THEN & NOW

hand in hand

Hand in Hand

The partnership between CARE and USAID today stems from a cooperative groundwork laid more than a half-century ago during the “great grim famine that wasn’t.”

In 1966, India was on the brink of disaster. Two years of drought had killed livestock and cut grain production by nearly half in some states. India’s minister of Food and Agriculture called it “a natural calamity of a magnitude unknown in recent times.” The human death toll was projected to be catastrophic.

One study of the crisis described the scene in India’s northeastern Bihar state: “The village drums and music died out. People became sullen and listless. Each day that passed, one felt relieved by the time of dusk that one more day in this long, long famine had passed.”

Having worked in India since1950, CARE was the natural partnerto implement many of the U.S. and Indian governments’ relief efforts that not only saved lives in the short term, but also strengthened a cooperative framework that continues to shape the CARE-USAID relationship to this day.