International humanitarian disaster response occurs when foreign governments, agencies, and organizations assist a society whose government and civil institutions cannot adequately address the needs of its disaster-affected populations. Assistance includes immediate and longer-term efforts designed to save lives, alleviate suffering, maintain human dignity, and help people prevent, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to future crises. As developed nations generally have the financial, technical, and human capital resources needed to conduct their own relief and recovery activities, requests for external assistance come largely from developing countries.
Source: Root Cause
Disaster relief and recovery efforts is one of the most popular issues individual donors donate to. The number of natural disasters has increased exponentially with growing populations in disaster prone areas (i.e., coastal areas). In total, nearly one third of the world’s population has been affected, and millions have lost their lives. These tragic events (natural and man-made) destroy infrastructure, cause population displacement, and fundamentally undermine the fabric of sustainable development and human security (source: United Nations Environment Programme).
While systematic methods for measuring the impact of disaster response efforts are limited, and means of attributing impact to individual actors or programs non-existent, coordinated multi-actor humanitarian interventions —and the participating organizations—most capable of creating positive social impact demonstrate four core components:
Experts were asked to recommend nonprofits that work in both natural and man-made disasters (war displacement disasters), slow and fast onset of disasters. Nonprofits being recommended can be working in one or more of the following areas: health, food, shelter, water, sanitation, security, medicine, non-food items (pots, pans, water containers, etc.), technical assistance, and other areas.
International disaster response is a complex issue that requires the expertise of numerous specialized actors (governments, international and local non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, sometimes militaries, and always the affected civilians). Interventions involve several phases and can span multiple years. Those which create positive and sustainable improvements in people's lives could be credited with
Philanthropedia surveyed 54 experts who worked in the international emergency response field (with an average of 17 years of work experience in the field). They were asked to recommend high-impact nonprofits working in emergency response internationally. Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc.) identified 11 top nonprofits (out of 52 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the international level.
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