Key Humanitarian Organizations

A volunteer nurse takes vital signs to survivors of natural disasters and flooding in Iligan City, Philippines. © 2012 Requel Legaspino, Courtesy of PhotoshareThe websites of each of these humanitarian organizations offer collections of disaster relief and emergency management guidance and tools.

Center for Refugee and Disaster Response The Center for Refugee and Disaster Response (CRDR), at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, develops and implements emergency systems that meet the needs of underserved, vulnerable populations in crisis.

Gender and Disaster Network The Gender and Disaster Network is an educational project initiated by women and men interested in gender relations in disaster contexts. The GDN aims to use the Internet and other forms of new media in support of a global network of researchers and practitioners.

Inter-Agency Standing Committee The IASC is a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners. The IASC develops humanitarian policies, agrees on a clear division of responsibility for the various aspects of humanitarian assistance, identifies and addresses gaps in response, and advocates for effective application of humanitarian principles. With the Executive Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA), the IASC forms the key strategic coordination mechanism among major humanitarian actors.

Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crisis The IAWG on Reproductive Health in Crises was formed in 1995 to promote access to quality reproductive health care for refugee women and others affected by humanitarian emergencies. It originally comprised more than 30 groups, including United Nations (UN) agencies, universities and governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and was led by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

International Rescue Commitee IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home.

PAHO/WHO Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief PAHO/WHO's Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief works with the countries of Latin America to improve disaster preparedness in the health sector, protect health services from the risk of disasters, support countries to respond to health needs during emergencies, and strengthen partnerships with national and international organizations.

Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) The RAISE Initiative, developed by Columbia University's Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health in the Mailman School of Public Health and Marie Stopes International, aims to address the full range of reproductive health needs for refugees and internally displaced persons by building partnerships with humanitarian and development agencies, governments, United Nations bodies, advocacy agencies and academic institutions.

UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) unites the work of 13 UN entities with the goal of ending sexual violence in conflict. It is a concerted effort by the UN system to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programming and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence and respond effectively to the needs of survivors. The web site offers news and updates form the field, links to relevant NGOs, and a long list of advocacy resources.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) The goal of UNFPA is ensure reproductive rights for all. To accomplish this, UNFPA works to ensure that all people, especially women and young people, are able to access high-quality sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, so that they can make informed and voluntary choices about their sexual and reproductive lives.

University of Wisconsin Disaster Management Center The University of Wisconsin-Disaster Management Center (UW-DMC) works closely with experts recognized for their field experience to develop disaster management training activities with a practical emphasis. The center's goal is to help improve the emergency management performance of non-governmental organizations, local and national governments, and international organizations, through a comprehensive professional development program in disaster management.

Women's Refugee Commission The Women's Refugee Commission strives to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis by researching their needs, identifying solutions and advocating for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice.