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What is the difference between relief and development?

Helping those in need falls into two categories, relief and development.

But what is the difference between the two? Here are a few key points:

Relief –

is a short-term effort. It generally occurs in the immediate aftermath of a crisis to care for urgent needs and to reduce immediate suffering. It is more of a one-sided relationship, based on the giving of material goods such as food or medical supplies. 
In non-emergency situations, help in the form of relief can cause problems. It is more of a “band-aid” solution, designed to meet immediate needs until a community is able to be agents of their own change.
A field of green plants with mountains in the background and a wooden fence in the foreground
In non-emergency situations, help in the form of relief can cause problems.
A field of green plants with mountains in the background and a wooden fence in the foreground
Today, development activities have grown to encompass human development, issues of inequality and human rights.

Development –

is a long-term process to alleviate poverty through the sustainable improvement of the lives of individuals and communities. In order to be successful, development must include the involvement and participation of beneficiaries. 
Traditionally, development activities have focused mainly on economic growth. Today, development activities have grown to encompass human development, issues of inequality and human rights. The focus is on the training and empowerment of local communities so that they are equipped to pursue development according to what they assess as the most needed.

To learn more about poverty and the differences between relief and development we encourage you to check out the “When Helping Hurts” video study.

It is a short yet incredible resource for you to dig deeper. You can access it here.

The solution to poverty is more than physical, it’s spiritual. Instead of handouts, you will be partnering with local churches to permanently lift families out of poverty. Will you join us?

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Tearfund Canada

340 Ferrier Street
Suite 202
Markham, ON
L3R 2Z5
t: 1-800-567-8190
e: connect@tearfund.ca

Charity Number: 108222191 RR 0001