Video: Humanity First’s Hurricane Sandy Relief


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Humanity First
Humanity First logo
Type International organization
Founded 1994
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served Worldwide
Focus Disaster relief, Long-term projects
Mission To serve disaster struck and socially disadvantaged individuals and families in the poorer communities of the world.
Revenue Fundraising

Humanity First is an international charitable trust established to promote and safeguard the preservation of human life and dignity. The organisation works with vulnerable communities in over 40 countries spanning 6 continents, and is now registered in 33 countries. The organisation is run by volunteers around the world, and even in operations, expert medical, engineering, educational and technical staff often pay their own way to support international projects.The organization was started by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The organisation cites efficiencies through the extensive use of volunteers, partnerships and global sourcing resulting in over 93% of funds going straight to projects, and the actual aid value (including free man-hours of doctors, engineers etc.) delivered is significantly (often 50 times) greater than the value of donations received.




  • Relieve suffering caused by natural disasters or man-made conflicts
  • Promote peace and understanding based upon mutual tolerance and respect
  • Strengthen people’s capacity to help themselves


The concept of Humanity First originates from a desire to provide aid on the basis of need alone, irrespective of race, religion, colour or political allegiance. The organisation was established in the UK and formally registered in 1994.

In two decades, Humanity First has grown into a multi-national aid agency and non-profit charitable organisation, regularly working alongside many other agencies such as the Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children and others. The organisation has access to thousands of volunteers across the globe. Humanity First also now has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

The organization splits its work into two areas; disaster relief and long-term sustainable projects.

 Human development

Restoring Communities, Building a Future are the guiding principles for Humanity First USA. Humanity First works to assist people afflicted by natural disasters, war, and poverty by first providing the needed disaster relief services and then by building capacity of these communities. Our aim is to restore dignity by providing the resources to help people get back on their feet quickly.

Approach: Humanity First approaches its human development projects with sustainability as the overarching goal. The projects are rooted in a community deeply affected by a natural disaster, war, or poverty. After the relief phase of the project has subsided, Humanity First works with the community to identify viable opportunities for growth and recovery.

Programs: Human development programs can be categorized under the categories of: 1) Health & Medical Programs, or 2) Educational & Vocational Programs Health & Medical: Designed to provide much needed health and medical services and supplies to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Educational & Vocational Programs: Designed to help create capacity and self-sufficiency through providing support for primary education for children and vocational training for adults in various under-privileged communities in the US and around the world

 Disaster relief

Disaster relief covers the provision of humanitarian aid, medical relief, shelter, food and safe water in response to both man-made and natural disasters. Examples in the last 10 years include responses to the following: Kobe earthquake in Japan, Kosovo War, 1999 İzmit earthquake in Turkey, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia[1][2] and Sri Lanka, Hurricane Katrina,[3] and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake[4][5] in Pakistan. More recently, they have responded to catastrophic flooding in Suriname, Guyana[6] and Kenya, as well as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and also the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.[7]

The table below illustrates disasters that HF have been involved in and level of assistance they have provided to local victims:

Disaster Year Countries Affected Scale of Disaster People Assisted Nature of Help
Kosovo 1997 Kosovo, Albania, Serbia 10k killed, 850k displaced > 10,000 Medical, Food, Clothing
Izmit Earthquake 1999 Turkey 17k killed, 60k homeless 15,000 Medical, Shelter, Food, Clothing
Gujarat Earthquake 2001 India 20k killed, 166k injured, 600k homeless 5,500 Medical, Shelter, Food, Clothing
Asian Tsunami 2004 Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia 220k killed, 1.6 Million homeless 30,000 Medical, Shelter, Food, Clothing
Hurricane Katrina 2005 USA 1.8k killed, Millions homeless 1,050 Medical, Shelter/ Re-Furb, Food, Clothing, IT
Kashmir Earthquake 2005 Pakistan 80k killed, 3.3M homeless 60,000 Medical, Shelter, Food, Clothing, Counseling
Latin American Flooding 2005-06 Suriname, Guyana 30k displaced and homeless 10,000 Food, Clothing, IT
Peru Earthquake 2007 Peru 250k homeless 2,000 Food, Clothing, Shelter
Cyclone Sidr 2007 Bangladesh 5k killed, 34k injured, 500k affected 7,000 Medical, Water, Food, Clothing, Shelter
Kenya Post-Election Violence 2008 Kenya 1.5k killed, 600k displaced 2,500 Medical, Food, Clothing
Cyclone Nargis 2008 Burma 146k killed, 1M displaced 2,000 Clothing, Water
Gaza Violence 2009 Gaza, Israel 7k killed or injured, 100k homeless 7,000 Food, Education
Sumatra Earthquake 2009 Indonesia 4k killed or injured, 1.2M displaced 1,000 Medical, Food, Shelter
Cyclone Aila 2009 Bangladesh 8.5k killed or injured, 1M homeless 1,600 Food, Water, Clothing, Shelter
Haiti Earthquake 2010 Haiti 230k killed, 300k injured, 1M affected 55,000[8] Medical, Water, Orphan Care, Shelter

 Long-term projects

Humanity First runs a number of long-term projects largely in Africa and Asia:

  • Feed a Family – provision of basic necessities to deserving and vulnerable families, normally for a fixed period of 6 months. Over 700 Tonnes of food and aid has been shipped to Africa for poor families. HF is now establishing a Feed a Village program; it has also established a Feed the Homeless program in the heart of Montreal.
  • Water for Life – set up or repair of water pumps to provide clean and safe drinking water to remote villages in the 3rd world. Humanity First are working on these projects with Water Aid and IAAAE and have built or refurbished over 420 pumps and filter units in West Africa, Latin America and Asia.
  • Learn a Skill – training in IT or tailoring. IT training results in certification, and tailoring leads to the provision of a sewing machine and assistance in setting up a tailoring business. In both cases, the aim is to leave students self-sufficient. So far, over 20,000 students have graduated from the 23 vocational training centres across 12 countries.
  • Orphan Care – running and support of orphanages covering the needs of orphans including accommodation, education, food, clothing and health. Orphan programmes are currently running in the Gambia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Benin.
  • Gift of Sight – work with a network of hospitals to provide sight treatment ranging from glasses, treatment of infections and in extreme cases, operations to rectify cataracts. Humanity First USA sent a team of eye doctors and volunteers to San Juan Sacatapequez, Guatemala in 2010 to conduct a successful cataract surgery camp. The 2nd mission took place in October 2011 in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Over 30 cataract surgeries were performed and 125 patients were examined and given donated spectacles. The Gift of Sight program plans annual trips to underserved nations worldwide to provide free eye care and train local doctors for sustained care. HF has prepared a blog of the Gift of Sight efforts:


New IT Centre in Guyana US Affiliation & Registration UK School Donor to HF Sierra Leone youth affiliation US Charity Directory listing German Wikipedia entry Haiti team from HF UK Haiti team from HF Canada

 External links

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