World Relief

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World Relief
Stand for the Vulnerable
TypeInternational NGO
PurposeRelief and Development
HeadquartersBaltimore, Maryland, US
  • local and international
Region served
ServicesAgriculture, Anti-Human Trafficking, Disaster Response, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Immigration Services, Maternal and Child Health, Microenterprise, Peace Building, and Refugee Resettlement.
Scott Arbeiter
WebsiteOfficial Website


Important dates
1940sThe War Relief Commission of the NAE is founded in NYC to address urgent humanitarian needs in war-torn Europe. Food and clothing are shipped from the US and channeled through a network of churches in Europe's hardest-hit cities.
1950sThe War Relief Commission changes its name to World Relief and launches an aid program in Korea, serving 31,000 hot meals a day at 140 feeding centers.
1960s(1961) Taiwan: Aid for lepers, Egypt: Aid for orphans, Korean: Aid for flood victims, China and Chile: Aid for earthquake survivor, (1964) Burundi: clothing, food and medicine benefit 67,000 people and others.
1970s(1970) Peru – provides vital aid to earthquake victims. Bangladesh – following a devastating cyclone,(1972) Vietnam – World Relief cares for 100,000 war-displaced people. Ethiopia – responds to severe famine. (1975) Cambodia – provides food and medical care to refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide. (1979) US – World Relief launches its refugee resettlement ministry.
1980sPhilippines – World Relief helps churches bring relief in a time of political and economic turmoil and natural disasters. By 1990, more than 10,000 new churches have been started. (1983) Actor Charlton Heston hosts World Relief's first television special, "When Will the Dying Stop?" The special focuses on Bangladesh and India.
1990s(1994) World Relief responds to the genocide in Rwanda, assisting 42,000 traumatized and displaced people. (1997) World Relief launches its microfinance program. providing credit services to 34,642 vulnerable people in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
2010sWorld Relief works together with MAP International to respond to the largest Ebola epidemic in history. World Relief provides medical training and supplies to those affected by the devastating outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to overcome violence, poverty and injustice. Through love in action, they bring hope, healing and restoration to millions of the world’s most vulnerable women, men and children through vital programs in disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding, as well as refugee and immigration services in the U.S. For 75 years, World Relief has partnered with churches and communities across more than 20 countries to provide relief from suffering and help people rebuild their lives. Founded in 1944, World Relief in now headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the organization has offices worldwide including 20 offices throughout the U.S. It is supported by churches, foundations, and individual donors, as well as through United States Government grants from USAID and other agencies.

World Relief reached 7 million beneficiaries with 75,000 volunteers actively engaged in reaching their communities. An estimated 80% of those who directly benefit from World Relief program's are women and children. World Relief works across 7 sectors: health and nutrition, child development, refugee and immigration services, disaster response, economic development, peacebuilding and community resiliency, advocacy and mobilization.

World Relief's core programs focus on microfinance, AIDS prevention and care, maternal and child health, child development, agricultural training, disaster response, refugee resettlement and immigrant services.

World Relief began in 1944 when American Christian denominations worked together with sister churches in war-torn Europe to address critical humanitarian needs. The National Association of Evangelicals established the War Relief Commission to send clothing and food to victims of World War II. After the war, evangelical leaders decided that the War Relief Commission should continue working in post-war Europe and around the world. In 1950, the agency was renamed World Relief and began to focus on other areas of development, providing sewing machines and training so war widows could earn a living, setting up TB clinics, and supporting orphanages and land reclamation projects.

World Relief is currently in 20 countries and has 20 US offices and serves over 7 million vulnerable people a year.


  • Tim Breene, CEO
  • Scott Arbeiter, President
  • Rene Ordogne, CFO
  • Kevin Sanderson, SVP of International Programs
  • Mark Reddy, SVP of Brand
  • Emily Gray SVP of U.S. Ministries
  • Gil Odendaal, Ph.D, D.Min, SVP of Integral Mission Division
  • Kathleen Leslie, General Counsel/SVP of Human Capital
  • Jenny Yang, SVP of Advocacy & Policy
  • James Misner, SVP of Strategic Engagement


External links[edit]