On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador left many citizens displaced and without access to clean water.

According to The New York Times, at least 410 people died and over 2,000 were injured. As more long-term solutions are being sought and developed, temporary relief efforts are being made by international organizations and local communities alike.

The United Nations refugee agency sent supplies to help those displaced by the earthquake in Ecuador. The first supply plane was loaded in Copenhagen, with 900 tents, 15,000 sleeping mats, kitchen utensils and, with the threat of the Zika virus still looming, 18,000 repellent-soaked mosquito nets.

“The aim is to provide essential shelter and other aid material over the next days for some 40,000 people…in earthquake-affected communities,” the organization said in a statement, just after the natural disaster took place.

Soon after the disaster, UNICEF delivered 20,000 water purification tablets to the survivors of the earthquake. Water contamination after an earthquake greatly increases the rate at which diseases and illnesses spread.

Of note, stagnant water increases the number of breeding sites for mosquitoes. This means that the Zika virus and dengue fever, another mosquito-borne virus, pose immediate threats to Ecuador.

Portoviejo, the provincial capital of Manabi Province, was one of the cities that was affected the most by the earthquake. The city, with a population of 300,000, has a death toll of approximately 100 and 370 buildings were destroyed. With no homes to go back to, many are sleeping on the streets.

“Clean water is one of the biggest needs. People have made signs everywhere asking for water,” said Lucy Harman, CARE Emergency Team Leader. CARE is a humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief and fights poverty across the globe.

“Everything is destroyed, so everyone is sleeping outside in makeshift shelters and the smell of death permeates the air,” Harman reported from Jama, another one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake. According to a report by Reuters, CARE is also distributing temporary water tanks as well as purification tablets.

Michelle Simon

Photo: Flickr

Top Humanitarian Aid Organizations
The Borgen Project has received lots of praise for an innovative approach that has taken the global poverty fight to the political level, but there are numerous aid organizations doing great work. The United Nations offers consultative status to 3,900 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with roughly one-third of these located within the United States.  While most NGOs offer humanitarian aid, some focus on issues regarding hunger while others on human trafficking. With so many different groups and issues to choose from, how does one decide which of the top humanitarian aid organizations to support?


Top Humanitarian Aid Organizations


1. World Food Programme (WFP) 

This organization is part of the U.N. system and is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Each year, the WFP reaches 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries.  In 2012, the WFP provided 53 percent of global food aid and distributed 3.5 million tons of food.

2. Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE)

CARE is an organization dedicated to fighting global poverty.  The organization leads community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, and protect natural resources.  CARE also provides emergency aid for war and natural disasters.  They have supported close to 1000 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid projects.

3. Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 90 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world.  They focus on issues of active citizenship, agriculture, education, gender justice, health, peace and security and youth outreach.  Through advocacy, campaigning, policy research and development projects, Oxfam continues to change the lives of many.

4. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 

IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people in 189 National Societies.  Their vast volunteering network of 13 million allows them to tackle issues in four main areas: disaster response, disaster preparedness, health and community care and promote humanitarian values of social inclusion and peace.

5. Action Against Hunger (AAH) 

AAH is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger, works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger.  In 2012, AAH provided 550,000 small farmers with tools, treated 42,000 malnourished children in the Democratic Republic of Congo and helped 170,000 people gain access to clean water in Kenya.

Any of these humanitarian organizations offer chances to donate, volunteer, and advocate for their respective causes.  For more information regarding humanitarian aid and charity organizations, visit

Research done by CARE found that girls in 26 countries are more likely to be forced into marriage before the age of 18 than to enroll in secondary school. The report Vows of Poverty was released on Oct. 11, 2015, the same day as International Day of the Girl.

The two stunning figures presented in the report were: 39,000 girls around the world are forced to marry each day, and 62 million girls are currently not in school, with half of them being adolescents.

The tradition of child marriage is what continues the cycle of poverty in developing countries. “Every time a girl under 18 is forced into marriage or prevented from attending school, it’s a missed opportunity to improve that girl’s life and strike at the roots of poverty,” said CARE Australia Chief Executive Dr. Julia Newton-Howes.

