6 sites to learn about humanitarian aid that aren’t all doom and gloom

If you’re interested in world affairs, especially issues related to humanitarian aid, it can be difficult or downright discouraging to read the news.

If you’re interested in world affairs, especially issues related to humanitarian aid, it can be difficult or downright discouraging to read the news.

Yes, it’s true that more disasters happen around the world and more people are affected by them than ever before[1]. The needs are enormous and continue to grow while funding is weakening. We cannot and should not grow accustomed to the suffering that millions of people are experiencing on a daily basis.

But does that mean that everything is doom and gloom? That no real progress is being made?

Certainly not.

While so much more work must be done to help those most in need, the proportion of families living on less than USD 1.90 per person, per day has more than halved since 2000. Those living below the extreme poverty line has gone down by 24 percent since 1999[2].

So if you’re looking for balanced, in-depth information about today’s most pressing issues related to humanitarian aid without all the shock and awe, take a look at these six sites:

  1. Devex is the known as the “media platform for the global development community.” Devex produces positive stories like this one, in-depth opinion pieces from top leaders, and news on the latest innovations in humanitarian aid. And if you’re interested in a career in humanitarian aid, this is a great resource to research jobs and events in your field.
  2. ACAPS  is an independent, non-governmental project created to provide “ground-breaking humanitarian analysis” to those involved in humanitarian aid so they can make wiser decisions. With no affiliation to any organisation, nor to the United Nations, they can provide objective insight into today’s humanitarian crises. You can search for information either by country or response.
  3. ODI  is an independent global think tank. They provide “cutting-edge” research and analysis on numerous topics ranging from the link between climate change and disasters and child poverty to how Brexit will impact global development. Find expert insight and opinions on the most important issues and some useful infographics (like this one) that help to visually break down complex issues.
  4. OCHA: Want to go where humanitarian workers go to get updates? Then you head to OCHA – the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. OCHA exists to bring humanitarian agencies together in order to coordinate cohesive and coherent humanitarian responses. Here, you’ll find great resources, including press releases, crisis updates, maps, infographics, and more about what is happening on the ground.
  5. The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News): Self-proclaimed as “journalism from the heart of crises,” The New Humanitarian was founded by the United Nations in 1995 following the Rwanda genocide out of the belief that objective, field-based reporting of humanitarian crises can help reduce the impact of and even prevent humanitarian disasters. Today, The New Humanitarian is an independent non-profit news organisation providing in-depth reporting on the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
  6. Arete Stories: Founded by renowned humanitarian photographer Kate Holt, Arete Stories is a leading storytelling and creative agency training non-profits, UN agencies, and foundations in effective and positive storytelling. Their Medium page is a behind-the-scenes (or lens) look at humanitarian disasters and the people trying to make a difference.


Do you know of other sources that we left out? Please share them with the Medair community on our Facebook page.

[1] NPR: https://www.npr.org/2017/06/20/533698511/more-people-living-as-refugees-now-than-anytime-since-wwii-new-u-n-reports-says

[2] Devex: https://www.devex.com/news/sdgs-show-slow-progress-not-on-track-to-reach-2030-targets-un-reports-92971