Humanitarian Aid

40 articles

Not Impossible

The art and joy of doing what couldn’t be done.

The following is an excerpt from Mick Ebeling’s book, Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done.  Which would you rather have screw you up totally: the heat or the insects? That was the choice we faced when we tried to make a hand for Daniel in Yida. We had transferred […]

How Safe Stoves Are Lifting Millions of Women Out of Poverty

A new life can begin with a simple stove.

For Insaf, a mother of seven displaced by violence in Darfur, a stove not only transformed the way her family eats — but how they put food on the table. For most of her life, Insaf had to walk on foot to search and collect firewood to cook for her family – a daily task […]

What Responsive Leadership Really Means

It's not just about people in power. It's about empowerment for everyone.

A few months ago, I was producing a talk radio show on one of the most popular mid-morning radio shows in Gauteng, South Africa. The first hour of the show is an open line. Listeners can reflect on some of the stories from the previous day’s headlines and share solutions to our country’s pressing challenges. An […]

How to Feed the World

Agricultural research and greater productivity can defeat global hunger.

Hunger has wracked humanity since time immemorial. Nearly every major society has been shaped by famine. One estimate suggests that China suffered drought or flood-induced starvation in at least one province almost every year from 108 BC to 1911. Yet the struggle against hunger is a battle that humanity could finally win. More cereals were […]

TED@UPS: What If Mosquitoes Could Deliver Vaccines?

What happens when a problem becomes part of a solution?

Katie Francfort works with pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and donate products for humanitarian aid. After a recent trip to South America, Katie encountered a problem in dire need of a solution: how to supply temperature-sensitive vaccines to the world’s most remote locations.  Katie shares her story in her TED@UPS talk featured below. After you watch the video, read […]

TED@UPS: What if Trade Was Used to Fight Terrorism?

When goods cross borders, armies stay home.

Romaine Seguin believes in the power of trade. That’s because she’s seen first-hand how trade can transform impoverished communities around the world. Learn more about this important issue by watching Romaine’s talk from TED@UPS 2016 below, and then check out our most recent conversation with Romaine about her experience as a TED speaker. Q. What […]

TED@UPS: What If Data was Donated?

Companies give money and time to humanitarian issues. But what about data?

Companies are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to solve the world’s most vexing problems. What many firms don’t realize, however, is that they already have a silver bullet at their disposal. It’s their data. If corporations focused as much on donating information as money, we could make immediate changes around the globe. Mallory Soldner, UPS […]

The Giving (WiFi) Tree

How do you tackle air pollution in cities? With WiFi-emitting birdhouses, of course.

It may be one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, but Amsterdam could do more to improve its air quality, according to a report that grades efforts by European cities to cut transport emissions. The study gave Amsterdam a D+ rating last year. This was partly because, unlike other European cities, the Dutch capital has […]

What is Next for Refugees Seeking Asylum in Europe?

Activists, volunteer groups and corporations are helping refugees settle into their new environments, but it’s not easy.

“They didn’t go out in public at all,” says Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, an emergency response coordinator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), recalling a Syrian couple she met in Berlin in February. The young parents of three children – a 4 year old and infant twins – had tried to wait out the bloody […]

The Vaccine Fridge That Could Save Lives

Reviving Einstein's ideas could save millions of lives.

Transporting vaccines to every corner of the globe is one of the key health priorities of our time, but every year thousands of life-saving medicines are lost through inadequate storage. This may no longer be the case, thanks to the inventiveness of a 22-year-old graduate from the United Kingdom.  Will Broadway’s invention is made even more […]

From Epiphany to Action

Fifteen years ago, in the wake of 9/11, former marketing executive Janine Maxwell had an epiphany that she couldn’t ignore. Will her story inspire you to pursue your own calling?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela An epiphany is a sudden, striking realization. To me, it is also a call to action. In a moment, I’ll tell you how an epiphany led me to leave my comfortable home in Canada to become an activist and mother of 138 children in Africa. […]

Podcast: How to Measure NGO Impact

With funding continuing to decline for nonprofits, it’s time to rethink how to measure results.

How do we measure nonprofit organizational effectiveness? I was delighted to have a conversation with Jeri Eckhart Queenan, Partner & Global Development Practice Head at the Bridgespan Group, about the challenges in financing development. This was a great opportunity to discuss emerging trends in how organizations manage their programs to deliver the most effective results […]

No One Left Behind – Combining Technology and Humanitarian Aid in Rwanda

Laura Lane, who was a Foreign Service Officer during the genocide in Rwanda more than 20 years ago, returns to Kigali as part of the WEF Africa Summit meetings to highlight what good comes from collaboration.

There is so much tangible economic momentum across parts of Africa that has the potential to drive greater economic development and growth, but there are also still so many real challenges ahead that require multi-stakeholder solutions and partnership. The WEF Africa Summit taking place here in Rwanda is bringing together many of these stakeholders to […]

How Joplin Came Back from Tornado Devastation

In 2011, one of the deadliest tornadoes in US history ripped through Joplin, Missouri. Thanks to rebuilding efforts, the city now thrives.

Jerrod Hogan treaded slowly, taking one careful step after another. The scene around him was akin to a post-apocalyptic tale set in the future, yet this was reality on May 22, 2011, in Joplin, Missouri. Cars and school buses were flipped upside down. Uprooted trees lay on the ground alongside fallen power lines. Streams shot […]

Managing the Politics of Water

The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs.