The U.S. Department of State initiated an Adolescent Girl Strategy in cooperation with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The strategy focuses on enhancing American foreign policy to end child marriage.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama encourage efforts to educate adolescent girls through the Let Girls Learn initiative, which focuses on “community-led solutions that reduce barriers between adolescent girls and their education, including the elimination of child marriage.”

On a national level, governments are reinforcing laws that prevent child marriage. The 2014 Girl Summit resulted in 43 nations signing commitments to end the practice of child marriage. Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tanzania, Yemen and Zambia have recently initiated campaigns and legal reforms to end child marriage.

In the Amhara region of Ethiopia, communities have stopped at least 180 child marriages since 2013 thanks to the TESFA program. CARE partnered with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the Nike Foundation to break the cycle of poverty. The program focused on improving girls’ education, health, business and financial literacy.

In Bangladesh, the local women’s empowerment group, EKATA, works to end the tradition of child marriage by discussing with parents the adverse effects of the practice and urging them not to force their daughters into early marriage.

Seeing as poverty promotes child marriage practices, in South Sudan cash incentives are given to parents who enroll or keep their daughters in school. In Senegal, community and religious leaders publicly criticize the practice of child marriage.

“We focus on women and girls because we know that empowering women is the key to ending poverty,” stated Howes.

Marie Helene Ngom

Sources: Vows of Poverty Report, The Hill, Leadersinheels
Photo: Wikimedia

It might be hard to believe that hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Roughly 800 million people in the world are chronically malnourished, with the majority living in developing countries. Here is a look at three nonprofit organizations that are fighting to end world hunger:

Action Against Hunger

This global humanitarian organization works not only towards ending global hunger, but also in creating long-term strategies that capitalize on self-sufficient workers. Malnutrition claims the lives of over a million children, although the disease is preventable and treatable. Most of Action Against Hunger’s funding goes directly to these life-saving programs. For every $1 they raise, $0.91 is spent on program activities. Charity Navigator has given the organization the highest four-star rating seven years in a row.

Stop Hunger Now

For the last 15 years, Stop Hunger Now has coordinated the distribution of food and other needed aid to children all over the world. They target vulnerable populations and aim to involve the global community in mobilizing the necessary resources. In 2005, the organization created the meal packaging program, which combines rice, beans, vegetables and the essential nutrients and vitamins all into one small package. With each meal costing roughly $0.29, SHN is able to ship and distribute the meals all over the world. In fact, one SHN packaging event can result in more than 1,000,000 meals.


A humanitarian organization that is fighting to end global poverty, CARE staff has worked in a multitude of countries serving some of the poorest communities and populations. Since it sent the first CARE package in 1946, the organization has been addressing the issues of food insecurity all over the globe. CARE often focuses on hunger caused by natural disasters and conflict. In countries such as Chad, Lesotho, Niger and South Sudan, CARE’s programs have helped reduce the risk of disasters and food insecurity by promoting environmental sustainability and empowering people economically.

– Leeda Jewayni

Sources: World Food Program, Action Against Hunger, Stop Hunger Now, CARE
Photo: Wesley-Luther

effects of poverty on the adult brain

A recent study examined the effects of poverty on the adult brain and how it is influenced by childhood development. Results of the study showed that children from poor families performed more poorly on academic tests later in life. Furthermore, the study found that children who dealt with stress inducing factors, such as poor housing, in addition to poverty performed the worst of all tested subjects.

What does this mean for the future of children that are presently living in extreme poverty? With more than 1 billion children worldwide who lack one or more essential needs critical to survival and development, this can present even more problems in the future.

Most children living in extreme poverty face stress-inducing factors in addition to poverty. According to UNICEF, 101 million children currently do not attend primary school, and 148 million children under the age of 5 are underweight. A total of 270 million children worldwide do not have access to health care, and one out of five do not have access to clean drinking water, according to CARE, a nonprofit aiding in the fight against extreme poverty.

With more than 300 million children worldwide chronically hungry and 90 percent suffering from long-term malnourishment, these stressors can have lasting effects on their intellectual performance, and subsequently their financial stability, as adults.

For every additional year of primary school in developing countries, a girl’s wages are raised by 10 to 20 percent. This shows a direct correlation between education and income.

