Working in the humanitarian sector provides a wealth of opportunities to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. The following 20 well-established humanitarian organizations provide entry-level opportunities for individuals ready to pursue a career in one of the most challenging and rewarding fields of humanitarian service.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provides humanitarian assistance to children and mothers living in developing countries. With their headquarters located in New York City, UNICEF also operates out of several international regional offices in locations that include South Asia, Latin America and the Carribean, Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, and throughout Africa.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) delivers life-saving assistance to refugees fleeing violence. In addition to providing food, water and shelter, UNHCR ensures refugee human rights and assists with relocation. With over 10,000 paid staff and volunteer members, the organization serves 65.6 million people throughout 130 countries.
Doctors Without Borders, an independent global initiative to provide emergency medical care, employs medical and non-medical staff to work in the field or in the New York-based office. The organization is also known by its French translation, Medecins Sans Frontieres. Entry-level positions may include; health promoters, laboratory technicians or human resource technicians.
Amnesty International works to ensure global human rights. In operation since 1961, it is the largest established grassroots organization in the world with operations across the globe.
Mercy Corps works to rebuild communities affected by war and violence. While Mercy Corps provides immediate outreach to meet the basic needs of traumatized individuals, the organizations ultimate goal is to provide long-term solutions for those affected in all parts of the world.
Devex, a media platform and social enterprise, connects and informs development in the global community. With ongoing work in humanitarian, health and development projects, Devex builds relationships between entry-level workers and professionals to secure better lives for the people it serves.
The Red Cross employs more than 23,000 workers and utlizes over 330,000 volunteers to deliver humanitarian services worldwide. In addition to collecting blood during emergencies, the organization responds to natural and man-made disasters, provides vaccinations in developing countries and teaches people life-saving skills.
CARE International, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, provides emergency relief and long-term development for areas affected by war, instability and poverty. Employees work in advocacy, emergency response and food security.
As a branch of the United Nations, the World Food Programme addresses hunger and works to establish initiatives to create food security in over 100 countries throughout the world.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) works to meet the immediate needs of individuals fleeing violence, war, and displacement. IRC employees workers in Europe, the Middle East, Central America, and the United States.
World Vision establishes programs to benefit displaced children and their families. Peace building, food assistance and education are only a few of the areas of service offered throughout the world.
Working to overcome poverty and fighting for social justice, OXFAM currently employs workers in over 90 countries. OXFAM also partners with numerous humanitarian organizations to provide staff and a volunteer workforce.
Relief International responds to humanitarian emergencies, natural disasters and extreme chronic poverty in over 19 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Humanitarian efforts include short-term relief and long-term development in impovershed areas.
Working in almost 50 countries, Action Against Hunger provides hunger relief following natural and man-made disasters. The non-profit organization also works to rebuild and sustain communities long-term.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian, non=denominational, international relief organization. In addition to responding to natural disasters, Samaritan’s Purse works to protect the lives of Christians persecuted around the world.
Founded in Spain in 1937, Plan International has expanded it operations in 71 countries to protect children’s rights and ensure equality for girls. With over 8,000 employees, entry-level career opportunities exist throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Since 1979, Refugees International has advocated for assistance and protection for millions of displaced people due to war and violence. Based in Washington D.C., Refugees International offers internships and entry-level advocate opportunities.
As a humanitarian news agency, IRIN focuses on under-reported regions that are often neglected or ignored by mainstream media. Headquartered in Kenya, the agency employs editorial staff, graphic designers, photographers, and freelance writers, among other positions, that are based in different locations throughout the world.
Save the Children was established in 1919 in London and now works to promote children’s rights in developing countries. Save the Children provides job opportunities in several different countries with full benefits for entry-level applicants.
The international humainitarian relief organization, Medair, provides medical services “to relieve suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places.” Employees may be based in countries like Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.