August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, an annual reminder that humanitarian crises around the world are far from over. Founded by the United Nations, WHD advocates for the "safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, and for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises."
To mark the courage and strength of the brave men and women working on the front lines of conflict and raise awareness for those affected by disasters around the world, we’re highlighting 10 nonprofits that are making a difference by driving action and support for aid efforts.
Cut poverty off at its roots. That’s the message CARE has embraced over the course of its 72-year history. Providing tools for sustainable change to populations most vulnerable to hunger, violence, and disease, CARE has earned its place in the hall of fame of nonprofits continuing to make the world a better place.
2. Oxfam America
Oxfam America envisions a world without poverty. To make that vision a reality, they work tirelessly to combat the conditions that cause poverty, hunger, and social justice. Their work spans the globe, including promoting the work of a vegetable and chicken farmer in Vietnam, providing financial support to nearly 2,000 families participating in soil conservation projects in Guatemala, and building sanitation facilities in Somalia.
3. Women's Refugee Commission
Since 1989, the Women’s Refugee Commission has been the leading expert on the needs of refugee women and children. WRC advocates for programs and policies that create opportunity and drive change for these communities. From publishing the first-ever global research report on disabilities among refugees to playing a significant part in the passage of two critical UN Security Council Resolutions, WRC has long been a pivotal player in humanitarian action.
4. Equality Now
Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support efforts to stop these abuses. Since 1922, they have put significant international pressure on governments to enforce and enact laws that defend women’s rights.
For over 30 years, FINCA has remained steadfast in its mission: alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living. Their work is spread across five continents, providing millions of low-income people access to loans and other financial services.
6. Amnesty International USA
Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization. Operating under the basic principle of “all people have fundamental human rights,” Amnesty has established a record of winning critical protections for individuals and systemic change affecting millions. Among their many notable achievements in 2016, they have helped persuade the federal government to welcome 110,000 refugees into the United States and played a significant part in abolishing the death penalty in Delaware.
7. AIDS United
AIDS United seeks to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Since its founding, the organization’s strategic grantmaking initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities. On the policy and advocacy front, they invest resources into integrating HIV prevention, care, and treatment into health care, strengthening the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and educating Congress. They also provide organizations with customized technical assistance and management tools to most effectively respond to the epidemic, including but not limited to: Getting to Zero and the National Center for Innovation in HIV Care.
8. Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide’s global community operates on the belief that eliminating extreme poverty is possible. For nearly 50 years, Concern Worldwide has worked with these communities to address the root causes of extreme poverty. From establishing emergency response programs in the most vulnerable communities to promoting eco-friendly farming techniques in the face of climate change, Concern Worldwide continues to build sustainable solutions where they are most needed.
9. Human Rights Watch
For decades, Human Rights Watch has defended the rights of people worldwide. Their extensive research and advocacy efforts - including annual reports and briefings on human rights conditions - have generated extensive coverage worldwide.
10. The Carter Center
Founded by former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center aims to advance peace and health worldwide. As an advocacy organization that focuses on peacebuilding and public health initiatives around the world, The Carter Center boasts impressive numbers in its accomplishments. Take for instance its work in helping reduce the incidence of Guinea worm disease from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 25 present day.