Since the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was first founded at the request of Albert Einstein in 1933, our global team of more than 17,000 staff have helped people upended by conflict and crisis to survive, recover, and regain control of their lives. Today we work in more than 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities.

We focus our support in five areas: ensuring safety from harm, improving health, increasing access to education, improving economic wellbeing, and ensuring people have the power to influence decisions that affect their lives. In all our programming, we address the unique needs of women and girls (who represent the majority of those displaced)—and the barriers to progress everywhere we work.

Changing needs in a changing world

In the almost 90 years since our founding, the world has changed and so have the needs of the people we serve. Today a staggering 100 million people are displaced as result of conflict, persecution and crisis. People are displaced for longer periods than ever (most for over a decade) as conflicts (such as that in Afghanistan) average 20 years in length. The climate crisis, projected to displace as many as 150 million people by 2050, further exacerbates these trends, as does COVID-19

A strategic vision for 100 years of action

The goal of Strategy100 is to make our programs a model for the global humanitarian response. We aim to deliver high-quality, cost-effective programs—on our own and with local partners. We will combine research on programs that work best with insights driven by those we serve, to reshape the way the world helps those in need. With this we want to make empowerment and lasting change the norm.

Five girls who are part of the IRC's Girl Shine program -- Ampia, Asha, Hibo, Shamsa, and Nurta --  stand together for a photo in a dry landscape in Ethiopia.
Strategy100 will combine research on programs that work best with insights driven by those we serve, to reshape the way the world helps those in need.
Photo: Martha Tadesse/IRC

Strategy100 will tackle five challenges

Challenge 1

The number of people in need grows each year, but the global response has failed to keep pace.


Expand our scale 

In order to reach more people in need, not just through our direct programming, but also by leveraging our resources and technical expertise to empower and strengthen local support systems, we will: 

Challenge 2

Aid programs put “band-aids” on problems, and too often take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to programming.


Empower people living in crisis 

In order to increase our impact and enable long-term change in people’s lives, we will:

Challenge 3 

Better aid alone cannot improve lives unless it is accompanied by policy change.


Use our influence

Challenge 4

Current recruitment, training and support practices in the humanitarian sector lead to high turnover of front-line staff and give preference to expertise  from  abroad  instead  of  elevating expertise  and  solutions from people in the countries where we work.  This leads to inequalities of power not just in our sector, but in our organization.


Invest in our people

In order to attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents the communities we serve, we will:

Challenge 5

The aid sector is driven by small, short-term grants that make long-term impacts harder to achieve.


Stabilize our funding

In order to better respond to the needs of the people we serve and make stronger investments in their futures, we will:

Learn more

Download our Strategy100 brochure.