian aid
Region served
(20 countries in 2011)
Parent organization
Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V.
Affiliations Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Slogan "For a healthy life in dignity"

Malteser International is an international non-governmental aid agency for humanitarian aid of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, founded in 2005 by Malteser Germany (founded in 1953). The relief service has more than 50 years of experience in humanitarian relief and currently covers around 100 projects in about 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

24 national associations and priories of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are members of Malteser International.


Malteser International evolved from Malteser Germany (founded in 1953) and its Foreign Aid Service (German: Auslandsarbeit).


In 1992, the German foreign aid department combined forces with other relief services of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta around the world to form the Emergency Corps of the Order of Malta (ECOM), which provided relief after natural and man-made disasters, such as the Kosovo War (1998-1999) and the 2003 Bam earthquake in Iran.


As a response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Malteser International replaced ECOM as the worldwide relief agency of the Order of Malta, broadening its mission to include long-term rehabilitation and development programmes.[1]


24 national associations and priories of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are currently members of Malteser International. Their representatives, together with the board of directors, the secretary-general, the vice secretary-general and the chaplain of Malteser International, form the General Assembly. The Board of Directors consists of the President and up to six Vice-Presidents. The Secretary General manages the operational activities in line with the adopted budget and the strategy of Malteser International.


Malteser International is committed to helping all people in all parts of the world without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. Despite being a Catholic organisation, Malteser International works also in non-Christian countries and therefore employs workers from various religious backgrounds in its projects. The organisation works with nearly 90% local staff, as well as with local partner organisations (both religious and non-religious NGOs) and local church structures in its project countries. Malteser International adheres to several internationally recognized codes and standards, such as the “Code of Conduct” (Principles of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Response Programmes) and the “Sphere Project”.



Project volume 2011: €34.6 million

Highlights 2011


Relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation

In the aftermath of war, natural disaster or following a particular crisis, Malteser International responds to the fundamental needs of the affected population. In these early stages, the focus of any response is upon helping people with basic survival. Programmes focusing on emergency medical relief and the distribution of relief items – such as the means for water purification and storage, household items, shelter kits and basic food rations – are “first response instruments”. Malteser International’s aim is to further reduce vulnerability and to provide communities affected by crises and disasters with sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes. Programme components include actual reconstruction of houses and public buildings as well as social rehabilitation measures, such as the reintegration of refugees within their homeland or reconciliation programmes in war-torn communities.

Health and nutrition

Malteser International cooperates with local authorities and partner organisations to set up and improve primary health care services, covering curative care, communicable disease control, health management and financing, medical emergencies and the responsible use of medicines. Special attention is given to reproductive health and health education as well as to the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

Malteser International’s activities within this sector include water supply and water treatment, construction and maintenance of sanitary facilities and sanitation management, and hygiene education and promotion.

Livelihood and social programmes

Activities in this sector aim primarily at poverty reduction and provide, through a participatory approach, increased well-being, reduced vulnerability, more income and improved food security. Examples include cash-for-work measures and capacity building.

Disaster Risk Reduction

Malteser International includes disaster risk reduction and mitigation components in many projects for people living in areas at risk of natural disasters. The focus is on community-based disaster risk management, which aims to support and to strengthen local coping capacities and to reduce vulnerabilities of people at risk. Measures include the construction of cyclone- and earthquake-resistant shelters, training local emergency response teams and setting up early warning systems.

Relief efforts chronicle

Some of the organisation’s most important deployments include:[3]

International cooperation

Malteser International is a member of:



External links