World Relief

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World Relief
Stand for the Vulnerable
Formation 1944
Type International NGO
Purpose Relief and Development
Headquarters Baltimore, Maryland, US
  • local and international
Region served
Services Agriculture, Anti-Human Trafficking, Disaster Response, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Immigration Services, Maternal and Child Health, Microenterprise, Peace Building, and Refugee Resettlement.
Scott Arbeiter
Website Official Website


Important dates
1940's The 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.
1950's The 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.
1960's (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.
1970's (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.
1980's Philippines – 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. Heston says World Relief has shown him the importance of empowering the poor to improve their own lives.
1990's (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.
2010's World Relief partners 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 an international relief and development agency. Founded in 1944 as the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief offers assistance to victims of poverty, disease, hunger, war, disasters and persecution. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the organization has offices worldwide. It is supported by churches, foundations, and individual donors, as well as through United States Government grants from USAID and other agencies.

World Relief serves over 4 million vulnerable people a year and has over 100,000 volunteers actively engaged in reaching their communities with life saving messages. View the 2011 Annual Report

In 2015, World Relief served 7,041,527 people with the help of 63,900 local volunteers. An estimated 80% of those who directly benefit from World Relief’s programs are women and children–the most vulnerable individuals[1]

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.

In recent years, World Relief has become a leader in advocating for immigration reform. Most recently, Stephan Bauman, World Relief CEO, spoke at the Evangelical Immigration Table. World Relief on Immigration Reform

Mission statement[edit]

"We believe God has equipped the church - the most diverse social network on the planet - to be at the center of these stories, leveraging time, energy and resources to join the vulnerable in their time of need.

We practice principles of transformational development to empower local churches in the United States and around the world so they can serve the vulnerable in their communities. With initiatives in education, health, child development, agriculture, food security, anti-trafficking, immigrant services, micro-enterprise, disaster response and refugee resettlement, we work holistically with the local church to stand for the sick, the widow, the orphan, the alien, the displaced, the devastated, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised.

In our own backyard and around the globe, we stand with individuals and communities through the process of healing, reconciliations, transformation and empowerment."


World Relief began in 1944 when American Christian denominations partnered 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 moved beyond providing emergency relief in response to disasters, working to foster long-term development to help the poor rise above subsistence.

World Relief is currently in 16 countries and has 24 US office and serves over 4 million vulnerable people a year. Current programming includes: Agribusiness, Anti-Trafficking, Child Development, Clean Water, Sanitation & Wells, Disaster Response, Employment Services, HIV/AIDS, Food Security, Immigrant Legal Services, Maternal and Child Health, Microfinance, Peace Building, Refugee Services and Savings for Life.[2]


External links[edit]