Humanitarian Response & Disaster Assistance

Chapter 10: Humanitarian Response and Natural Disasters

Other Internet and Print Resources

NOTE: Listing of a resource does not constitute USAID endorsement or certificationReferences and ResourcesResources and References Click to jump to the desired section.

  • Internet Sites Pertinent to the Environmental Dimensions of Humanitarian Response
  • References Pertinent to the Environmental Dimensions of Humanitarian Response
  • References Related to Natural Disasters and Local Communities
  • General References on Humanitarian Efforts, Natural Disasters, and Risk Reduction

Internet Sites Pertinent to the Environmental Dimension of Humanitarian Response:


  • In July 1997, the Sphere Project was launched by a group of humanitarian agencies. The project aims to improve the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system in disaster response. Sphere has developed a Humanitarian Charter and a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian assistance: water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food aid, shelter and site planning, and health services. The Sphere Project Web site is
  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is a USAID-funded activity that can be accessed at
  • USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance offers a series of postings on the Internet about its mission and organization which can be found at
  • Seventeen U.S. PVOs involved in food aid programs have joined together to form Food Aid Management, an advisory body to USAID’s Food for Peace Programs. They offer a variety of services, including an Environmental Working Group and sponsorship of Regulation 216 Training of Trainers Workshop opportunities for member organization staff and others. Reach them at
  • ReliefWeb is a project of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and its Web site is intended to serve the information needs of the international humanitarian relief community. Its home page can be accessed at
  • The Benfield Hazard Research Centre in the Department of Geological Sciences at University College, London, carries out work in disaster studies that focuses on disaster mitigation and preparedness. It comprises research, project management, training, consultancy, information dissemination and education. The Center’s Web site is
  • The International Organization for Migration Web site can be found at
  • The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) Web site can be found at


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References Related to Humanitarian Response Programs:


  • CARE (1999). Tool Book: Integrating Environmental Considerations into Humanitarian Response (draft work in progress). Atlanta, GA. 20 pgs.
  • Hirsch, Brian, Carl Gallegos, Walter Knausenberger and Andrew Arata, with Michael McDonald (2002). Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Insecticide-Treated Materials in USAID Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. USAID Bureau for Africa, Office of Sustainable Development. Washington, D.C.: USAID.
  • Kelly, Charles (2001). Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment: A Framework for Best Practice in Emergency Response. Presented at Sharing Experience on Environmental Management in Refugee Situations: A Practitioner’s Workshop, Geneva, 22-25 October 2001. University College, London, Benfield Greig Hazard Research Center:
  • Kelly, Charles (2005). Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines. Version 4.4. Developed by the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, Department of Geological Sciences, at University College, London, and CARE International, with funding from the Joint United Nations Environment Program/Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Office, Geneva; Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID:
  • Sphere Project (1998). The Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. The Sphere Project and Oxfam Publishing. Switzerland:,English/
  • USAID (n.d.). Field Operations Guide for Disaster Assessment and Response (FOG Version 3.0). Washington, D.C.: Bureau for Humanitarian Response, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, in cooperation with and produced by the USDA Forest Service International Programs.
  • USAID (1995). Food Security Policy Paper. Washington, D.C.: Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination.
  • UNHCR (1998). Refugee Operations and Environmental Management: Selected Lessons Learned. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 75 pages.;=406c38bd4
  • UNHCR (2000). Handbook for Emergencies. Switzerland: UNHCR.;=3bb2fa26b
  • UNHCR (2002). “Zambia Initiative launched: Briefing note.” August 27 .;=home&id;=3d6b85191c
  • UNHCR (2002a). “The Environment: A Critical Time.” Refugees Magazine 127: 2 July.;=3d3fed057
  • UNHCR (2005). Environmental Guidelines. Geneva: UNHCR. June. 49pgs. + appendices.;=3b03b2a04
  • UNHCR (2005). Forest Management in Refugee and Retournee Situations: A Handbook of Sound Practices. Switzerland: UNHCR.;=438724c42
  • WFP (1999). Environmental Review Guidelines. Rome: World Food Programme. January. 58 pgs + annexes.


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References Related to Natural Disasters and Local Communities:


  • Abramovitz, J. (2001). Unnatural Disasters. Worldwatch Paper 158. Washington, D.C.: Worldwatch Institute.
  • Anderson, M.B. (2000). The Impacts of Natural Disasters on the Poor: A Background Note. Submitted to Cornell University under Consulting Agreement 35113-9382 for the World Bank.
  • Elfaig, A.H.I. (1998). Strategies to Reduce Drought Vulnerability, with Special Emphasis on Coping Strategies of the Poor: Sub-Sahara-Semi Arid Area. South Africa: Water Research Commission.
  • (2002). Debate in Preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Organized by Multistakeholder Forum for Our Common Future and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat. May.
  • IFRC and RCS (2002). World Disaster Report 2001. International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.
  • UNEP (2002). Global Environment Outlook 3: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd.
  • UNDP (2001). From Relief to Recovery: The Gujarat Experience. UNDP Emergency Response Division. October.


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General References on Humanitarian Efforts, Natural Disasters, and Risk Reduction:


  • The African Development Bank Group (2002). Policies and Procedures: Emergency Assistance Policy Guidance.
  • DFID (2006). Reducing the Risk of Disasters – Helping to Achieve Sustainable Poverty Reduction in a Vulnerable World: A DFID Policy Paper.
  • International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2001a). Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  • IPCC (2001b). Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) (2002). Living with Risk: A Global Review of Disaster Reduction Initiatives. Prepared as an interagency effort coordinated by the ISDR Secretariat with special support from the Government of Japan, the World Meteorological Organization and the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (Kobe, Japan).
  • People-Centered Development Forum (1995). Principles of Sustainable Livelihoods.
  • Sandrasagra, Mithre J. (2000). “UN Agencies Release Joint Report on El Niņo.” Third World Network.
  • UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (1992). Internationally Agreed Glossary of Basic Terms Related to Disaster Management. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
  • UN/ISDR Library for Disaster Reduction (2006). ISDR-Biblio: Tsunami.