The Christian international development charity Tearfund has announced that it is to expand into the US.
In a statement released today, the charity said Tearfund USA, which has been established as a sister organisation, would have close links with its UK counterpart.
The new organisation is officially in operation, although it does not yet have headquarters and the board will meet for the first time soon, a Tearfund spokeswoman said.
It will be chaired by the current Tearfund chair Clive Mather, who is due to step down in September from the same role at the UK organisation, a position he has held for 10 years.
Mather said: "Tearfund USA will be asking Christians to go deeper in thinking about how they live. A whole-life response to poverty involves praying, giving, acting, volunteering and making lifestyle changes.
"Sometimes it will involve sacrifice and inconvenience, but it will be liberating and empowering in a way that defies worldly expectations."
Sonia Patterson, founder and chief executive of the US non-profit consultancy Impact Wisdom, has been appointed chief executive of the new charity.
She will start recruiting what will initially be a small team in the coming weeks, the spokeswoman said, but she was unable to give details of how many people were expected to be taken on.
Patterson, who will also have a place on the board as part of the unitary board structure that is more common in the American charity sector, said: "The mission of Tearfund resonates with my lifelong sense of personal calling to bring hope and wholeness to people in need.
"I am excited to start this new chapter with Tearfund USA, building on the organisation’s global legacy of helping the most marginalised and vulnerable. I’m looking forward to the process of setting up the organisation in the US, meeting supporters and partners and following Jesus where the need is greatest."
The spokeswoman did not give details of the charity’s first year fundraising target, but said Patterson would be "creating her own strategy to engage the US church to mobilise Christians to take action against poverty – this will include fundraising, alongside prayer and action".
In the year to 31 March 2017, Tearfund in the UK had an income of £72.8m and spending of £70.9m.