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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.

Violence, dire poverty compel children to flee Central America
Jul 11, 2014

Violence, dire poverty compel children to flee Central America

As tens of thousands of children from Central America flee to escape violence and poverty, World Vision continues its work in these countries to address the root causes of poverty and child exploitation.

The child of a family in El Salvador who tells World Vision they fear for their safety due to the violence. PHOTO: World Vision
Jul 11, 2014

World Vision expands response to growing child humanitarian crisis on both sides of the U.S. border

World Vision is providing essential supplies through partner organizations to help those in the United States and Central America.

Refugees in South Sudan take shelter at the UN compound, after violence has driven them from home. PHOTO: James East / World Vision
Jul 8, 2014

Aid effort to avert South Sudan famine in jeopardy

A group of seven major international aid agencies said they face a shortfall of excess of $92 million just when the South Sudan humanitarian crisis edges closer to the risk of famine.

World Vision to aid unaccompanied children fleeing violence
Jul 22, 2014

World Vision to aid unaccompanied children fleeing violence

As the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border intensifies, World Vision is providing essential supplies through partner organizations to help unaccompanied minors in transition centers across the United States.

FAQs: Conflict in South Sudan and the risks to children
Jun 17, 2014

FAQs: Conflict in South Sudan and the risks to children

Conflict in South Sudan has created a hunger crisis, leaving one-third of the population in need of immediate aid. Children are most at risk for malnutrition, and they’re also susceptible to armed recruitment and disease. Read our FAQs to learn more.

World Vision ready for 2014 hurricane season
Jun 5, 2014

World Vision ready for 2014 hurricane season

Key to an effective emergency response is advance preparation. As another hurricane season begins, World Vision has worked hard to be ready for storms that strike coastal communities here in the United States.

Food kits prepared by volunteers last year to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy. The contents include enough for a family to have breakfast, lunch and dinner all prepared by just adding boiling water. PHOTO: Juliette Lynch/Genesis Photos
Jun 4, 2014

World Vision prepares for hurricane season by mobilizing communities, stockpiling supplies in the U.S. and abroad

Hurricane season begins June 1. Although it is forecasted to be an average, or below-average year for activity, World Vision is fully prepared to respond.

9,000 child soldiers fighting in South Sudan’s war
Jun 4, 2014

9,000 child soldiers fighting in South Sudan’s war

Violent conflict continues in South Sudan; with nothing to do and little hope, boys and girls are being recruited to fight with militia and government forces.

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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.