Restoring human dignity to the poor is the primary mission of Caritas Mongolia, which has been active in the Asian country since April of 2000. It started by helping herders affected by extreme winter conditions, known as a zud. Around 450,000 herders were directly affected following the loss of around 3 million animals. Having lost their livestock, many herders moved to urban areas where they struggled to find work and shelter. Through an emergency program launched by Caritas Mongolia, herder households were assisted with food relief, medical assistance, infrastructure support — such as repair of deep wells — and renovation of educational facilities in rural areas.
In April 2010, Caritas Mongolia became an official member of the Caritas Internationalis network, the Confederation of 162 national Caritas entities operating in 200 countries and territories. The main aim of Caritas Mongolia is to build a just society where the rights of people are respected. Collaboration with other Caritas organisations has been vital in the work of Caritas Mongolia, allowing it to expand its programs to include education, social and humanitarian assistance, food security and agriculture, migration, rebuilding of livelihoods and community-building projects in rural areas. Reducing the impact of natural disasters and the protection of the environment are also priorities.
Caritas Mongolia currently has seven main programs based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. These are Capacity-Building of Cooperatives, Education, Emergency Response, Food Security and Agriculture, Women Leadership and Advocacy, Research and Development, and Social Reintegration.