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Malteser International – Health and dignity for people in need

Malteser International is an international humanitarian aid organization. It is the relief agency of the Catholic Sovereign Order of Malta and fulfills its mission to “serve the poor and the sick”. 

Since 1956, our core task has been to improve the health and well-being of suffering and displaced people around the world. We provide emergency and disaster relief in the immediate aftermath of acute disasters and work towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of afflicted communities. We work on the frontlines to provide immediate and long-term relief to those who need it most.

Our Vision: We aspire to a world where all individuals – particularly those in need and those who are displaced – live a life of health and dignity.

Mission Statement: We improve the health and well-being of suffering and displaced people in crises situations around the world. In this way, we especially fulfil the mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta to “serve the poor and the sick”. We provide support regardless of gender, political belief, origin, or faith.  

Our approach: We intervene to provide medical and mental health support, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), food, protection, and shelter where possible. We take a holistic approach to health in our programming, which includes the protection of nature. We work with local resources and engage local partners, as well as the Order of Malta's global network, to provide rapid and effective responses in even the most remote locations. People are at the center of our assistance. Our goal is to sustainably increase the resilience of those worst affected by disasters. We are also committed to contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In doing so, we extend our support to all individuals in need regardless of gender, political belief, origin, or faith.  

Structure and Executive Leadership

Malteser International is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Europe and America. The organization’s General Secretariat, as well as its European headquarters are located in Cologne, Germany. The American headquarters are based in New York City, USA.

The international network of the Order of Malta plays an essential role in our work, allowing us to help people in need quickly and efficiently. Currently, 27 national associations and priories of the Order of Malta are members of Malteser International, and actively support the organization within their jurisdictions. Currently, both regional branches in Europe and the Americas serve as associate members.

Please visit here the US-version of our website www.orderofmaltarelief.org

The Board of Directors, which is elected for a four-year term, consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and up to two additional elected members, as well as the representatives from the regional branches in Europe and the Americas, and from the Asia-Pacific region. The Board of Directors works on a purely voluntary basis and is responsible for approving the financial plans and the annual budget, as well as commissioning the financial auditing of the annual accounts. The Board of Directors bears the overall responsibility for the organization’s operative tasks. The Board of Malteser International e.V. consists of: 

The salaried Secretary General manages the organization’s General Secretariat. He is responsible for the operational management activities in line with the financial plan and the annual budget. The presidents of the Board of Directors nominate the Secretary General. The Secretary General is responsible for preparing meetings of the Board, and takes an advisory part in these meetings. The management of Malteser International presently consists of:

The current membership of Malteser International consists of 27 National Associations and Priories of the Order of Malta, who actively support the organization within their jurisdictions. Currently, both regional branches in Europe and the Americas serve as associate members. Their representatives, together with the Board of Directors, the Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta, the Chaplain, the Secretary General and the Vice-Secretary General form the General Assembly: the organization’s highest decision-making body. The General Assembly is responsible for electing and discharging the Board of Directors, accepting the annual accounts, ordering financial audits as well as passing amendments to the by-laws. The President convokes the General Assembly once a year. The following associations and priories of the Order of Malta are presently members of Malteser International:


American (USA)
Federal (USA)
Western (USA)





Malteser International's history

Malteser International been helping people around the world for over 60 years. Developed out of the Foreign Aid Service of the German Malteser Hilfsdienst, Malteser International received its current name in 2005, when it was designated the international aid agency of the Order of Malta.

1956: Aid for refugees at the Austro-Hungarian border

1966-1975: Aid for refugees and hospital construction, Vietnam

2005: Aid following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in South Asia

2010: Aid for survivors following the earthquake in Haiti

1994- 1996: Aid following the Ruandan genocide

1999: Rebuilding the Balkans after the Kosovan war

2013: Emergency relief for the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

2015: Emergency relief after the Nepalese earthquake

The Sovereign Order of Malta

More than 900 years of service to the poor and the sick

The Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. The lay Catholic Order has 13,500 members who have committed to the exercise of Christian virtue and charity. The Order of Malta remains true to its founding principles, summarized in the motto “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”: nurturing, witnessing, and protecting the faith; and serving the poor and the sick. The Dames and Knights bring these principles to life by engaging in voluntary work, humanitarian assistance and medical and social activities. Today, the Order carries out charitable and humanitarian activities in over 120 countries.

The Order is based in Rome and has full diplomatic relations with 107 countries, as well as to European and international organizations. It has permanent obsever status at the United Nations. Thanks to this diplomatic network, the Order can react quickly and flexibly to crises and disasters. Its embassies also have the mission of supporting the medical and humanitarian activities of the national associations of the Order and Malteser International. As a neutral and non-political party, the Order is able to act as mediator in civil and armed conflicts and to intervene as a protective force.

Visit the homepage of the Order of Malta >>

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