By Clara Egger

This graph displays the prevalent target groups per region of intervention. Note that we only take into account organisations that declare focusing their programmes on a specific vulnerable group in their mandate. A few organisations declare several target groups - i.e. women and children. The graph reveals that most humanitarian organisations listed in the HOD targeting specific groups intervene in Africa, Asia and MENA. These regions tend to be those where relief and assistance are directly provided, making it more likely such organisations target specific groups or individuals. In contrast, Europe and North America host more support services, policy evaluation or advocacy programmes. The distribution of target groups in South America and the Caribbean as well as in Oceania is more difficult to interpret because of the limited number of organisations declaring activities in both regions. 

In all regions, the three most targeted groups are: children, forcibly displaced persons, and women. An important focus is still placed on the situation of disabled persons, particularly in Asia - where the organisation Humanity and Inclusion - Handicap International, the leading organisation supporting persons with disabilities, developed its first programmes in Cambodia and Europe. These four groups have historically been at the heart of humanitarian programming, the first organisations specifically targeting them having been created during and after WW1. In comparison, fewer organisations target missing persons, the elderly and detainees in their programmes. This may be due to a recent awareness of the specific needs of such groups. Note that very few religious organisations declare targeting co-religionist, as this focus could be perceived as infringing upon the impartiality principle. 

This Expertise Note was contributed by Dr Clara Egger in collaboration with the Humanitarian Encyclopedia team, based on analysis of the Humanitarian Organisation Database (HOD).

Last update : Apr 13, 2021