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The International American Relief Society “IARS” is a Lincoln, Nebraska-based, multi-social and Relief Humanitarian Services Provider Organization. It develops and runs emergency programs which help families in disadvantaged situations to improve their lives and achieve lasting victories over poverty in Nebraska. It also assists the community with disaster crisis relief and response, and preparedness efforts to help people prepare in advance of disasters to reduce the impact on vulnerable and underserved communities. For populations outside the United States of America, IARS provides life-saving relief and supports development programs in agriculture, economic development, health, housing and infrastructure. IARS also strengthens efforts to aid people in need through our representatives and local organization partners.

We help disadvantaged people and their families in Lincoln, Nebraska and support vulnerable people in developing countries reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty through different humanitarian, economics and development programs.

We work to reduce poverty in the world, to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental development and to promote democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect of human rights, notably through International American Relief Society support. We foster coordination between impoverished people through our representative staff and local partner’s organizations in developing countries where support is needed.

Broad-based economic growth is essential for long-term sustainable and socially-inclusive development. Economic growth creates the income opportunities needed to raise living standards and lift people out of poverty.

Market-oriented approaches to economic development focusing on GDP have led to rising inequality and the persistence of poverty associated with structural social exclusion. UNDP launched the human development concept in 1990 on the premise that ”While growth in national production (GDP) is necessary to meet all essential human objectives, what is important is to study how this increase translates – or fails to translate into human development in various societies.”

Theories of human capital formation and human resource development view people primarily as means rather than as ends. They are concerned only with the supply – with people as instruments for furthering commodity production. But human beings are more than capital goods for commodity production. They are also the ultimate ends and beneficiaries of this process.

“Human welfare approaches look at people more as recipients of the development process than as participants in it. They emphasize distributive policies rather than production structures.” (Human Development Report – 1990, UNDP).

The International American Relief Society takes a more comprehensive approach to human development. This involves supporting a healthy and educated population, giving the workforce skills that respond to labor market needs, developing social protection, and reducing the inequality of opportunity.

People need protection against the risks and shocks that can drive them into poverty. They also need dignifying jobs as the basis for escaping from and avoiding falling into poverty.

In developing countries, most jobs are characterized by low average earnings, a lack of adequate social protection and productivity, violations of labor rights, and unsafe or difficult working conditions. The key areas of work in response to these challenges are: promoting employment and decent work, enhancing Skills and Vocational Training (TVET) and improving social protection systems or promoting social inclusion, particularly for youth and women. These are foundations of the IARS’s intervention.

Most of the world’s 214 million international migrants are citizens of developing countries. Migration and mobility represent both an opportunity and a challenge for development. The International American Relief Society strives to strengthen their positive synergies with development and mitigate any negative impacts in the world.


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