ACN receives around 6,700 aid project applications annually from 132 countries. In the following pages, we would like to provide you with an overview of our regional funding priorities in 2021. Once again we focused our efforts on the African continent where Christians suffer great hardships as a result of Islamic fundamentalist violence and extreme, persistent poverty, a situation which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Our relief measures start with close dialogue with the local churches.
Receiving 30.7% of the funding, Africa was again the priority region for our aid projects in 2021. The situation is particularly dramatic in places where Islamist terror is spreading and Christians are victims of persecution and displacement, such as in Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The coronavirus pandemic has further aggravated the situation of the Church.
Our aid to Asia increased to 22.3% in 2021, as the continent continued to be severely affected by the pandemic. The situation was particularly dramatic in India, where our aid helped priests and religious to continue their pastoral work.
Distribution of Bibles, religious books and media
Central and Eastern Europe received 15.2% of the funds. Here, too, many priests and religious continued to suffer existential hardships as a result of the pandemic.
Our funding volume for the Middle East was 16.9% of our total aid, with Syria and Lebanon as focal points in 2021. The aim of our emergency aid was to ensure the survival of Christian communities and to counteract the massive exodus of Christians.
Latin America accounted for 13.8% of our total aid. In 2021, the continent continued to be one of the epicentres of the pandemic, further heightening poverty within the population and causing priests to face increasing existential hardships due to the lack of collections.