Across the world, there are hundreds of millions of homeless and poor people spread across various communities of the world. Even though the world has become a civilized haven, a lot of individuals still undergo various forms of sufferings daily. Currently, the world is witnessing a pathetic surge in the number of refugees from war-torn areas. The standard of living of many communities around the globe is still highly deplorable. To a large extent, women and children are the principal victims due to their vulnerable status. It is saddening having to live with the fact that poverty and underdevelopment are still very much part of our world.
A lot of international organizations exist primarily to ensure the eradication of poverty and deplorable living conditions from our world. These international bodies assist communities around the globe in the form of humanitarian and development aids. Humanitarian aids are carried out with the primary intentions of providing emergency relief services to communities that are victims of disasters. Such disasters might be natural (e.g. famine, earthquake, and flood) or artificial (such as terrorism and political uprisings).
Meanwhile, development aids are targeted at assisting underdeveloped countries to attain a reasonable level of development. Such assistance is usually aimed at reducing poverty, sustaining economic growth and improving the standard of living of the people. The aids come in the form of material and logistic assistance. Below is the list of top international agencies that provides aids for communities:
United States Agency for International Development: USAID was founded in 1961 by President John Kennedy. The firm was established as an arm of the US government responsible for providing private aids to foreign countries. The primary objective of the organization is to combat extreme poverty from the world. USAID operates in underdeveloped nations across Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. USAID assist these countries through the provision of poverty and disaster relief assistance to needing communities. Also, the agency helps low-income countries in such areas as socio-economic development, disease control, and environmental protection. In such countries, the organization is often managed by resident USAID offices in the individual countries.
The various resident positions are supported by the agency’s headquarter in Washington DC. The US government majorly funds USAID. In 2015, the organization had a working revenue of $35.6 billion. A large part of the yearly budgets is spent towards the agency’s Bilateral Economic Assistance program.
Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam) : Oxfam was created in 1942 by a group of Quakers, social activists and academians in Oxford, England. The organization operates in more than 90 different countries across the world. The primary objective of Oxfam is to alleviate poverty as well as famine from the world. The agency operates by carrying out specialized programs targeted at addressing the structural causes of poverty. Oxfam organizes and funds local organizations within their resident communities, with the view of enhancing their efficiency. In addition to these commitments, Oxfam provides development, humanitarian and advocacy aids to needing communities globally. The agency focuses primarily on local communities that are victims of poverty and injustice. Oxfam is funded mostly by UK citizens. Over half a million people in the UK contribute towards the organization’s activities regularly. The organization also obtain funds by organizing fundraising events across the globe. Instances of Oxfam interventions include the Israeli-Palestinian war, the North Korean famine, the 2011 East Africa drought, the Nepal earthquake and the Yemeni crisis.
Adventist Development Relief Agency International (ADRA): ADRA is a global humanitarian organization established in 1956. The agency is run significantly by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ADRA operates in over 130 countries worldwide and has its headquarters in Maryland, USA. The principal goal of ADRA is the delivery of relief and development aid to vulnerable communities and persons. Through its international network, the organization helps different communities to improve their living conditions irrespective of their ethnicity, political or religious affiliations. ADRA helps these communities in areas like food security, economic development, and primary health care services. Additionally, ADRA renders assistance to many state and national governments in providing quality education and emergency services to the people. As at 2009, the agency had a revenue of $173 million.
Africare: Africare is a Washington-based NPO that specializes in offering development aids to African communities. The organization was founded in 1970 by Dr. Joseph Kennedy and C. Payne Lucas. Africare aims at reducing hunger, underdevelopment, and diseases to the barest minimum in Africa. Since its inception, Africare has provided assistance of about $1 billion to millions of Africans. The organization has further commissioned thousands of projects targeted at achieving its objectives, in 36 African countries. Annually, Africare operates on an estimated budget of $54 million. The agency’s activities are carried out in partnerships with local communities, NGOs, governments and private corporations. Africare is mainly funded by contributions from individual volunteers and private organizations.
Doctors Without Borders: MSF was created in France in response to the Biafra war in Nigeria. The non-governmental medical humanitarian organization is a product of the vision of a small group of French doctors and journalists in 1971. MSF focuses on war-torn regions as well as developing countries facing endemic diseases. The agency has sponsored over 30,000 medical professionals in about 70 countries of the world in providing medical aids to local communities. The founding mission of MSF is the upholding of the rights of every human being to health care, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. The agency also advocates for effective treatments and vaccines in developing nations. 90% of the organization’s annual fund of about $750 million are donated by private individuals, while corporate groups contribute the remaining. MSF has operational centers in Amsterdam, Barcelona-Athens, Brussels, Geneva and Paris. The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1999, for its commitment to saving lives of people globally.
Rockefeller Foundation : The Rockefeller Foundation was founded in 1913 by the Rockefeller family. The Foundation aims at promoting the well-being of humanity. The Rockefeller Foundation advances whole economies by expanding opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity. Additionally, the foundation builds resilience by assisting people and communities to withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. The agency has helped thousands of communities and institutions with more than $14 billion since its inception. It has also successfully inducted 13,000 fellows into its foundation. The organization is headed by prominent individuals from different countries of the world.
African Development Bank : AfDB was founded on 10 September 1964. The body consists of 78 African countries and 27 non-African countries as its members. The Bank is majorly a multilateral development bank that helps fight poverty in Africa. AfDB also aims at improving the living conditions on the continent through its contribution towards stimulating the growth of member countries. Furthermore, the agency promotes the investment of public and private projects and programs. Most of these programs are directed towards encouraging the economic and social development of Africa. The bank provides loans for its financially weak members. The AfDB headquarters is situated in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The humanitarian gestures of these organizations have resulted in sharp reductions in the number of extreme poverty in the world. However, with the daily surge in the global population, all hands must be on deck to ensure that many more organizations are supported in carrying out their humanitarian activities. In as much as we all want to see a better world, we must understand that the responsibility is on us to assist organizations that provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities. You can contribute your part through donations or by speaking up for these communities. The world would surely be a better place if we can all contribute our quotas.
Photo Credit: Jdcentwine