The Blog with the Search Engine for Statistics

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

International Relief and International Humanitarian Aid Resources and Statistics

International Relief and International Humanitarian Aid Resources and Statistics

Statistics on world disasters, hunger, health, disease and crime are staggering.   Poverty is the toxic element that is infused into all humanitarian catastrophic misfortunes.   Poverty ignites and is ignited by natural and intentional human indecencies and nature's wrath. Governments of many nations continue to offer financial aid to relief efforts, but politics often put basic human needs such as food and shelter on the back burner, while strategized political gain continues to roast into a succulent greedy feast.   When economies fail, international relief serving those who are far worse off than the statured decision makers is discontinued.  Funding remains to be decided by the face of a dollar sign, rather than the face of a poverty-stricken child, a homeless family, or a disease-ridden village.  Fortunately, all faces of devastation are not dismissed nor forgotten.

The faces of  those struck with the toxic energies of Poverty live constantly  in the minds of  International Relief Workers and Humanitarian Aid Workers around the world that trudge on inspired, exhausted and determined. Where the governments fails, International Relief Workers, Humanitarian Aid Workers and Private Humanitarian Agencies embark on missions for individual and group fundraising to raise money for transportation, medical costs, housing, food, and shelter.  Their funding efforts send them far away to the isles of Affliction, Corruptness, and Desperation that suffer from the epidemics of Poverty.  

Where governments fail, people must not fail.  Those of us not capable of  administering medicines, building houses,  training and educating the uneducated,  traveling to remote areas, and caring for dying babies in their arms, need to support those that are.  A volunteer International Relief Worker or Humanitarian Aid Worker does not receive a pass for a free around-the world trip.  They must pay for their desire to help the devastated.  Even those who receive a small compensation from a private funding source must still fund their own traveling expenses.  

During times of economic crisis, private funding deteriorates, and individuals must raise money on their own to quiet the cries of the helpless that infiltrate their minds at night, while sleeping in the arms of an almost sinfully-wealthy country.  These cries drive them to ask their churches, communities, businesses and educational institutions to help.  It is up to us, the believers, the dreamers, the neighbors, the business owners, and the educators, to support these individuals so that they can be the link on the chain to give to others what we can't give.  Only a strong chain of efforts can drag the toxic-ridden isles of poverty into a decent humanitarian state.  We must all become a part of that chain.  

High school students should be introduced to humanitarian efforts.  Colleges, universities, and even vocational schools should invoke International Relief and Humanitarian Aid training.  International majors that focus on people as well as politics need to grow exponentially.   Educational institutions offering majors for International Relief are far and few between.  Our educational system must step in to promote the end of global poverty and give rise to the efforts to extinguish the events that contribute to poverty's ignition.  

My daughter's continuous desire to become an International Relief Worker throughout her high school years, and our trying search for information on education and careers in International Relief Work over the years, drove me to choose this topic for my blog post on Blog for Poverty Day.  We can do more than contribute money, we can contribute our time.  Train, educate, contribute and build a desire to help others among our young people.  Teach young people the value of life, the value of living and the value of giving.  As parents, educators and humans with a heart - we can all step in to build the chain to pull the toxic elements of poverty out of human existence.  The chain may go on forever, but with every link, poverty's toxic elements are smothered just a little bit more.  

Many websites are available to see first hand the staggering statistics.  And since collecting statistics is a difficult, and almost impossible endeavor in many remote areas, these statistics, as dramatic as they are, often under-represent the realities of humanitarian needs.

One of the most noted resources for data on Global Poverty Issues is the World Bank.  The World Bank Statistics Page has data on international statistics for poverty related issues, current and needed funding, trends on poverty related issues and trends on development programs.  There is also a search engine query page for indepth research and an online poverty computational calculator designated as Povcal Net which can be improvised by countries. The World Bank website is a very comprehensive and reputable source for information and statistics. The World Health Report is one of their most considerable publications. 

The World Food Programme website, the World Health Organization with numerous health statistics on international issues, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and
UNICEF, need little introduction and are primary sources for research and statistics on international statistics on poverty and global issues.  On a smaller scale is US Aid, an independent US government website with information on budget for foreign assistance programs funded by the United States and  US Overseas Loans and Grants.  There is also a page on Missions of US Aid.

Disaster areas are often recipients of international funding.  There are many websites available for research on disaster funding, histories, trends, costs, causes and effects.  The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction has detailed data on the impact of natural disasters for many countries throughout the years.  The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder has a list of links to statistics on natural disasters, including many valuable government resources for information and statistics.  This is a must visit website for substantive research on natural disasters.  If you're looking for some global play-by-play disaster reports by month or year, check out the NCDC (National Climatic Data Center).  NASA is has astronomical amounts of information on disasters and shouldn't be left out of the list of resources.   The Asian Disaster Reduction Center has several pdf downloads on disaster statistics and analysis.

