Refugees International advocates for refugees through diplomacy and the press.
Their site is large, well-organized and covers a range of humanitarian issues
from landmines in Cambodia, to the famine in North Korea, to Burmese refugees.
It offers a few video accounts of refugees' stories and has a search option
that links to material on refugee issues in specific regions/countries.
There's also a good index of documents, reports, news articles and op-ed
pieces organized by topic/date, all dealing with refugees and relief aid.
This site is a good starting point for some general background on recent
disasters and humanitarian crises and how humanitarian aid response. ReliefWeb
is a project of the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs and aims to enhance
logistical, tactical and strategic decision-making in the delivery of
humanitarian aid through reliable informatoin on the situation, actors and
You'll find here over 200 maps of countries and regions; a "News Update"
section (updated daily) with information on crisis situations worldwide; and a
"Background" section with histories on forty-five events monitored on the site.
The "Natural Disasters" section charts 1997's alarmingly large number of
natural disasters -- from El Nino to Typhoon Winnie to Montserrat's volcanic
eruption - with background information and updates. There is also lot's of
additional resources that can be found under "Resource" and "News Search" on
disasters and relief aid.
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee is the voluntary
organization involved in resettlement assistance, global emergency relief,
rehabilitation, and advocacy for refugees. The IRC web site offers a list of
humanitarian work job openings, a synopsis of the IRC's global programs and a
collection of responses from IRC volunteers.
InterAction is a coalition of over 150 US-based non-profit organizations which
are usually the first to respond to a crisis. InterAction coordinates and
promotes relief aid progrms. This site contains information on its 160 member
organizations and their publications and provides weekly disaster reports -
such as UN background information on North Korea's famine and what non-profit
organizations are doing to help.
Oxfam is a development and relief agency working to end poverty.
The site contains a"What's Going On" section with a weekly update on
issues, and summaries of Oxfam's latest campaigns - such as banning landmines
and protesting British companies who use sweat shop labor. The site tells you
how to get involved, contains a large collection of policy and research papers
and offers a manifesto on why the world needs to continue overseas programs to
help the world's poorest.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, created by the UN General
Assembly, provides assistance to refugees around the world. In addition to
country-by-country updates of the refugee situation, the web site's 'News'
section tracks the development of more recent and faster developing situations
like those in Africa and the former Yugoslavia. The site covers the world's
refugee situation from all angles: political, economic, moral, and personal.
One of the site's highlights is an online documentary, "Witness," which
recounts a Bosnian refugee's story. For teachers, there's a guide on how to use
the UNHCR site in secondary school courses.
Doctors Without Borders delivers medical help to populations endangered by war,
civil strife, epidemics or natural disasters. Each year over 2,000 volunteer
doctors representing 45 nationalities work worldwide in front-line hospitals,
refugee camps, disaster sites, towns and villages.providing primary health
care, performing surgery, vaccinating children, operating emergency nutrition
and sanitation programs and training local medical staff.
This interesting and well designed site offers a good view of world health
issues through the eyes of these volunteer doctors. It offers a long list of
global diseases and their status, and an updated "This Week ' section on latest
crises areas and activities. Some of the sections worth checking out are the
personal interviews with doctors and 'Launching a Mission' which describes how
and when this organization decide to go into a crisis - and what it involves.
The International Crisis Group (ICG), founded in 1995, is a private,
multinational organization which seeks to provide international policy-makers
with objective and informed information and analysis geared to head off
impending crises in unstable parts of the world. ICG uses private high-level
contacts and the media to disseminate its findings and mobilize support for
more effective international response to crises. ICG is chaired by former U.S.
Senate majority leader George Mitchell. Its board of trustees includes former
presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from around the world, as
well as prominent figures from business and the media.
The site is clearly organized with maps showing crisis situations such as the
Balkans and Africa. There are numerous links to text material containing ICG's
evaluation of what needs to be done to promote peace and stability.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an
independent government agency that provides economic development and
humanitarian assistance to advance U.S. economic and political interests
overseas. It was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.
Most of the web site consists of strategy papers--essays on economic policy,
environmental issues, public health, and the support of democratic principles
in regions from Africa to Central America. There is also information on
employment opportunities with USAID.
World Neighbors, a grassroots development organization, works with the poor in
rural villages in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The organization seeks to
lessen the effects of hunger, disease and poverty. Their "Field Notes" section
offers some specific cases of the group's programs - for example, soil
enrichment teaching and practice in Bolivia.
IOM is an intergovernmental organization of 59 Member States and 42 Observers .
Since 1951 it has operated programs worldwide to assist migrants and refugees
to resettle in third countries, repatriate to their home countries, or move to
temporary safe havens. This site includes detailed explanations of specific
refugee programs -- their intent, challenges and successes. The site is laid
out simply. Additional information exists on the INDIX Database, which remains
accessible only through Netscape 2.0.
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