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CARE International traces its roots back to 1945, when 22 American organizations combined forces to rush?emergency food rations in the form of 'CARE Packages' to the starving survivors of World War II in Europe. Thousands of Americans, including United States President Harry S. Truman, contributed to the effort. On May 11, 1946, the first 20,000 packages reached the battered port of Le Havre, France.

Some 100 million more CARE Packages reached people in need during the next two decades, first in Europe and later in Asia and other parts of the developing world.

CARE International is a?global confederation?of 13 National Members and one Affiliate Member with the common goal of fighting global poverty. Each CARE Member is an autonomous non?governmental organization and implements program, advocacy, fundraising and communications activities in its own country and in developing countries where CARE has programs.. The oldest members are CARE USA and CARE Canada (of which CARE Kenya is a part of), which were established in 1945 and 1946 respectively. The other ?member countries are Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, India and Thailand. CARE Peru is an Affiliate Member, and along with India and Thailand, strengthens the diversity of CARE's governance.

The organization has always been known as "CARE" but the meaning behind the letters has changed as its scope has broadened. When it was founded in 1945, CARE stood for "Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe." Today, with work in 87 countries around the world, CARE stands for "Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc."

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