This year’s World Water Day, on March 22, provides an opportunity to highlight what in many countries has become a grim reality: The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs. Unless water resources are managed with extraordinary care, the consequences could be devastating. Last year, the United […]

Lives over Landfills

Destined for the trash heap, unused, unopened and quality medical supplies could prevent millions of deaths.

Nearly 6 million children died last year before their fifth birthday. Around the globe, that’s 16,000 kids per day, 700 per hour and 11 per minute. Tragically, more than half of these early child deaths could have been prevented with access to simple, affordable medical care, according to the World Health Organization. At the same […]

The Social Investment Revolution

There is a strong desire on the part of many to make investments that improve the world.

In 1972, during Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing, Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, was asked for his view of the impact of the 1789 French Revolution. “It is too soon to say,” he is said to have replied. Zhou probably misunderstood the question (thinking it referred to the May […]

A Breakthrough for Child Refugees?

The world has come together repeatedly to fight disease and disaster. Now we have to fight for education.

Buried in the declaration from the just-completed fourth United Nations’ Syria Pledging Conference in London is a little publicized but important promise: By next year, every Syrian refugee child will be offered a place in school. The world, at long last, has taken seriously the need to provide education to conflict-affected children. Up to this […]

Businesses Must ‘Hack’ the Refugee Crisis

What it costs to help refugees is far less than the benefits they can give.

Nadia was a happy teenager living with her family in Iraqi Kurdistan. Then ISIS invaded her village. Her mother and six brothers were killed in a massacre and she and her three sisters were enslaved. After months of unspeakable brutality, Nadia escaped and found a way to Germany. She never viewed a roadblock as a […]

5 Powerful Ideas for Global Impact From Social Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs combine compassion and business acumen to scale solutions that are needed.

All of us wish to feel a sense of purpose in our careers and make a meaningful contribution to society, but it can be hard to know where to start. Social entrepreneurs offer a fascinating model. They combine compassion and business acumen to scale solutions that are needed now more than ever. More than a […]

Case Study: Save the Children

Why we can’t do it alone.

The UPS Humanitarian Solvathon (a case competition held recently at The Ohio State University in Columbus) gave Ohio State students an opportunity to partner with representatives from UPS and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address real issues the NGOs are facing. Following whiteboarding sessions, the students presented their solutions to a panel of judges from their respective […]

A Master Class on Thought Diversity

The people who don’t know what they don’t know can also change the world.

Our most vexing problems can leave us jaded. Whether it’s solving global hunger or getting medicine to impoverished communities, some might believe these humanitarian pursuits are more aspirational than achievable. Some 22,000 children die from poverty each day. Yet, Nelson Mandela famously insisted that these are solvable problems. “Like slavery and apartheid,” he said, “poverty […]

Playing to Our Strengths

Working together, we can accomplish what none of us can achieve alone.

Adapted from a speech given by UPS Chief Executive Officer David Abney on October 20, 2015 in Houston at the Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service. At UPS, we have a pretty good view of the world. We see it from ground level, where our people work hand in hand with businesses and […]

One for the Books

From activist to civil servant to clandestine book runner, Robert Brown has led a life of service. And he’s not done.

He was a friend of Nelson Mandela. He helped Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow bring her husband’s body home. He was a businessman and held a senior position in the Nixon White House. All that was before he spent years sneaking books for poor children into South Africa during the height of apartheid. Today, with […]

Celebrating our Heroes

A hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.

When you think of a hero, what image first comes to mind? When you were a kid, it might have been Batman saving Gotham from yet another deadly attack. But now? Maybe it’s a first responder to the site of an emergency. Or, it’s that family member who helped you make it through an extraordinarily […]

TED@UPS: The Key to Solving Hunger

How can we get food to the 800 million hungry people in the world?

From the Editor: Today marks the beginning of a three-week TED@UPS marathon on Longitudes. During that time, we will post videotaped talks from 13 amazing individuals. Join us each day for something new. Summary: From the air, Dadaab isn’t visible – and then it slowly comes into focus. The huge empty expanse of red dust looks like a terracotta platter […]

How Big Data Can Help Migrants

Why migration data should be the basis for informed decision-making.

The international community has been calling for an improvement to the availability and quality of migration statistics for decades. Just like in every other policy domain, data on migration is, or should be, the basis for informed decision-making. This is particularly critical in times of displacement crises, such as those currently unfolding around Europe, as […]

Reading, Writing and Refugees

While food, medicine and shelter come first, education must be a high priority.

The UPS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of UPS, is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme to provide critical relief shipments to thousands of Syrian refugees in Greece and along the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia border. Air shipments of relief supplies, including biscuits, blankets, sleeping mats and solar lanterns arrived […]

10 Years After Katrina, A Roadmap For Disaster Relief

Hurricane Katrina provides key lessons for how we can better respond to future disasters.

Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, leaving in her wake thousands of devastated, distraught and confused residents of one of America’s great cities. Where were they supposed to turn to get their lives back on track? Who would help? For someone who had known and appreciated New Orleans from a distance all my life, […]

Why Logistics Will Be The Key To Solving Hunger

Delivering hope and building a future without hunger.

Like UPS, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is known for its logistics expertise. In addition to delivering lifesaving food assistance to some 80 million people in 82 countries each year, WFP also transports fuel, medical supplies and aid workers when emergency strikes and the international aid community mobilizes. By building U.S. support and […]