Our Work

Relief International specializes in relief and development programs that benefit people in acute distress. A registered non-profit in the US, UK and Belgium, our work targets those fragile countries or communities that have suffered from recurrent man-made or natural crises that impede human development. The people that we serve live in sixteen countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia where the debilitating effects of political instability, forced displacement, and natural disasters are pervasive. Moreover, RI is often the only organization providing healthcare, education, logistics, energy, capacity building, economic development, sanitation, and many other forms of assistance to these highly vulnerable communities.

Bottom line: Our team of six thousand staff and auxiliary workers goes where the need is greatest. Ninety-seven percent are local nationals.

RI focuses its investments in four program sectors: Economic Opportunity, Education, Health and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). We support solutions that reinforce and improve upon existing in-country systems. Where such systems do not exist or are chronically underperforming, our emergency response lays the foundation for long-term, sustainable change.  

Partnering is in our DNA. 

RI’s work is most effective when we partner with communities, national governments, peer international organizations, local civil society, public institutions and the private sector. Collaboration enables us to harness complementary expertise and networks to ensure that the people we serve receive the best solutions available.

RI sends ninety percent of every donation to our programs in the field.

We spent $115 million in 2017 on our programs, which are designed to be both responsive and flexible to serve the immediate and long-term needs of people in difficult circumstances.

RI was founded by a group of concerned individuals in Los Angeles in 1990 to respond to the Manjil–Rudbar earthquake in Iran, the country’s worst natural disaster on record.

The organization established a European headquarters in London, UK, and followed this with a merger with EnterpriseWorks, a development organization with more than fifty years of experience, uniquely bringing together a development approach with a focus on crisis settings. Together, these organizations have grown under the Relief International name to become an international organization operating in sixteen countries.