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Disasters and Emergency Response

World Vision's staff respond to natural disasters, conflicts and other emergencies in dozens of countries each year. Staff can provide eyewitness interviews, expert analysis and compelling insight into these tragic events.

Media Contacts:

Laura Blank

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Lauren Fisher

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Subject Matter Experts:

Jeff Wright

Chris Palusky

The Latest

Up to the minute news, press releases, media and more.

Children in South Sudan near a World Vision project. PHOTO: Jon Warren / World Vision
Aug 27, 2015

South Sudan deal is just the start of a long road to peace

The signing of the peace agreement by President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a positive step toward ending the brutal 20-month civil war in South Sudan.

Hurricane Katrina, 10 years later: A look back
Aug 25, 2015

Hurricane Katrina, 10 years later: A look back

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and submerged most of New Orleans. Here’s a look back at how World Vision worked with local partners to respond to the disaster, ultimately providing more than $9 million in goods to more than 318,000 survivors and more than $1.5 million in grants to affected churches and families.

War through the eyes of an aid worker
Aug 14, 2015

War through the eyes of an aid worker

As the conflict in Syria rages on, we sat down to talk with our national communications director in Lebanon, where more than a million Syrian refugees now live.

Learning in Ebola’s shadow
Aug 12, 2015

Learning in Ebola’s shadow

Sierra Leone’s children are delighted to be back at school, but the threat of Ebola’s return has ushered in a “new normal.”

A congregation member shares information about Ebola prevention and treatment following a church service in Bo District, Sierra Leone. PHOTO: World Vision/Jonathan Bundu
Jul 31, 2015

Effective Community Engagement Helped Contain Epidemic, Protect Children and Families, says Aid Agency

Efforts by faith leaders, teachers, parents and government helped inform citizens about risk factors for Ebola, dispel fear and stigma

Cover of the report 'After the Earthquake: Nepal's children speak out
Jul 25, 2015

New report: children express fears and insecurity following devastating Nepal earthquakes

Children call for better shelter solutions, more education so they are prepared ahead of the next natural disaster.

Sister Margaret hands out bowls of food to children at St. Joseph School in Kuajok, one of many "food for education" programs in Warrup State, South Sudan. Sister Margaret, a South Sudanese nun with the Sacred Heart Order of Egypt, is driven, she says, by her faith in Jesus to help the children of South Sudan. PHOTO: World Vision/Jon Warren
Jul 15, 2015

Global Conference on Religion and Sustainable Development: strengthening partnerships to end extreme poverty

Efforts to control Ebola epidemic, reduce stigma a recent example of faith leaders coming together and leading in the development sphere.

Syrian refugee boy escapes life as a child laborer
Jun 28, 2015

Syrian refugee boy escapes life as a child laborer

Absi fled Syria with his sister and mom. He should be in school, but he has been skipping class to work up to 12 hours a day as a parking garage attendant.

Pages

Fact Sheets and Extras

How we respond to global disasters (PDF)

The impact of major disasters has increased 13-fold in the last 50 years. Global weather trends and increasing political upheavals indicate that the needs will continue to grow. Immediate emergency response, disaster mitigation and a commitment to long-term rebuilding are critical. World Vision is on the ground in some 100 countries — and responded to some 87 emergencies last year.

Ready to respond: Preparing for global disasters (PDF)

In 2012, World Vision responded to some 87 disasters, assisting an estimated 10 million survivors, refugees and internally displaced people. With a 13-fold increase in the number of major disasters over the last 50 years, we continue to provide immediate emergency response and disaster mitigation, and are committed to long-term rebuilding. A significant element in World Vision’s disaster response is emergency preparedness, which includes community training as well as pre-positioned staff, goods and funds.

8 ways to talk to kids about disasters (PDF)

Given the 24-hour news cycle, children are some of the first to see or hear about tragedy and disaster around the corner or around the world. But as kids are increasingly exposed to disturbing news footage, Twitter updates and Facebook posts, they’re going to go to their parents, teachers and pastors with questions. Here are some suggestions on how to talk with children about disasters and their impact.

Disaster Response Myth #1: In a disaster response, relief efforts are uncoordinated, chaotic and haphazard (PDF)

Myths of Aid -- Disaster Response Myth #1: "In a disaster response, relief efforts are uncoordinated, chaotic and haphazard." The truth is, over recent decades, relief agencies and local governments have become more intentional about coordination. Still, gaps remain, and are intensified by the severity of the disaster; number, size, and experience level of responding agencies; and functionality of local infrastructure and services.

Disaster Response Myth #2: Aid agencies are not accountable or transparent (PDF)

Myths of Aid -- Disaster Response Myth #2: "Aid agencies are not accountable or transparent." The truth is, professional humanitarian agencies take accountability seriously. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Humanitarian Code of Conduct, aid agencies are accountable to “both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.” World Vision is currently compliant with every relevant donor accountability standard.

Disaster Response Myth #3: Good intentions are enough to provide valuable help during a disaster (PDF)

Myths of Aid -- Disaster Response Myth #3: "Good intentions are enough to provide valuable help during a disaster." The truth is, in a disaster, the best people to help on the ground are those with appropriate skills and training for disaster response, those who understand the language and the context of the particular disaster, and those who have the professional training and experience to work in a disaster setting

Disaster Response Myth #4: Aid agencies should spend donations as quickly as possible to address immediate needs (PDF)

Myths of Aid -- Disaster Response Myth #4: "Aid agencies should spend donations as quickly as possible to address immediate needs." The truth is, when images of destruction and despair in the wake of a disaster are splashed across the world’s screens, the natural reaction is to want to help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Certainly recovery and rescue efforts must be accomplished as quickly as possible. However, aid will also be needed in the months and even years ahead; experienced aid agencies know they must plan to meet both present and future needs of a community recovering from a disaster.

Disaster Response Myth #5: The more money raised, the faster the response will happen (PDF)

Myths of Aid -- Disaster Response Myth #5: "The more money raised, the faster the response will happen." The truth is, money is not the only resource needed when it comes to a disaster response. Unfortunately, natural disasters and humanitarian crises are by their very nature complex situations which take more than money to fix. No matter how generous donors are, myriad factors can delay work in the field, from access, to local political instability, to poverty, to lack of coordination between new and inexperienced organizations.

An introduction to World Vision's Global Rapid Response Team (PDF)

The Global Rapid Response Team is a group of highly skilled professional relief practitioners from within the World Vision Partnership who can be mobilized in teams at short notice to initiate disaster responses anywhere in the world. They are dedicated to helping World Vision's national offices to respond with rapid deployment of critical expertise and supplies.

How World Vision responds to earthquakes (PDF)

World Vision’s disaster management work seeks to protect lives, restore dignity and renew hope, especially in the world’s toughest places where children need us most. With proper care and help children are resilient. Without it they risk suffering emotional and psychological consequences brought about by losing loved ones and having lives turned upside down. Getting physical aid to children quickly is key, but so is restoring a sense of safety, order and normalcy.