Ranked Nonprofits: International Emergency Response 2011

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"Since 2000, the world has witnessed 35 major conflicts and some 2,500 disasters". - United Nations Environment Programme
"Since 2000, the world has witnessed 35 major conflicts and some 2,500 disasters". - United Nations Environment Programme

The 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).

The Scope: Experts working in the field of international emergency response were asked to recommend up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work across multiple countries/regions, and up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work in a specific country/region because we want to be able to highlight both large and smaller scale nonprofits working in the field of disaster relief. We included both natural and man-made disasters (war displacement disasters) because the response, preparation, and recovery efforts are very similar for both natural and man-made disasters. We also ask experts to identify nonprofits working in both 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. Read more about the scope of the research here: http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/blog/2011/10/11/identifying-high-impact-nonprofits-working-in-international-disaster-response/


54 International Emergency Response experts recommended the following 11 outstanding nonprofits.
Meet the experts and read more about this research.


Top Nonprofit Mission
1 Medal-small-2011 International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement) is dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering wherever it may be found, protecting life and health and ensuring respect for the human being, in particular in times of armed conflict and other emergencies, working for the prevention of disease and for the promotion of health and social welfare, encouraging voluntary service and a constant readiness to give help by the members of the Movement, and a universal sense of solidarity towards all those in need of its protection and assistance.

(Preamble of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement)

It is not a single organization. It is composed of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) and the 188 individual National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies including the American Red Cross. Each has its own legal identity and role, but they are all united by seven Fundamental Principles which guide all of their actions.

These principles are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. Each component of the Movement is committed to respect and uphold them.

2 Medal-small-2011 Oxfam
The purpose of Oxfam is to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty. We are part of a global movement for change, one that empowers people to create a future that is secure, just, and free from poverty.
3 Medal-small-2011 Medecins sans Frontiers
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 60 countries.
4 Medal-small-2011 CARE
Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility. We facilitate lasting change by: Strengthening capacity for self-help Providing economic opportunity Delivering relief in emergencies Influencing policy decisions at all levels Addressing discrimination in all its forms Guided by the aspirations of local communities, we pursue our mission with both excellence and compassion because the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.
5 Medal-small-2011 International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a global leader in emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression. The IRC is a critical global network of first responders, humanitarian relief workers, healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, activists, and volunteers. Working together, we provide access to safety, sanctuary, and sustainable change for millions of people whose lives have been shattered by violence and oppression. The IRC is on the ground in 42 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees, and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster.
6 Medal-small-2011 Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to:

  • Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and,
  • Serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.


As part of the universal mission of the Catholic Church, we work with local, national and international Catholic institutions and structures, as well as other organizations, to assist people on the basis of need, not creed, race or nationality.
7 Medal-small-2011 Mercy Corps (MC)
Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.
8 Medal-small-2011 Save the Children
Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. We work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining our own independence without political agenda or religious orientation. When disaster strikes around the world, Save the Children is there to save lives with food, medical care and education and remains to help communities rebuild through long-term recovery programs. As quickly and as effectively as Save the Children responds to tsunamis and civil conflict, it works to resolve the ongoing struggles children face every day — poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease — and replaces them with hope for the future.
9 Medal-small-2011 Concern Worldwide
Our mission is to help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives that last and spread without ongoing support from Concern. Our role is to ensure that people living in extreme poverty are able to meet their basic needs, achieve their rights and manage their own development. We do so by working with communities and by using our shared experience and knowledge to address the root causes of extreme poverty. To achieve this mission we engage in long-term development work, respond to emergency situations, and seek to address the root causes of poverty.
10 Medal-small-2011 International Medical Corps
Our mission is to save lives and relieve suffering through the provision of health care and training. With headquarters in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively, we collaborate to maximize resources for the delivery of appropriate relief and development activities.
11 Medal-small-2011 Action Against Hunger | ACF International
Action Against Hunger | ACF International is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger.


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Through independent research, Philanthropedia has leveraged the wisdom of 3121 experts to provide reviews on 715 top nonprofits across 44 causes.