3 Best Countries to Do International Aid Work

Few careers are as rewarding and fulfilling as providing aid to those most in need. Millions of people living in various countries around the world depend on foreign aid given by wealthier and more developed nations, but it’s not just money that’s needed. Volunteers and aid workers are in high demand as charities try to distribute aid on the ground. 

Each country that needs aid will require it in a different capacity; some need water pump donations whilst others need food packages and medical assistance. These differing needs mean there are many types of aid workers that need to be sourced. If you think you could be an aid worker in some form or another, you’ll want to first explore which countries and type of aid work best suit your skillset. Below, we list three of the countries most in need of aid and where your service will be most needed and urgently appreciated. 

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1. India

India is the country that routinely receives the most foreign aid in the world. In 2017, India received more than $4.2 billion USD in foreign aid, with Japan donating the most to India. Whilst India is largely regarded as a developing country, it has over a billion citizens and it’s thought over 230 million of them live in poverty. This means many people do not have a home, water, food, sanitation, or access to education. 

Being a foreign aid worker in India may entail handing out food packages, building water and/or sanitation facilities, or becoming a teacher in a newly constructed school. India is a developing nation and one that is slowly pulling itself out of the crisis, but foreign aid work is still a necessity at this stage in time. With such a wide variety of aid needed, there’s plenty of scope for volunteers of all skill sets, making it a great place to undertake an aid role. 

2. Turkey

Second, on the list of countries that receive the most foreign aid in Turkey. Many people think of Turkey as a desirable holiday destination thanks to its hot weather, sandy beaches, and many holiday parks, but there’s a darker side to Turkey. Many of its citizens live in poverty, but beyond that, Turkey borders Syria and Iraq, both of which are countries of great civil unrest and with ongoing violent conflict. Turkey spends most of its foreign aid on bolstering their military who are responsible for ensuring the conflict in neighboring countries doesn’t extend into Turkish territory. The result of neighboring conflict means that there are millions of civilian refugees seeking assistance on the Turkish border, all of whom need assistance. 

By offering to be a foreign aid worker in Turkey, you will be able to help these refugees, many of whom are children, access shelter, food, water, and medical attention. Similar to India, there is a broad spectrum of work to be undertaken, all of which is urgently needed and makes it one of the most challenging yet rewarding places to work. 

3. Ethiopia

For many years, Ethiopia has wrangled with poverty and extreme hunger. It has long received foreign aid and is, slowly but surely, improving its economy in a way that betters the lives of its residents, but the work is far from over. Ethiopia relies heavily on international aid in many capacities. Disease and malnutrition are common issues faced in the country which means a large portion of its aid is spent on improving water, sanitation, and medical care. Foreign aid workers are often required to distribute healthcare for AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases, but this isn’t the only cause. 

Outside of this, a lot of foreign aid is spent on education as Ethiopia is one of the most educationally disadvantaged countries in the world. Seeing how much of an impact aid work has on countries like Ethiopia who are improving makes this a great place to volunteer. 


Wherever you choose to undertake foreign aid work, it’ll be a worthwhile cause and one that benefits the lives of many people.

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