Guiding Principles

A Humanitarian Imperative

A sharp humanitarian imperative exists to assist those whose lives remain threatened by disease, poverty or disaster. It’s what guides Direct Relief’s work in areas where governments and global markets are either unable or unwilling to engage in improving the health of people who are sick or hurt.

What Guides Direct Relief

  1. Serve People. Improve the health of people living in high-need areas by strengthening fragile health systems and increasing access to quality health care.
  2. Lift from the Bottom, Pull from the Top. Focus on serving the most medically underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad, working with the world’s leading companies, greatest thinkers, and best institutions.
  3. Build Upon What Exists. Identify, qualify, and support existing healthcare providers over the long term and serve as a catalyst for other resources.
  4. Remove Barriers. Create transparent, reliable, and cost-effective channels to enable medically underserved communities access to essential medical resources (particularly medicines, supplies, and equipment).
  5. Play to Strengths. Partner for Other Needs. Engage in activities that address a compelling need and align with our core competencies and areas of excellence. Ally with an expanded network of strategic partners who are working on related causes and complementary interventions in order to leverage resources.
  6. Ensure Value for Money. Generate efficiencies, leverage resources, and maximize health improvement for people with every dollar spent. Maintain modest fundraising and administrative expenses.
  7. Be a Good Partner and Advocate. Give credit where due, listen carefully, and respect those served and those contributing resources.
  8. Respond Fast While Looking Ahead. In emergencies, support the immediate needs of survivors by working with local partners best situated to assess, respond, and prepare for the long-term recovery.
  9. Do not discriminate. Deliver aid without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
  10. Aim high. Combine the best of business, technology, and public policy approaches for the benefit of people in need.

Giving is Good Medicine

You don’t have to donate. That’s why it’s so extraordinary if you do.

Active Emergencies

Disaster Relief

Ukraine Humanitarian Relief

Direct Relief is working directly with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other partners in the region to provide requested medical aid to people caught in the crossfire and fleeing the crisis.