International Humanitarian Assistance

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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.

  • A man texts on his mobile phone while waiting in line at dawn to register at Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, photo by Internews Europe/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Essay

    The Right Technology Can Help Refugees Stay Connected

    Mar 11, 2020

    Nearly 71 million people globally are displaced by conflict and persecution. There have been some real advances in technology to help them, but innovations have often been fragmented, without a larger vision. A more strategic approach to technology could better serve their needs.

  • Supporters of the Houthi movement take part in a rally marking the anniversary of launching their motto (Sarkha) in which they call for death to America and death to Israel in Sanaa, Yemen, June 28, 2019, photo by Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

    Report

    Building an Enduring Peace in Yemen

    Feb 25, 2021

    Peace in Yemen will require a coordinated approach to security and an international body with the influence, mission, and resources to support what will be a decades-long process of reconciliation, reconstruction, and redevelopment. To succeed, this body must be led by Yemenis, giving them a clear voice and stake in shaping their future.

Explore International Humanitarian Assistance

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Risk Technopolitics in Freetown Slums: Why Community-Based Disaster Management Is No Silver Bullet

    Chapter from "Critical Disaster Studies" (Penn Press, 2021) detailing a study of Sierra Leone and proposing that community-based disaster risk management actually distracts from larger social and political root causes of vulnerability.

    Jul 16, 2021

  • A worker holds bags and a box of humanitarian aid in the opposition-held Idlib, Syria, June 9, 2021, photo by Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Four Strategies to Reduce Disaster Risk in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts

    Addressing the circumstances for the more than two billion people living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts is crucial for delivering on the United Nations commitment for disaster risk reduction. Four strategies can help reduce risk and improve resilience for these communities.

    Jul 9, 2021

  • Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in flooded Staines-Upon-Thames, photo by Cpl Richard Cave LBPPA/Crown Copyright CC BY-NC 2.0

    Multimedia

    Crisis Response in a Changing Climate

    In this audio conversation, Senior Analyst Lucia Retter is joined by Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, the non-executive director for climate change and sustainability for UK Defence, to discuss a study on the implications of climate change for UK defence logistics in crisis response situations.

    Jun 4, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Delivering the Promise of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Contexts (FCAC): A Case Study of the NGO GOAL's Response to the Syria Conflict

    This paper offers a case study of international NGO GOAL's programming that responds to the protracted crisis in Syria, with critical discussion on SFDRR and how to adapt humanitarian relief and disaster resilience.

    Apr 22, 2021

  • Will U.S.-Iran Relations Improve?

    Multimedia

    Under the Biden Administration: Will U.S.-Iran Relations Improve?

    RAND senior international/defense policy researcher Heather Williams discusses the current landscape for improving the strained relationship between the United States and Iran.

    Feb 4, 2021

  • A consignment of USAID medical equipment is offloaded at the Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, August 24, 2014, photo by James Giahyue/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why We 'Send Them Money'

    Why does the United States send foreign countries American taxpayer money? The answer, in short, is because it serves U.S. self-interest to do so. Aid is not some act of charity at the American taxpayers' expense; it can help keep Americans safer, more prosperous, and secure.

    Dec 30, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Practitioner Approaches to Measuring Community Resilience: The Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters Toolkit

    In this article, we present the Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters (ARC-D) toolkit, a practical toolkit developed by an international aid organization, GOAL, over the course of a decade of practice.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Officials wearing protective gear take body temperatures at a check point, in Marneuli near Tbilisi, Georgia, March 23, 2020, photo by Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Crisis Could Spur Post-Soviet Fixes

    Much of the post-Soviet space remains afflicted with authoritarian rule, inefficient economies, corruption, and regional tensions. The COVID-19 crisis could prod countries to address key issues, but they will need help. Targeted Western aid could help willing countries make progress.

    May 8, 2020

  • A saluting soldier and a civilian man in an airport, images by ViewApart and MariaArefyeva/Getty Images; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Do Civilians Receive the Support They Need After Deployment?

    As more U.S. government civilians have been deployed over the past two decades, increasing numbers have been exposed to high-threat environments. Combat exposure and related stressors correlate with significant levels of health conditions. How are these civilians reintegrated when they return?

    Feb 11, 2020

  • A refugee mother looks at her smartphone after arriving by rubber raft from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos near the port city of Mytilene, Greece, March 9, 2016, photo by Kay Nietfeld/Picture Alliance/dpa/AP Images

    Report

    How Technology Could Better Serve Refugees and Those Who Help Them

    There are 71 million forcibly displaced people in the world, many of whom live in developing countries. Refugees and the agencies that assist them have turned to technology as a vital resource, but gaps remain. How can tech be developed and used more strategically in humanitarian settings?

    Dec 17, 2019

  • Report

    Report

    Countering China's Efforts to Isolate Taiwan Diplomatically in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Role of Development Assistance and Disaster Relief

    Taiwan provides development assistance and disaster relief programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. This report considers how Taiwan can optimize its help to this region to ensure that it gets the maximum diplomatic value for its generosity.

    Mar 13, 2019

  • Shelly Culbertson and a United Nations Mine Action Service Implementation Partner survey the grounds of the Al-Shifa Hospital complex in Mosul, Iraq.

    Multimedia

    Making Victory Count: Stabilizing Mosul

    RAND researchers Shelly Culbertson and Linda Robinson visited Iraq nine months after the Battle of Mosul to gauge the progress being made in rebuilding and stabilizing the region. In the aftermath of combat operations against ISIS, what are the critical requirements for achieving lasting stability and the resumption of city life in Mosul?

    Aug 22, 2018

  • Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018

    Commentary

    Five Thoughts on Jerusalem, Gaza, and What's in Between

    Dozens of people have been killed and over 2,000 injured in protests in the Gaza Strip along the border with Israel. Continued clashes are expected until the fundamental problems of the strip are solved, including the governance vacuum, the Palestinian Authority-Hamas rift, and the conflict with Israel.

    May 15, 2018

  • U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 5, 2018

    Commentary

    Gaza on the Brink

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb. While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.

    Mar 9, 2018

  • Refugees and migrants arrive on an overcrowded boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 10, 2015

    Commentary

    We Are Almost Dead: The Politics of Migrants and Refugees in an Unequal World

    People move, and always have moved, in search of better lives for themselves and their children. Why else would someone leave everything behind and brave the seas? What else is worth the risk? Jonathan Blake discusses books that examine people's need for refuge.

    Feb 23, 2018

  • Workers repair a bridge in Mosul, Iraq, January 28, 2018

    Commentary

    If We Don't Get the Peace Right, Iraq Will Slide Back into the Morass

    Actions taken now by the United States, the Iraqi government, and private parties could determine the war-torn country's future. The message the Sunnis receive in these next six months will determine whether Iraq is on the path to stability.

    Feb 12, 2018

  • Syrian refugee children walk to the school during rainy weather at the Al Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, December 18, 2016

    Journal Article

    Educating Syrian Refugees: Challenges Facing Host Countries

    The massive influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey has created an education crisis. These host countries face many obstacles, but could benefits from longer-term education planning. Meanwhile, wealthy regional governments can share more responsibility.

    Sep 15, 2017

  • Civilians carry their belongings as they walk between destroyed buildings by clashes in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, July 23, 2017

    Multimedia

    Making Victory Count After Defeating ISIS

    In this Call with the Experts, senior policy researcher Shelly Culbertson discusses the challenges ahead to ensure peace and stability following the defeat of ISIS in Mosul. Media relations director Jeffrey Hiday moderates the call.

    Aug 4, 2017