In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, the most important challenge is always to get lifesaving food, water, medicine, shelter, and other supplies to those affected. Once basic needs have been met, efforts to rebuild the community — including its education, health and livelihood systems — find themselves at the top of the agenda.
Organizations in the humanitarian relief sector often work in tough environments, facing natural disasters and conflict head-on. Because of the fast pace and dynamism of the sector, there is usually a plethora of job opportunities — driven by the major events and emergencies of the day, as well as by funding. Those working in this sector are usually employed, either as full-time staff, consultants, or contractors, by national and local governments, civil society groups, multilateral and bilateral donors, consulting firms or humanitarian organizations.
Many of these large humanitarian groups are headquartered across Europe and the United States, but have regional and country offices in the areas where their operations are focused. They work across subsectors, providing immediate emergency response, food and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection, shelter, education, health services, community reconstruction, and crisis stabilization to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Are you eyeing a career in the challenging but highly rewarding global development area of humanitarian relief? We’ve compiled some of the largest NGO and consulting firm employers in the sector below.