2023: Syria/Turkey

In response to deadly earthquakes, HI launches an emergency response in Turkey and Syria. Actions include rehabilitation care, mental health support, and the distribution of emergency supplies and mobility aids. Read updates from the ongoing emergency response.

2022: Ukraine, Pakistan & Stop Bombing Civilians

In response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, HI launches an emergency response in Ukraine, Romania, and Moldova to assist injured and displaced Ukrainians.

Following catastrophic flooding that left one-third of Pakistan underwater, HI launches an emergency response to deliver emergency supplies.

Dozens of States, including the U.S., endorse a political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. HI provided feedback for the declaration's text and advocated for its passage to protect and assist civilians impacted by these weapons.

2021: Haiti & Afghanistan

HI launches an emergency response following the August earthquake in Haiti.

Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops and transfer of power to the Taliban, HI's teams work to maintain actions that provide aid to people with disabilities and civilians injured in conflict.

2020: COVID-19, Horizon Prize, Beirut

Humanity & Inclusion teams began monitoring the crisis as it took hold in China, prompting our projects there to pause. Teams elsewhere began to prepare the populations we serve. Working in particular with people with disabilities, people with injuries, older people, and vulnerable communities, such as refugees, we worked to ensure that they had the stay-healthy knowledge, as well as tools (soap, access to water) to do their best to keep the virus at bay. 

The COVID-19 emergency is Humanity & Inclusion's largest-ever emergency response operation. Since March 2020, donors helped launch more than 170 Covid-19 projects in dozens of countries to protect and care for the people that others overlook. Between March and August 2020, staff reached 2.2 million people with care and aid to keep Covid-19 at bay.

The European Union Horizon Prize 2020 honored Humanity & Inclusion with two awards for its Odyssey2025 project on the use of drones in mine clearance operations, and its Tele Rehabilitation For All project. The $2.3 million humanitarian prize allows Humanity & Inclusion to establish a new fund to help fuel future advances in innovation and technology.

Following the devastating blasts of stored explosives in August, HI launches an emergency response in Beirut, Lebanon.

2019: Harkin Summit Paris

Humanity & Inclusion hosts the first-ever Harkin Summit in Paris, France. 

2018: Welcomed a new name & logo

On January 24, Humanity & Inclusion became the new name of Handicap International.

2017: 35 years 

Operating in nearly 60 countries, Handicap International marks its 35th anniversary.

Responded to a range of emergencies including the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.

Released the report, Everywhere the Bombing Followed Us, which features interviews of more than 200 Syrian refugees in Lebanon who confirm and detail the devastating and lasting social and economic effects of the use of explosive weapons.

NGO Advisor ranked Handicap International #8 out of 500 of the world's best non-governmental organizations.

2016: Haiti, Qasef, Harkin Summit & Best NGO

Launched Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action at the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey.

Emergency intervention in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew which struck on October 4.

Handicap International releases the report, Qasef: Escaping the bombing, which identifies indiscriminate bombing of civilians as the overriding factor forcing millions of Syrians to flee their homes.

Handicap International attends the inaugural Harkin International Disability Employment Summit where we shared a white paper on wage employment of people with disabilities. With inclusive livelihood jobs in dozens of countries, HI is a committed member of the Summit planning committee. 

NGO Advisor ranked Handicap International #8 out of 500 of the world's best non-governmental organizations.

2015: Nepal & Kobani

Emergency intervention in Nepal following the April 25 earthquake.

Handicap International assess the damage caused by the fighting in the city of Kobani and the surrounding villages and released a brief on what they found.

2013: The Philippines

Emergency intervention in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan which hit the country in November.

2013: Syrian crisis

According to the UN, 3.6 million Syrians have been displaced internally and more than 1.3 million people have fled Syria to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries. Handicap International helps hospitals and clinics care for injured refugees by supplying rehabilitation equipment and organizing physical therapy sessions for patients. Handicap International is the only organization offering emergency rehabilitation care in northern Syria.

2012: 30 years & Syria

Operating in nearly 60 countries, Handicap International marks its 30th anniversary.

As violence in Syria escalates, hundreds of thousands of Syrians flee to neighboring countries. Handicap International launches an emergency response to aid refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

2011: Libya/Ivory Coast

Post-conflict emergency intervention in Libya and the Ivory Coast. The Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is awarded to Handicap International.

