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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.

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.

On the 5th of each month, Ibtisam, Sabah's 32-year-old daughter, and her relatives buy their basic food material, through electronic food assistance cards. The cards, referred to as e-cards, are distributed by World Vision to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are funded by the World Food Program, but that assistance is in jeopardy with a large percentage of the Syrian refugee response remaining unfunded. PHOTO: World Vision / Mona Daoud
Jun 25, 2015

UN agencies and partners say funding shortage leaves Syrian refugees and host nations without vital support

Report details serious consequences if Syria aid response remains underfunded.

World Vision 2015 Gift Catalog (cover)
Jun 23, 2015

World Vision Gift Catalog 20th Anniversary

Over the past 20 years 790,000 donors have given life-changing gifts through World Vision's Gift Catalog — such as goats, clean water, food and education — helping 7.3 million people in need around the world.

Zakaria and his family live in a small shelter in Azraq refugee camp after fleeing their home in Syria. The family's biggest wish for 2015 is that the war in Syria will stop so they can return home. PHOTO: World Vision / Suzy Sainovski
Jun 22, 2015

Record-high displacement figures are "wake-up call" for world leaders, says World Vision

World Vision is calling for increased support for refugee children, as new figures show that more than 29 million children around the world have been forced to flee their homes – a number greater than the entire population of Texas.

Children report increased exploitation, teenage pregnancies in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone
Jun 18, 2015

Children report increased exploitation, teenage pregnancies in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone

According to a new report by three leading aid agencies, child exploitation and violence against children has escalated during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

Video: Syrian refugee children draw their dreams and nightmares
Jun 18, 2015

Video: Syrian refugee children draw their dreams and nightmares

We asked Syrian refugee children in a World Vision Child-Friendly Space in Lebanon to draw one of their dreams and then share them with us.

Children in Sierra Leone report violence and exploitation against girls has increased during the Ebola epidemic, according to new report. PHOTO: Save the Children
Jun 17, 2015

Children report increased exploitation, teenage pregnancies in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone

Children in Sierra Leone report violence and exploitation against girls has increased during the Ebola epidemic, according to new report.

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.