Transforming livelihoods and strengthening communities for more than 100 years.

We are a global leader and trusted partner, bringing international expertise, innovative programs and long-term commitment to conflict and crisis-affected communities.

Together, we work towards resilience, inclusion and prosperity for all.

Transforming Livelihoods Through Locally-Led, People-Powered Action

The Near East Foundation helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing, and economic development.

Your gift to NEF supports education, peacebuilding, job and income creation, and community empowerment for people in some of the Middle East and North Africa’s most impoverished areas.

Our Mission

Near East Foundation (NEF) works with local partners to enable innovative, sustainable, and community-led economic and social development across the Middle East, Africa and the Caucasus to realize more prosperous, inclusive and resilient communities. We support marginalized people and communities in cultivating new skills and accessing resources, networks, and opportunities to shape a future where they can overcome vulnerability to poverty, economic and social inequity, conflict, climate change, and environmental degradation.

Our Impact

Each year, NEF supports thousands of marginalized individuals as they improve their capacities, increase their participation in governance and public decision-making, and reclaim their livelihoods. Here is some of the impact we made in 2023:


The total number of people Near East Foundation supported


The number of loans and grants disbursed for income-generating activities


The number of people with improved resilience to the impacts of climate change


The percentage of participants who reported a higher household income

The People

Our work is inspired and driven by the people and communities we serve. The people we meet are strong and resourceful yet challenged by various complexities and barriers. Their stories of resilience and determination prove that partnering and investing at the community level is the most effective way to create meaningful and lasting change.

Meet Vergine

Building networks in Armenia

Meet Manaf

Supporting entrepreneurs in Iraq

Meet Rafiaa

Growing women's co-ops in Sudan

Our vision

NEF’s work is based on a conviction that a person’s ability to play an active role in the progress of her or his community hinges on certain opportunities and tools: the knowledge to participate in civic and economic life, a voice in public decisions, and the means to make a meaningful living. We call this Knowledge, Voice, Enterprise.


Expanding knowledge and skills to fully participate in civic and economic life. 


Ensuring a voice in public decisions that affect individual and community well-being.


Creating opportunities to earn a safe, sustainable, and dignified living wage.

Our History

As the United States’ oldest nonsectarian international non-governmental organization (INGO), Near East Foundation has played a crucial role in establishing the American philanthropic tradition and has pioneered many of the strategies employed by the world’s leading development organizations today.

Founded in 1915 in response to the Armenian Genocide, Near East Relief (NER) rescued more than one million people. In 1930, Near East Relief became Near East Foundation. For over a century, we have built on our experience and commitment to the communities where we work to deliver programs with a lasting impact.

We meet the top charity standards, so you can be assured we will make the most of your donation.

We meet the top charity standards, so you can be assured we will make the most of your donation.

100% of donations fuel our impact, with 92.5% supporting direct program activities, 4% supporting management and general organization operations, and 3.5% going to fundraising to ensure efficient and effective programming.

We are an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, meeting the highest standards for ethics and accountability.

We hold the top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

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