Children from poorer households are three times more likely to not attend school than those from wealthy homes. The largest population of non-attending school aged children is in sub-Saharan Africa, where 45.5 million children do not attend primary school. Much of this is caused by poverty, as many parents and families cannot afford required school fees and supplies to send their children to school.

Extreme poverty certainly involves several stress inducing factors besides lack of money, and these issues compound the problem of intellectual performance further. According to Professor K. Luan Phan, the author of the study, “the stress-burden of growing up poor may be an underlying mechanism that accounts for the relationship between poverty as a child and how well your brain works as an adult.”

By this same logic, helping these children out of extreme poverty today will lead to more intellectual men and women of tomorrow – men and women who will have the education needed to help other children escape poverty.

– Christopher Kolezynski

Sources: PsyBlog, The Borgen Project, CARE, Compassion
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Global Poverty Nonprofits
Let’s begin with the obvious, all of us at The Borgen Project… are big fans of The Borgen Project. Our bias aside, below is a list of 10 of the top global poverty nonprofits and their commendable work.


Top Global Poverty Nonprofits


1. The Borgen Project – The Borgen Project has taken the plight of the world’s poor to the political level. With access to most members of Congress and an advocacy network of volunteers in every state, The Borgen Project is considered one of the most politically influential organizations fighting for the world’s poor.

2. ONE Campaign – ONE Campaign uses grassroots and advocacy to raise awareness and money to help put a stop to global poverty. They mainly focus their attention on those living in impoverished conditions in Africa.

3. Global Giving – Global Giving is a charity fundraising web site that gives nonprofits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Since 2002, the project has raised $114,889,647 from 392,257 donors and has supported 10,252 projects.

4. UNICEF – UNICEF is one of the largest nonprofit organizations and it is dedicated to helping children in need. UNICEF does so much for children around the globe, all while promoting education for girls and better health for pregnant women.

5. Partners in Health – Partners in Health is another nonprofit much like [email protected], which is geared towards providing a better quality of living and preventing disease. Partners in Health partners with doctors and health institutions across the globe to provide much needed relief for people who would otherwise be unable to afford health care.

6. GiveWell – GiveWell is a combination of several top rated charities all over the world. Most, if not all, of these charities provide relief for impoverished people in every nation.

7. CARE – CARE wants to cut poverty off at its roots. This nonprofit provide tools for people who are at a higher risk of falling into poverty and they help them to be successful and rise above the poverty within their nations.

8. Life in Abundance – Life in Abundance is a Christian-run organization that mobilizes churches and missionaries alike to provide relief for those who are suffering. This nonprofit wants to provide a healthier lifestyle to those who are living in poverty.

9. International Rescue Committee – The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives to prevent global poverty. The nonprofit was founded in 1933 due to a request from Albert Einstein himself. The IRC has since offered lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

10. [email protected] – [email protected], while not primarily putting an end to global poverty, is trying to eradicate one facet of it. [email protected] is a nonprofit that provides vaccinations for those less fortunate so they will not be plagued by preventable diseases.



Sources:, CARE, GiveWell, Global Giving, International Rescue Committee, Life in Abundance, Partners in Health, Philanthropedia, The Borgen Project, UNICEF
Photo: The Guardian

A promising and efficient solution to solving global poverty involves educating women, and the nonprofit humanitarian organization CARE aims to do just that. Since its development in 1945, CARE has provided humanitarian and anti-poverty aid to over 97 million people around the globe.

CARE’s programs in the developing world address empowerment and education for women on topics such as economic development, gender equality and health. Education in such areas helps alleviate global poverty because it attacks the issue’s foundation. CARE seeks to expose and positively change the political, social and economic norms that sustain extreme poverty.

Empowering women is not only a moral obligation, but an economic boon. Countries that invest in education for girls and women tend historically to have lower poverty rates. The World Bank reports that every extra year of secondary schooling for girls can increase their future wages by up to 20 percent.

Educating women and girls contributes to the alleviation of poverty in a variety of ways. First, educated women are more likely to marry later and have fewer and healthier children. They can subsequently focus more attention and expenditures on each child. Second, they are aware of their rights and possess the self-confidence to claim them. Third, they are better able to maintain a stable position in the workforce. Lastly, educated women are more likely than men to allocate resources to their children and families.

