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.

  • Smoke rises after airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016


    Cutting the Islamic State's Money Supply

    Airstrikes have hit ISIL tanker trucks, oil fields, refineries, and banks, but it would be a mistake to view the group as a poor man's version of its old self. New steps are needed to counter its multi-million dollar taxation and extortion machine.

    Jul 21, 2016

  • Report

    Collaborative Disaster Preparedness: Vietnam, the United States, and Regional Experiences (Proceedings from Da Nang, Vietnam, August 18–20, 2015)

    This report summarizes the workshop on Collaborative Disaster Preparedness that was conducted in August 2015 in Da Nang, Vietnam, and hosted by the Collaborative & Adaptive Security Initiative.

    May 19, 2016

  • Women cleaning a compound housing Syrian refugees in Sidon, Lebanon, February 3, 2016


    A Different Kind of Refugee Crisis

    In Jordan and Lebanon, middle-income countries with robust public sectors where a significant Syrian population may be present for years to come, solutions should be more about supporting the expansion of existing national public services, rather than creating new, internationally run parallel services.

    May 16, 2016

  • Report

    The Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DMHA): An Assessment of Roles and Missions

    This report examines the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance's history, activities, and roles to determine how its missions can best be performed to achieve the Department of Defense's objectives in this domain.

    May 16, 2016

  • Syrian refugees wait to receive treatment at a health center in Mafraq, Jordan, January 30, 2016


    Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas

    The vast majority of Syrian refugees live in urban areas, not camps. What can be done to improve the coordination of international and national entities managing the refugee response in urban areas in Jordan and Lebanon?

    Apr 27, 2016

  • Syrian refugees stand in line as they wait for aid packages at Al Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, January 20, 2016


    Tracking Refugees with Biometrics: More Questions Than Answers

    Using biometrics in refugee crises is compelling because it gives individuals who have nothing proof of identity even without a government-issued credential like an ID card or passport. But who has rights to the U.N. biometrics database and what is its future?

    Mar 9, 2016

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast


    Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization

    In this February 2016 congressional briefing, senior political scientist Barbara H. Sude discusses historical examples of radicalization among refugee groups, factors that can increase the risk of radicalization, measures to reduce the risk, and considerations for policymakers and legislators.

    Feb 16, 2016

  • A Kurdish refugee woman from Syria walks with her children at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey, November 17, 2014


    Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization: Lessons from the Past

    Radicalization among refugee populations, such as the millions currently fleeing Syria, is not inevitable. Rather, comprehensive policies that go beyond immediate life-saving needs can mitigate the risk. But such policies were rare in past crises and even today can be difficult to put in place and sustain.

    Dec 28, 2015

  • The distribution of 40,000 litres of water is seen among in El Srief, North Darfur, July 25, 2011


    A New Approach to Managing Aid Agencies

    The current approach to managing aid agencies is confused due to two opposing forces: a results-based approach to management and an emphasis on the need to achieve systemic changes and transform underlying constraints.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • Syrian refugees at Al Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, November 1, 2015


    How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordan's Outlook

    Syrian refugees might benefit the Jordanian economy by stimulating growth. Donors and lenders have increased their support to Jordan, in turn offering the government an opportunity to improve the lives of both refugees and Jordanian citizens.

    Nov 30, 2015

  • Refugees at a transit camp in Gevgelija, Macedonia, after entering the country by crossing the border with Greece, September 24, 2015


    Will Today's Refugees Become the 'New Palestinians'?

    The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have generated the greatest volume of refugees since World War II. If the international community is to avoid seeing the emergence of a population of new Palestinians lasting decades into the future, it will have to craft a more coherent approach.

    Oct 9, 2015

  • Syrian refugee children collect plastics as they stand along a street in southern Lebanon


    What You Need to Know About the Syrian Refugee Crisis

    The flight of four million Syrians to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan—and now also Europe and beyond—has created the worst refugee crisis in modern history. In this Call with the Experts, Shelly Culbertson and Tom Ling discuss the human dimensions and policy ramifications.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • News Release

    U.S. Faces Gap Between Objectives and Reality in Syria and Iraq

    There is a substantial gap between American national objectives and a realistic appreciation of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. These objectives need to be based on frank appraisals of the situation, even if those assessments defy Americans' sense of progress.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • Iraqi volunteers fix weapons for the Hashid Shaabi militia at a shop on the outskirts of Basra, June 16, 2015


    The United States Faces a Gap Between Objectives and Reality in Syria and Iraq

    There is a large gap between U.S. objectives and a realistic appreciation of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Frank appraisals of the situation in the region must inform U.S. objectives, even if such assessments defy Americans' sense of progress.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • Syrian refugees walk towards a crossing point at Greece's border with Macedonia, September 8, 2015


    Syrian Refugees: All You Need to Know

    The world can only absorb so many millions of refugees. The civil war in Syria demands a political solution facilitated by international leadership that will bring stability and enable refugees to return to home.

    Sep 17, 2015

  • Juba, South Sudan, February 2014: Internally displaced persons in South Sudan find a safe shelter at the UN House IDP Camp


    Family Planning Must Be Part of the Humanitarian Response in Africa's Conflict Zones

    Worldwide, nearly 800 women die every day due to mostly preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. More than half of these deaths occur in fragile states torn by armed conflict and generalized violence.

    Jul 1, 2015

  • Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi observe a guard of honour at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, April 29, 2015


    Seduced by a Strongman?

    It is not true that domestic politics can be quarantined from foreign policy. In fact, Egypt's domestic and foreign policies are becoming more entangled by the day. And that bleed-over should raise concerns.

    Apr 30, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Three Studies in Conflict

    Uses a variety of social science research methods to explore the use of conflict prevention, cessation, and recovery interventions.

    Apr 28, 2015

  • A woman carries a baby inside Al-Karameh refugee camp beside the Syrian-Turkish border, January 10, 2015


    Syrian Refugees: A Blessing in Disguise?

    To avoid further resentment and restrictions on Syrians desperate to escape their war-torn country, as well as the instability such attitudes generate, the international community must work with host governments to increase and highlight the benefits refugee populations can bring to neighboring states.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • 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


    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