A major disaster can overwhelm the resources of a developing country and destroy its economic and social infrastructure, setting the stage for epidemics and famine. International relief organizations provide aid in the days immediately following the disaster which can play a major role in re-establishing a functioning society and averting health crises.
Several major UN organizations are involved in refugee and disaster relief. The Department of Humanitarian Affairs can deploy a Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team immediately to an affected country. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees provides international protection to refugees and attempts to find long-lasting solutions to their problems. The World Food Programme supplies food relief in disasters and coordinates the activities of NGOs helping with food relief.
Most developed countries have a governmental agency dedicated to providing disaster relief, also known as bilateral agencies. Lastly, there are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved with disaster relief. Two of the major NGOs are the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), who both provide health aid to victims of war and natural disasters.