The Limerick-based charity is currently supporting 64 programmes in 20 poverty-stricken countries.
However, the charity yesterday confirmed that seven of its 19 staff have been made redundant after Christmas donations were down 15% “due to the controversies in the run-up to this critical period for all charities”.
A spokesman said the action was “unfortunately unavoidable” after “2013 was another extremely challenging year for charities, including Bóthar”.
The spokesman said the charity took the decision so it could maintain its level of work in relation to the 64 programmes overseas — last year, Bóthar airlifted 365 heifers to Rwanda, Kosovo, and Romania, and 200 dairy goats to Uganda.
The spokesman said that “it was an extremely difficult decision for us on a personal and professional level as we have laid off employees and friends who have made a huge contribution to the development of our organisation over the years”.
The decision to make redundancies followed two years of losses totalling €1.52m — in the 12 months to the end of June 30 last year, Bóthar recorded a loss of €220,689 that followed a loss of €1.3m in 2012.
The charity’s income to the end of June reduced by 8%, falling from €6.96m to €6.37m as its cash pile reduced from €940,916 to €398,608.
The loss depleted the charity’s reserves, with total funds reducing from €639,164 to €418,475.
The spokesman said: “We don’t plan and couldn’t afford any further deficits. The deficits in recent years depleted reserves that were critical to sustain us through the difficult times, including 2913.”
The spokesman added that “Bóthar is now on the road to recovery”.