Talking ITGlobal Issues Page is not limited to IT issues, in fact, it is a non-profit website that promotes global issues to youth, and even  includes a page on educational games for global issues.  I haven't tried any of these yet but I'll definitely pay a visit later. Educational games on peace and global issues aren't easy to find!

I haven't compiled a list of universities and colleges that offer International and Humanitarian majors, (not merely courses), but it's on my list of things to do.  But there are some great websites for teenagers and young adults (and their parents and counselors of course!) to examine as they explore their career options.  Many of these also include links to listings to International Jobs, International Relief Jobs, and Humanitarian Aid Jobs around the world.  

The United Nations has a page dedicated to United Nations Volunteer ism, and a Fact Sheet on UN Volunteers and a Poverty Network Web Portal if you're interested in including your website.

The Human Rights Interactive Network has a long list of links from around the world on current news, newspapers, journals and websites related to human rights.  I just took a look at the All Africa website since my daughter is interested in International Relief work in Africa, and it's a wonderful news and research resource information on current events and even statistics. Unfortunately, its "premium search engine" is only available at a price.  However, it does provide many other sources for information. When I was doing research for my daughter I stumbled on the UN's Africa Renewal Online Magazine, formerly called "Africa Recovery." (The new name does sound more optimistic doesn't it?)  I really enjoyed reading it, and it's a wonderful source for current news and renewal efforts in Africa. UNICEF has a pdf file on Central Africa statistics and relief efforts. (1 in 5 die before their fifth birthday is particularly disheartening.)

 Blogspot blogs get in on the action in Africa too.  The Business Action for Africa blog is a blog to subscribe to if you're interested in humanitarian efforts in Africa, or have business connections willing to work for Africa, or are lucky enough to be in a position to recommend business action opportunities.  This is a professional business networking website with many valuable links and references.  There is also a social networking website for Businesses Fight Poverty around the world.

 This group is looking for volunteers to help deaf children in Africa if anyone is interested! The ad is posted in the website Network Learning, which has nothing to do with digital networks, but networking for humanitarian aid.  There are many free pdf files, career advice, and links for humanitarian aid career, learning, and organizational development and fundraising information. Network Learning is non-profit and has a vast array of information for NGO's.  But I still haven't figured out what NGO stands for. I'll have to look it up when I'm done. But if you know what it is - pay a visit to Network Learning.  

The website Aid Workers Network is another non-profit website for Humanitarian Aid Workers with career advice for Humanitarian Careers. I received a wonderful pdf file for my daughter from Dr. Bryan Walker, whose two sons are international humanitarian workers. The 83 page pdf file is entitled "Better Ways to Find Humanitarian Employment" and has too many valuable links and statistics to mention.  Dr. Walker has extensive experience in humanitarian aid. His free pdf book is a fluent read despite being chock full of valuable information, and can be downloaded at this link at the Network Learning Website.  If anyone can upload this document to encourage humanitarian workers, Dr. Bryan Walker can be contacted at this address on the Aidworkers Network.   I would also encourage high schools and guidance offices to promote this career advice to students interested in International Work.  As Dr. Walker stated in his email, "There are many people who struggle to get into humanitarian work so the more opportunities for readership, the better."  This pdf also includes a case history from his son now in the DR Congo with the International Rescue Committee.  I really enjoyed the read, but my daughter has to finish her research paper on the death penalty before she can get around to it.  Maybe her and I with gather up the youngest and head overseas after the rest of the clan are settled...

Career resources also exist at this US Aid page on Careers, and this free pdf on Private Volunteer Agencies and Opportunities for Humanitarian Aid and International Relief.   Relief Net is still my favorite resource after all of my investigations.  It includes interactive maps, professional resources,  International Relief Job and Humanitarian Aid Positions available, (including descriptions), data, statistics, and more.  This is positively one of the best networks to use if you begin a quest for information on international humanitarian relief work.  

I've been lucky my youngest is entranced with Magic School Bus, and I could go on forever with this post, but it's time to make dinner or lunch or whatever it is we're eating now.  (I like to avoid mirrors, calendars and clocks!) And, I think Blog for Poverty Day is almost over! Eeek...I've never been on time for anything.

Enjoy the day, enjoy your life, and build a little link to help end global poverty.


Statistics to Share October 16, 2008 at 1:01 AM  

I had problems publishing my blog I apologize to anyone who was subject to any of my disasters! I can't seem to edit it, but I read this interesting article on US Mortality Rates in the Reuters Africa news reporting service at this link:

Statistics to Share November 14, 2008 at 1:28 PM  

Another resource for poverty in America:

Statistics to Share November 25, 2008 at 3:56 AM  

Post Script: Congo is a mirror of Rwanda and the suffering and crimes are escalating. There are many articles on the situation including a CNN article with the help of Lindsay Branham at Food for the Hungry, and this video. I have started a Google Notebook with a collection of links on Congo's crisis (very crude notebook) and articles on children running for their lives - leaving families behind - some never to be found. If anyone would like to add links, just email me and I'll add your email as a collaborator. Please visit the Food for the Hungry and Donate, Pray, or Spread the Word.

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