Yet despite its benefits, education for women is often subpar. CARE reports: “In more than 20 developing nations, illiteracy rates among women exceed 70 percent.” This constitutes a vicious cycle. A lack of education prevents women from rising out of poverty, but poverty also prevents a large percentage of girls and women from attaining secondary education.

Globally, this gender disparity in education remains a firmly established problem. It is neither morally nor economically sound to undermine half of the world’s workforce. In fact, promoting gender equality in an effort to fight global poverty is one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Therefore, although CARE focuses primarily on girls and women, the organization also attempts to dismantle the social norms of inequity throughout communities. Through education and anti-poverty projects, women gain self-respect and self-reliance. CARE reports that when men witness such transformations in their wives or daughters, they tend to reevaluate their negative perceptions of women.

CARE demonstrates that women’s empowerment is key in the fight against extreme global poverty. When women earn their own income, they lay the foundations for healthier and more educated future generations.

Due to the efforts and achievements of organizations like CARE, foreign aid is increasingly being targeted at women and girls. There is growing recognition that education for women may be one of the most effective ways to combat global poverty.

— Mari LeGagnoux

Sources: CARE, United Nations, UNFPA, World Bank
Photo: Allianz

Care about what? Care about ending global poverty. CARE is an organization that works with other businesses, schools, communities, and more to help extract people from the condition of poverty. They have main office headquarters in Atlanta, as well as an office in each of the 84 countries in which they work.

The U.S. government, European Union and United Nations help support CARE financially as well as individual donations from over 100,000 people each year. CARE works to help young girls and women become self sufficient, sustain business opportunities and escape a life of severe poverty.

All of the financial records of CARE’s use of donations and resources are available online for public viewing. A huge reason why CARE is such a great organization in terms of aid and effectiveness is that they enhance local economies whenever possible.

Instead of accepting clothes or tangible items from donors, they attempt to buy these supplies locally to help the countries they are working with. When recruiting people to help execute programs and fundraising events, the CARE staff also tries to hire locally from residents of the nations in which they are currently holding the events.

The focus on women and girls stems from the impact that gender inequality has on the cycle of poverty. More often than not, men are afforded jobs and opportunities for education and a better future through manual labor or schooling that women are not. Denying females career options and land ownership as well as many other civil rights only serves to perpetuate the timeline of poverty. A population cannot be pulled from such bleak conditions if the men are the only ones with the ability to break free.

The CARE website is designed with excellence and provides tons of information on how the organization works, as well as how and when people can participate. One section brings viewers to learn more about the history, founders, and partnership network of CARE, while other sections promote newsworthy stories of people whose lives have been changed for the better. Links are provided to financial records, success stories, and the CARE Twitter feed.

The most recent twitter campaign was called #IamCourage and encouraged people to tweet their personally courageous photos to the CARE Twitter feed, @Care. Another recent campaign involves getting supplies to the south of Sudan before aid is blocked by the rain season and planes can no longer deliver food, clothes, or medicine due to the poor visibility conditions.

The country is in desperate need of help and the UN has been trying to generate contributions because they are concerned about a possible severe food shortage in Sudan next year. CARE helps not only the residents of nations in need, but other organizations who are also trying to help. They work to inspire others to not only care about saving people from global poverty but to actually take action and do something about it.

– Kaitlin Sutherby

Sources: CARE, Twitter, UN South Sudan, UN in South Sudan
Photo: Primary Care UK

In early February, humanitarian organization CARE and the H&M Conscious Foundation announced they had formed a three year partnership to support women’s empowerment in poor nations across the globe.

The H&M Conscious Foundation has donated $9.2 million towards this program with CARE to work for change worldwide. Karl-Johan Persson, H&M’s CEO and a board member of the H&M Conscious Foundation said in regard to the partnership with CARE that, “Together we will invest in actions to empower women in developing countries economically, as we are convinced it is a catalyst for positive change.”

Most of the world’s poor are women and girls; while they are responsible for approximately two-thirds of the world’s total working hours, they only earn 10 percent of the world’s income and 1 percent of the world’s property. In light of these statistics, CARE and the H&M Conscious Foundation have teamed up to change them.

