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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.

In areas in Central Bosnia, where water has withdrawn, volunteers clean thick layers of mud that remained. Warmer weather brings the risk of various illnesses and cleaning has to be done as soon as possible. CAT 2 Response - Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina. PHOTO: Aida Sunje/World Vision
May 28, 2014

World Vision helps families in Bosnia, Herzegovina, following worst flooding in more than a century

More than 1.5 million people impacted by flooding in Bosnia-Herzegovina are in need of immediate assistance.

Women fetch water from a World Vision well in Mali. PHOTO: Steve Kay/World Vision
May 21, 2014

Civilians in dire need of protection in north of Mali

The recent spike in violence in northern Mali is a stark reminder of the chronic insecurity that continues to affect hundreds of thousands of Malian people. As the UN Security Council meets to discuss the matter, the protection of civilians should be priority.

Women and children queueing for water at UN base in Malakal where 20,000 people fled during violence outbreak. PHOTO: Nadene Robertson/World Vision
May 19, 2014

Critical gains at risk; children’s lives at stake in South Sudan, new report says

As the conflict in South Sudan rages on, several years of critical gains are at stake for the world’s newest country, and children’s lives hang in the balance, a new report warns today. 

One year after Oklahoma tornadoes, church-turned-warehouse helps families rebuild
May 13, 2014

One year after Oklahoma tornadoes, church-turned-warehouse helping families rebuild

One year after tornadoes killed 24 people and leveled thousands of homes in central Oklahoma, World Vision partnerships with local churches are helping to restore communities left devastated.

Crisis in Central African Republic: Children seek escape from militia, sex abuse
May 12, 2014

Crisis in Central African Republic: Children seek escape from militia, sex abuse

Between 3,500 and 6,000 children have been recruited into armed groups in the Central African Republic, the U.N. says.

Video: Typhoon Haiyan recovery, six months on
May 8, 2014

Video: Typhoon Haiyan recovery, six months on

Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever known to have made landfall, struck the central Philippines with massive force on November 8, 2013. Once-devastated communities have embarked on a long path to recovery. World Vision is there for the long haul, bringing goods and expertise to assist children in developing personal resilience and families in building strong homes and livelihoods.

Norma and her children live inside a neighbor’s house that is drenched every time it rains. Their home was destroyed during Typhoon Haiyan. Since the storm, the children and their mother have been squatting in a neighbour’s house that is covered by a worn-out tarpaulin. Now Norma’s family will be receiving shelter material from World Vision to help them recover. PHOTO: Mark Nonkes / World Vision
May 7, 2014

6 months after Typhoon Haiyan: Building-back-better with communities

Looking from relief to recovery: Typhoon Haiyan, six months later.

Video: South Sudanese children witness violence that no child should have to see
May 1, 2014

Video: South Sudanese children witness violence that no child should have to see

As violence has escalated in South Sudan, more and more children are witnesses or victims of attacks. In the United Nations base in Malakal, where World Vision is providing relief services, children recount their losses and their worries for the future.

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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.