Give to a Charity
When most people first hear about the injustices of the chocolate
industry, they are surprised. "Why haven't I heard about this
before?" and "Why isn't this on the frontpage of the newspaper?"
are reactions we have heard.
On this page, we hope to alert you to (or remind you of) other
humanitarian emergencies facing people in the poorer parts of the
world. We include an essay,
The Sanctity of the
Individual, describing why we think it is important to donate
to people living in extreme poverty.
We also include concise and easy-to-read information about
facing less-developed nations. As these crises are complex and
constantly changing, we include links
to other informative, more
in-depth sites. We hope this information compels you to want to
For this reason, we also include descriptions of and links to
charities working on each specific
emergency. At these charity sites, with the push of a button, you
can significantly improve the lives of people on the other side of
the world. We hope that this user-friendly design, with information
and links to charities side-by-side, will encourage you to donate.
If you know what cause you want to support, search for charities
that support it with
Or, if you know to which charity you want donate, check it out with
"Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. [They] help
charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing
information on over four thousand charities and by evaluating the
financial health of each of these charities. [They] ensure our
evaluations are widely used by making them easy to understand
and freely available to the public. By guiding intelligent giving,
[they] aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic
marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work
in tandem to overcome our nation's most persistent challenges."
1. Charity Sites
In this section, we list charities that accept donations to directly
help people in poorer parts of the world. These sites also contain
up-to-date information on emergencies around the world.
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Appeals.
This page contains information about the programs the IFRC plans to
launch this year in "organisational development, health and care in
the community, disaster management, humanitarian values, and
coordination and representation." This page contains a PDF for each
region and country the IFRC plans to work in, with information
about the hardships facing each.
CARE "works with poor
communities in more than 70 countries around the world to find
lasting solutions to poverty." "CARE is one of the world's largest
private international humanitarian organizations, committed to
helping families in poor communities improve their lives and achieve
lasting victories over poverty."
Oxfam International |
Sites "is a
confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3000
partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to
poverty, suffering and injustice. ... Oxfam International seeks
increased worldwide public understanding that economic and social
justice are crucial to sustainable development. We strive to be a
global campaigning force promoting the awareness and motivation
that comes with global citizenship whilst seeking to shift public
opinion in order to make equity the same priority as economic
Borders "is an international independent medical humanitarian
organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by
armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and
exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries. Each year, MSF
volunteer doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation
experts, administrators, and other medical and non-medical
professionals depart on more than 3,400 aid missions. They work
alongside more than 16,000 locally hired staff to provide medical
Bairo Pite Clinic "is an integral part of [East Timor's] struggling health care system and one of very few free clinics in the country. ... In addition to the 400 patients who come to the clinic every day for trusted, quality care in their local languagem Bairo Pite places emphasis on training East Timorese paramedics, nurses and support staff (many who have been unable to continue their schooling since 1999)." For donations from the United States, visit .
The UN Refugee Agency "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. In more than five
decades, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people
restart their lives. Today, a staff of more than 6,000 people in
more than 116 countries continues to help some 19 million persons."
World Health Organization "is the
United Nations specialized agency for health".
Save the Children
"responds to any emergency that puts at great risk the survival,
protection, and well-being of significant numbers of children,
where addressing the needs and well-being of those children is
beyond the indigenous coping capacity ... Save the Children's
response to humanitarian crises includes the rapid provision of
life-saving relief aid and programs to reinforce the capacity of
households to ensure their own security. [They] also promote
programs to strengthen the capacity of families and communities to
provide care, support and protection for children."
International Rescue Committee
"is a world leader in relief, rehabilitation, protection,
post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for
those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression. At
work in 25 countries, the IRC delivers lifesaving aid in
emergencies, rebuilds shattered communities, cares for
war-traumatized children, rehabilitates health care, water and
sanitation systems, reunites separated families, restores lost
livelihoods, establishes schools, trains teachers, strengthens the
capacity of local organizations and supports civil society and
African Medical and
Research Foundation's (AMREF) "mission is to improve the
health of disadvantaged people in Africa as a means for them to
escape poverty and improve the quality of their lives." Their areas
of focus are "HIV/AIDS, TB and STDs, Malaria, Safe Water and Basic
Sanitation, Family Health, Clinical Services, Disaster Management
and Emergency Response, and Training and Health Learning Materials."
"AMREF is the continent's leading health development organisation.
AMREF has offices in 5 Eastern and Southern African countries:
Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda [and] field
offices in Somalia and Sudan."
Mercy Corps "alleviates suffering, poverty and oppression by
helping people build secure, productive and just communities."
"Mercy Corps is an international family of humanitarian agencies
that reaches more than seven million people each year."
Concern is "committed to the relief, assistance and advancement
of peoples in need in less developed areas of the world, while
concentrating on the poorest people in its countries of operation.
[Concern's] work helps people living in absolute poverty achieve
major improvements in their lives which last and spread without
ongoing support from Concern Worldwide. [Concern] work[s] with the
poor and with local and international partners who share our vision
of democratic and just societies."