Since its founding in 1945, CARE has become one of the foremost humanitarian organizations dedicated to fighting global poverty and providing emergency assistance. Last year, CARE was able to help over 83 million people in 84 different countries by improving basic health care and education, as well as giving people access to clean water and sanitation, among other acts.

The H&M Conscious Foundation is an independent and non-profit organization that was created in 2007 upon the celebration of H&M’s 60th anniversary.

CARE International’s Secretary General Dr. Robert Glasser said in regard to the partnership with H&M Conscious Foundation that, “Women and girls are the key to fighting poverty. Our six decades of experience has shown us that when you empower a girl or a woman, she transforms not only her own family, but entire communities as well.”

When women are given equal rights and society acknowledges these rights, the benefits can be seen in society as a whole, resulting in economic growth and improvements in both health and the wellbeing of children.

The $9.2 million donation from the Conscious Foundation will be used to give 100,000 women in developing countries access to tools, knowledge, and financial resources previously unavailable to them. In addition, CARE will be responsible for organizing five regional campaigns that will help to raise awareness of why these women can reach their full potential, disproving the myths that perpetuate the idea that they cannot.

Dr. Glasser went on to say that this program of empowerment, “is not just about providing training or financing to women.” He went on to say that, “It is about helping them to change relationships and social structures that stifle their potential and their capacity to transform their societies,” a vision that CARE shares with H&M Conscious Foundation.

H&M Conscious Foundation’s overall goals for the program are to give 100,000 women in poor communities access to whatever they need to economically empower them, start five campaigns with positive and influential role models to raise awareness about the current barriers who women who want to fully be involved in society, and to develop a global report that encourages policy changes that are necessary for more women to overcome the world’s barriers.

– Julie Guacci

Sources: H&M Conscious Foundation, CARE
PhotoCare International

Can changing the color of bed sheets save lives? CARE’s work in Peru proves it can.

CARE is a major international humanitarian organization whose acronym stands for Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. The organization, one of the largest and oldest of its kind, delivers both emergency aid and long-term development projects all over the world. It’s committed to “smart, culturally savvy solutions for the problems that affect communities all over the world.”  Solutions it has dubbed ‘CARE Hacks.’

Among them is its ‘Think Pink’ hack based in rural Peru. In the town of Ayucucho, the maternal death rate in 2000 was notably high at 240 per 100,000 mothers dying due to pregnancy-related causes. By comparison, Peru’s national maternal death rate was half that at the time. As a part of its efforts to bring this number among rural populations down, CARE changed the color of the bed sheets at health clinics.

In western cultures, white sheets connote cleanliness and health. In this rural Peruvian region, however, it is the color of death. Thus, by switching out the white sheets for pink ones, CARE encouraged more women to seek out treatment at clinics. This and other efforts in the area have cut the maternal death rate in half.

Another CARE hack, the bead game, was developed to confront damaging gender norms. With two colored beads representing the Y and X chromosomes respectively, playing the game provides a visual representation of how the sex of a baby is determined.

Designed for parts of the world where women feel pressure to give birth to boys, the game’s central takeaway is that it’s the chromosome from the man that dictates the sex of the baby. The takeaway resonates among women who are often blamed and stigmatized for not producing male offspring. The game is a part of CARE’s community outreach efforts dedicated to ending gender-based violence.

In Bangladesh, CARE worked with community leaders on solutions for people looking to earn a living in areas affected by severe and frequent flooding. Many people – especially women – raise poultry to sustain a livelihood. However, chickens are prone to drowning in times of severe flooding and as a result devastate household incomes.

The solution? CARE and its local partners aided women from flood-prone areas by swapping cultivation of chickens for cultivation of ducks. The idea has borne fruit, increasing the resilience of a number of families to the devastation of increased flooding due to climate change.

Other CARE Hacks include a mobile banking program in Tanzania and the introduction of fuel-efficient stoves in Sudan, among others. What links all the “hack” initiatives is a commitment to finding culturally in tune innovations to address the problems facing the world’s most vulnerable communities.

– Kelley Calkins

Sources: World Bank