In response to multiple attacks on foreigners, the UN, the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Care International have pulled their staffs out of Iraq. Yet other humanitarian aid workers remain, risking their lives to help the needy. Their work is difficult, not only because of the violence, but because many Iraqis are suspicious of them, wondering whether aid workers are really occupiers.
Aki Ra is a truly remarkable and extraordinarily brave man. He is a Cambodian, and was orphaned as a child. Then, before he was a teenager, he became a soldier. Now, he is devoting his life — and risking it, almost daily — compensating for, atoning for, the harm he once did. Ra defuses and clears land mines, the ones he once placed, so they won’t kill or maim any more of his countrymen. More
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged the U.S. and its allies not to forsake humanitarian issues while waging the war in Iraq. For months, nongovernmental relief agencies have been trying to get ready for a potential humanitarian crisis. Among the active groups are many faith-based organizations that have a long history of providing aid to the region.
There have been many estimates around the world about the desperation of people in Afghanistan. The country has suffered years of war and years of drought, and many advocate that this is the poorest country in the world. Before the current situation, Afghans were in tragic circumstances. Now, some of the people are starving and many are relocating to other areas in search of a better life.
In the past century, Quakers have helped start nearly 200 social service, environmental, and relief agencies such as the American Friends Service Committee. Additionally, they are the only religious organization to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In spite of its many achievements, almost 350 years after its founding, the Religious Society of Friends — as Quakers are formally known — remains small in numbers.