PATH "is an international,
nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally
relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break
longstanding cycles of poor health. PATH's mission is to improve
the health of people around the world by advancing technologies,
strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors."
International "is a Christian relief and development
organisation working for the well being of all people, especially
children. Through emergency relief, education, health care,
economic development and promotion of justice, World Vision helps
communities help themselves. Established in 1950 to care for
orphans in Asia, World Vision has grown to embrace the larger
issues of community development and advocacy for the poor in its
mission to help children and their families build sustainable
Fund "creates an environment of hope and respect for children
in need in which they have opportunities to achieve their full
potential, and provides children, families and communities with
practical tools for positive change."
United Nations Children's Fund
"is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for
the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs
and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
UNICEF ... strives to establish children's rights as enduring
ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards
children. UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and
development of children are universal development imperatives that
are integral to human progress. UNICEF is committed to ensuring
special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims
of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and
exploitation and those with disabilities. UNICEF responds in
emergencies to protect the rights of children."
Feed the Children "is
a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization ... that
delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to
individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to
famine, war, poverty or natural disaster." "During [their] 25-year
history, Feed The Children has created and developed one of the
world's largest private organizations dedicated to feeding hungry
people. Last year, Feed The Children shipped 146 million pounds of
food and other essentials to children and families in all 50 states
and in 57 foreign countries. Feed The Children supplemented
1,040,710 meals a day, worldwide."
"provides physical and spiritual healing for disabled children
in the developing world. As a faith-based, nonprofit organization,
CURE's attention is focused on excellence - excellence in medical
care, compassion, training, and in the quality of the equipment and
"strives to alleviate the suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases
worldwide without regard to color, race or creed and to provide aid
in a compassionate and dignified manner. It aims to provide rapid
relief in the event of man-made or natural disasters. In addition,
it establishes development projects in needy areas to help tackle
poverty, illiteracy and disease at a local level."
American Jewish World Service "is
an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 to help
alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the world
regardless of race, religion or nationality. It breathes life into
Judaism's imperative to pursue justice and helps American Jews act
upon a deeply felt obligation to improve the chances for survival,
economic independence and human dignity for all people."
"programs address needs in the principal areas of food security and
agriculture as well as health and HIV/AIDS. Africare also supports
water resource development, environmental management, basic
education, microenterprise development, governance initiatives and
emergency humanitarian aid. Africare now reaches families and
communities in 26 countries in every major region of Sub-Saharan
Africa, from Mali to South Africa and from Senegal to Mozambique.
Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered more than $450
million in assistance - 2,000 projects - to 36 countries
Rehabilitation Organization aims are to bring "much needed
relief and long-term rehabilitation [to] the displaced Tamil people
from the North and East of Sri Lanka" "by facilitating the provision
of food, clothing and shelter" and to "provide help via self
development programs amongst the people of North-eastern Sri Lanka."
TRO's key programs include caring for destitute children,
nutritional rehabilitation (TRO reports that over 50% of Tamil
children under the age of 5 suffer from acute malnutrition), and
emergency relief programs.
Human Rights Watch:
"Although the TRO claims to be a humanitarian NGO, it is widely
acknowledged to be closely linked to the LTTE [the LTTE is the
Tamil rebel group in Sri Lanka regarded by some as a terrorist
organization]. Local sources in Trincomalee told Human Rights
Watch that many TRO representatives are former LTTE soldiers.
The TRO is controlled largely by the LTTE, and its credibility is
riddled with allegations about its political motives. According
to Canadian intelligence sources, the TRO raises funds from Tamils
abroad which it claims to use to assist displaced peoples and
former child soldiers in Sri Lanka, but channels much of the
money directly to the LTTE."
In spite of these allegations, we include the TRO because
Charity Navigator awarded it a
four-star rating, because it is a U.S.-acredited charity,
and because, given the situation in
Sri Lanka, it is one of the few organizations providing aid to
Tamils in the north-east of Sri Lanka.
Education "is a secular organization
dedicated to change in India by focusing on basic
education in the belief that education is a
critical requisite for socio-economic change."
Asha efficiently supports a large number of
education-related projects in most states in
India by funding schools for poorer children,
making education relevant in rural communities,
and providing scholarships to individual
Health Alliance International's mission "is to improve the
health and welfare of disenfranchised peoples and [work] toward
more equitable delivery of health services worldwide." It is
associated with the University of Washington School of Public
Health and Community Medicine. Currently, HAI works in Mozambique
and East Timor to develop sustainable
primary health care for returning refugees.
Services is "the official international humanitarian agency of
the U.S. Catholic community." Catholic Relief Services "provides
humanitarian relief and development assistance." They "connect
[their] U.S.-based supporters to opportunities to educate and
advocate for the poorest of the poor in 99 countries worldwide."