2010: Haiti/Pakistan

Emergency intervention in Haiti following the earthquake of January 12, then in Pakistan after the country is hit by devastating flooding in August.

2008: Oslo Convention

Signing of the Oslo convention on cluster munitions, for which Handicap International had campaigned since 2003 as part of an international coalition.

2006: United Nations

Adoption of the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, to which Handicap International made a major contribution.

2004: South-East Asia

Emergency intervention in South Asia following the tsunami of December 26, extended into 2005.

2001: India

Support for victims of the earthquake in Gujarat.

1999: Senegal/Kosovo

Mine risk education in Casamance, Senegal. Demining in Kosovo, where Handicap International is named disability and physical rehabilitation coordinator.

1997: Ottawa Treaty

Signing of the Ottawa mine ban treaty. In recognition of its efforts, Handicap International is made a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

1996: Sierra Leone

Intervention launched in Sierra Leone in aid of the victims of the civil war. This same year, Handicap International received the Nansen prize, the most prestigious prize that can be awarded by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), for its work amongst refugees and victims of landmines.

1994: Rwanda

Intervention in Rwanda in aid of injured survivors of the genocide and isolated children. Prix Cristal (Crystal Prize) for financial transparency.

1993: Balkans War

Handicap International is one of the few NGOs to provide support to populations on all sides of the conflict.

1992: Landmines

Handicap International joins forces with five other NGOs to form the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

1990: Romania

Intervention in Romanian orphanages following the fall of the Ceausescu regime, the organization’s first mental health project.

1986: Mozambique

Launch of the Mozambique program during the civil war to provide assistance to people with disabilities in the province of Inhambane. 

1984: Angola

Opening of an orthopedic-fitting and rehabilitation care workshop in Angola, the organization’s first African program.

1982: Cambodia

Handicap International is officially founded to respond to the needs of 6,000 Cambodian amputees living in refugee camps along the Thai border. Jean-Baptiste Richardier, co-founder of Handicap International, recalls "... this particularly vulnerable group was not provided with aid adapted to their needs. Providing specific aid during emergency relief efforts was not the done thing back then."


Dr Jean-Baptiste Richardier, executive director and co-founder of Handicap International, reflects on 30 years of action

“The outrage that led to the foundation of Handicap International 30 years ago stemmed from an unshakable determination to help 6,000 Cambodian amputees left out of the humanitarian relief effort launched in aid of the Khmers people. Lost amid an unprecedented exodus (up to three million people were crammed into makeshift camps on the border with Thailand), this particularly vulnerable group was not provided with aid adapted to their needs. Providing specific aid during emergency relief efforts was not the done thing back then.

To combat this blatant violation of their rights, we had to fall back on our own resources, the stubborn determination of the families concerned and the support of the community. Later, in Laos, then under embargo, we were able to rely on the incredible ingenuity of village communities. In Angola and Mozambique, we learned how to work in an almost clandestine manner under civil war conditions, which we were to rediscover a few years later during the endless Balkans conflict. A series of major natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Armenia in 1988 and Haiti in 2010, underlined the importance of supplying immediate aid to the injured during emergency situations. The discovery of Romanian orphanages in 1991 led us to extend the scope of our activities to include mental health.

Our determination to help the most vulnerable groups, including in extreme situations, has proven its worth. We have earned the legitimacy we need to combat certain now illegal weapons – landmines and cluster munitions. This same determination drives our teams today and motivates their tireless efforts in nearly 60 countries: in the Dadaab camps of Kenya, the schools of Rwanda, rehabilitation centers in Haiti and Liberia, with the families of people with disabilities in Colombia and Burundi, and the victims of forgotten diseases, such as filariasis, in Burkina Faso, and on land contaminated by mines and cluster munitions in Laos, Mozambique and Lebanon.

Our history is intimately connected with the most terrible injustices of the last 30 years. It would not be complete without mentioning the amazing people who have helped us, and the fraternity that exists even under the worst possible conditions. It is this mutual support that motivates us to carry on, to provide tangible, practical solutions to problems, made possible by the help of local communities and the spirit of solidarity. This is something that has never failed us: in every culture, in every part of the world, families never give up. It is our duty and our responsibility to do the same.”