International Humanitarian Assistance

Global efforts to assist underdeveloped nations and aid victims of environmental disasters and violent conflict can help ease human suffering, achieve long-term strategic goals in the affected region, and promote stability. RAND research on global health, nation-building, and stabilization and reconstruction operations has explored humanitarian activities undertaken by the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations.

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during a meeting of security personnel of the Korean People's Army

    Testimony

    Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse

    If the North Korean government were to suddenly collapse, the consequences could jeopardize regional security in Northeast Asia and undermine U.S. interests. Preparation is needed now to convince the North Korean elites and others that South Korea-led unification in the aftermath of a collapse will be in their interests.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • U.S. Marines help displaced Philippine nationals from the back of a KC-130J Super Hercules at Vilamor Air Base, Manila, Republic of the Philippines

    Blog

    How Philippines Typhoon Aid Helps USA

    In the wake of Haiyan there is no substitute for the capabilities of the U.S. military. At the level of national interest, however, does the case for tasking the U.S. military to international natural disasters hold up — particularly in a time when the Pentagon has seen its budget slashed?

    Nov 12, 2013

  • A U.S. Marine and a Philippine airman assist an injured Filipino woman off a KC-130J Super Hercules at Vilamore Air Base, Manila, Republic of the Philippines

    Blog

    Responding in Typhoon Haiyan's Wake

    Prior responses to other recent disasters offer important lessons. Improved preparedness and efficient coordination mechanisms can help ensure that, when time is of the essence, the United States provides the most effective response.

    Nov 12, 2013

  • commander of JTF-Haiti asks a few Haitians about the living conditions at the internally displaced persons camp

    Report

    The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

    Luck, serendipity, and longtime relationships fostered success in Haiti relief efforts, though actual performance is impossible to measure because metrics and plans were not in place before the earthquake hit. U.S. Department of Defense policy on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs to be updated.

    Oct 29, 2013

  • Kim Jong-un during the celebration of the 65th anniversary of North Korea

    Event

    Preparing for North Korean Regime Collapse

    The North Korean government has shown signs of instability for some time. RAND senior defense analyst Bruce Bennett will discuss the possible consequences of its collapse, including civil war in the North, a humanitarian crisis, the potential use and proliferation of the nation's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and even war with China.

    Oct 16, 2013

  • North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un visits a newly built video games room at the amusement house of the Rungna People's Pleasure Park

    Blog

    North Korea's Coming Collapse

    The North Korean government could collapse at any time, setting off a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions, RAND senior defense analyst Bruce Bennett told a gathering of journalists in Washington.

    Sep 20, 2013

  • News Release

    U.S., Republic of Korea and Allies Should Prepare for Eventual Collapse of North Korean Government

    Like the collapse of East Germany, the collapse of North Korea could occur suddenly and with little warning. But a North Korean collapse could be far more dangerous and disastrous than the actual collapse of East Germany, especially given the inadequate preparations for it.

    Sep 19, 2013

  • North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un visits a newly built arcade at the amusement house of the Rungna People's Pleasure Park

    Report

    U.S., Republic of Korea, and Allies Should Prepare for Eventual Collapse of North Korean Government

    Like the collapse of East Germany, the collapse of North Korea could occur suddenly and with little warning. But a North Korean collapse could be far more dangerous and disastrous than the actual collapse of East Germany, especially given the inadequate preparations for it.

    Sep 19, 2013

  • us_navy_offloads_supplies_in_japan

    Report

    Lessons from Department of Defense Disaster Relief Efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region

    The Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the majority of the world's natural disasters and is home to key U.S. allies. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of such operations, this report analyzes recent HA/DR operations in Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan, and identifies lessons that can be applied in the future.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • Unusual seismic activity was detected in North Korea Feb. 12. This map shows that naturally occurring seismicity is typically low.

    Blog

    North Korea's Third Nuclear Test: A Sign of Weakness, Not Strength

    The ROK and the United States should take actions to deter subsequent North Korean provocations while punishing the country for its nuclear weapon test. Such actions could convince it that the ROK/U.S. are serious and able to impose high costs, writes Bruce Bennett.

    Feb 15, 2013

  • Survivors carrying their belongings walk past destroyed houses after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines

    Journal Article

    East Asian Military Involvement in International Disaster Relief Operations

    The participation of East Asian militaries in international disaster relief is a relatively new phenomenon with many implications. These militaries are growing their proficiency in disaster relief operations by engaging in three observed types of aid: delivery, provision, and distribution.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Beijing street life

    Blog

    The Paradoxes of China: Understanding Our Rival

    China is rife with paradoxes...of class, foreign aid, military spending, and corruption. Whether and how they are resolved will seriously affect the evolution of policies within China, as well as its future relations with the United States, writes Charles Wolf, Jr.

    Nov 2, 2012

  • Blog

    The Case for Expanding Assistance to the Syrian Opposition

    James Dobbins' testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the state of Syria.

    Aug 1, 2012

  • Testimony

    The Case for Expanding Assistance to the Syrian Opposition

    The U.S. and its European allies have a strong interest in Assad's fall, largely due to that regime's alignment with Iran. Syria provides the main bridge by which Iran is able to support Hezbollah and Hamas, influence Lebanon, outflank its Sunni Gulf adversaries and threaten Israel.

    Aug 1, 2012

  • Blog

    Tokyo's Transformation

    The U.S. response to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami showcased its lasting commitment to Japan, as well as the unique logistical and material capabilities that the U.S. military forces stationed in the Pacific can provide, write Eric Heginbotham, Ely Ratner, and Richard J. Samuels.

    Aug 25, 2011

  • Report

    Developing a Prototype Handbook for Monitoring and Evaluating Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Projects

    RAND developed a prototype handbook to provide humanitarian assistance project staff with an introduction to monitoring and evaluation terms, approaches, and best practices and a step-by-step user's guide for project assessment.

    Jan 18, 2011

  • Report

    RAND Review: Vol. 33, No. 3, Winter 2009-2010

    Features focus on stabilization missions, grade retention, health financing, and RAND's president; other items discuss the European Union, sodium, health insurance, retail medical clinics, energy efficiency, disaster recovery, and alcohol pricing.

    Dec 23, 2009

  • News Release

    Ways to Improve U.S. Stability and Reconstruction Missions Are Outlined

    Recent stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq have underlined the need for the United States to shift the burden of these operations away from the Defense Department and onto other government agencies better suited to the work.

    Apr 3, 2009

  • Report

    Underkill: Scalable Capabilities for Military Operations amid Populations

    The U.S. military is ill-equipped to fight extremists who hide in populations. The use of deadly force can harm and alienate the people whose cooperation U.S. forces need. To solve this problem, a new RAND study proposes a ''continuum of force.''

    Mar 10, 2009