Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief NGOs are the groups whose names are most familiar, whose work is most extensive, and whose impact is generally the greatest. As the largest NGOs, these groups have the resources to fund a variety of efforts.
The most recognizable function of human rights and humanitarian relief NGOs is disaster or emergency relief. When war breaks out or when a natural disaster occurs, it is these groups who are able to put people on the ground in the immediate aftermath. Of course, human rights and humanitarian relief NGOs are not exclusively the juggernauts of international NGOs; there are smaller local groups as well who serve equally important purposes on a smaller scale. The largest human rights and humanitarian relief NGO in the world, BRAC, started out with a focus on microfinance in Bangladesh. However, as the organization expanded and its resources grew, BRAC began to enter other areas of work such as disaster relief that other notable NGOs such as the International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, and Human Rights Watch among others are known for. Smaller human rights and humanitarian relief NGOs tend to operate with more narrowly focused projects. Heifer International distributes livestock to families in impoverished communities. Habitat for Humanity funds and constructs affordable housing.
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Human rights and humanitarian relief NGOs comprise the vast majority of non-governmental organizations across the globe, both in number of different groups and by size of individual organizations. Furthermore, these NGOs typically hire employees in a wide variety of fields and in almost every geographic region of the world. Most human rights and humanitarian relief NGOs continually post job openings, and virtually every group posts volunteer opportunities. As a result, there are plenty of chances to become involved with these organizations.