They "provide relief in times of disaster, while also laying the
foundation for developing stronger communities for the future. Our
current portfolio of programming includes: Agriculture, Community
Health, Education, Emergency Response, HIV/AIDS, Microfinance,
Peacebuilding, Safety Net Programming, and U.S. Based Education and
Advocacy Activities. Woven within each CRS program are common
themes that drive each CRS decision and action. These themes -
Capacity Building, Food Security , Gender and Justice - teach
communities how to become self-sustaining, through tolerance,
understanding and solidarity."
The Fund for East Timor "is a non-profit organization in the
United States, founded to support the reconstruction and development
of East Timor. Chaired by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Senior
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Ramos-Horta, and
leading Presidential candidate Xanana Gusmao, the Fund for East
Timor partners with Timor Aid and other established non-profit
organizations to meet the critical needs of the country."
2. The Sanctity of the Individual
According to the UN, more than a billion people live in extreme
poverty; six million children die of starvation every year; 6,000
people are killed by AIDS every day; and a woman dies in pregnancy
or childbirth every minute. Faced with these numbers, what can we
possibly do? How can we hope to make any difference? Why even bother
Please read the essay The
Sanctity of the Individual, which is an argument against our
indifference to the suffering of others.
3. Humanitarian Emergencies.
In this section, we describe humanitarian emergencies we have
researched. We include histories and causes of these emergencies,
the challenges currently confronting those caught in these crises,
actions we can take to help them (including charities accepting
donations), and links to other sources of information on these
East Timor is beginning to recover
from a 24-year Indonesian occupation during which at least a
quarter of its population was slain or died of starvation. Before
Indonesian militias left East Timor in 1999, they razed the country,
destroying crops, livestock, and at least 80% of all infrastructure.
They massacred 1,300 people and forced 300,000 into West Timor as
Sri Lanka has suffered two decades of
civil war and was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, suffering more
casualties than any nation other than Indonesia. In addition, the
Sri Lankan government has been slow to rebuild because of
corruption, bureaucracy, and political disagreements.
4. Stay Up-To-Date
There are a number of online sources of up-to-date on crises around
the world. In this section, we list sites whose sole purpose is
to provide information on crises.
ReliefWeb "is the world's
leading on-line gateway to information (documents and maps) on
humanitarian emergencies and disasters. An independent vehicle of
information, designed specifically to assist the international
humanitarian community in effective delivery of emergency
assistance, it provides timely, reliable and relevant information
as events unfold, while emphasizing the coverage of 'forgotten
emergencies' at the same time. ReliefWeb was launched in October
1996 and is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)."
Reuters AlertNet "is a
humanitarian news network based around a popular website. It aims
to keep relief professionals and the wider public up-to-date on
humanitarian crises around the globe." "AlertNet focuses its
resources on covering fast-moving humanitarian emergencies and on
the early warning of future emergencies. In so doing we provide
relatively little on economic development which is a closely
related subject and makes up the majority of the work of AlertNet
"publish[es] the pictures the mainstream media exclude, every day.
Crisis Pictures is a primary source. Most of the time, if [they]
didn't buy these pictures, they would not appear on the internet
(or any other medium) at all. [Their] simple message is, 'this is
happening and we must do something.' Their service is a forum for
conversation about what that 'something' might be. ... By showing
the consequences of policies, Crisis Pictures demands viewers
reflect on their values. The child in Fallujah, bleeding to death
in their mother's arms, the bulldozed home in a refugee camp in
Gaza, the eight year old boy missing an arm in Liberia-, is this
the world you thought you were building?"
World Food Programme is the United
Nations program devoted to "freeing the world from hunger."
United Nations Development
Programme "is the UN's global development network, an
organization advocating for change and connecting countries to
knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better
life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on
their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP
and our wide range of partners." "UNDP helps developing countries
attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we
encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of
US AID is "the principal U.S.
agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster,
trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms."
East Timor Action
Network "was founded in November 1991 to support genuine
self-determination and human rights for the people of East Timor
in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
the 1960 United Nations General Assembly Resolution on
Decolonization, and Security Council and General Assembly
resolutions on East Timor. [Their] primary focus has been to change
US foreign policy and raise public awareness to support justice and
self-determination and now genuine independence for East Timor and
human rights in Indonesia. In February 2001, ETAN revised its
mission statement to reflect its coming independence."
Amnesty International "is a
worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally
recognized human rights."
Human Rights Watch "is dedicated
to protecting the human rights of people around the world." "Human
Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into
human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Human Rights Watch
then publishes those findings in dozens of books and reports every
year, generating extensive coverage in local and international
media. This publicity helps to embarrass abusive governments in the
eyes of their citizens and the world. Human Rights Watch then meets
with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice --
at the United Nations, the European Union, in Washington and in
capitals around the world. In extreme circumstances, Human Rights
Watch presses for the withdrawal of military and economic support
from governments that egregiously violate the rights of their
people. In moments of crisis, Human Rights Watch provides
up-to-the-minute information about conflicts while they are
underway. Refugee accounts, which were collected, synthesized
and cross-corroborated by our researchers, helped shape the
response of the international community to recent wars in
Kosovo and Chechnya."