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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

p 646.245.2496

Lauren Fisher

m 206.310.5476
p 206.310.5476

Subject Matter Experts:

Jeff Wright

Chris Palusky

The Latest

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

A still from a time-lapse satellite image of Typhoon Hagupit, courtesy of CYCLOCANE, shows its approach to the Philippines.
Dec 4, 2014

Over a year after Typhoon Haiyan, survivors rush to evacuation centers, bracing for impact of Typhoon Hagupit

A new super storm, Typhoon Hagupit, threatens to undo progress as families in the Philippines are still rebuilding after last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan disaster. World Vision has mobilized its response teams in case Hagupit's impact is severe.

Neighbors wash their hands in a community in Sierra Leone hit by Ebola. PHOTO: Jonathan Bundu / World Vision
Nov 14, 2014

Prevention must be part of Ebola response plan, says World Vision

World Vision and a coalition of other faith-based and humanitarian organizations met Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden and White House Ebola Czar Ron Klain to build support for expanding its financial commitment to include both Ebola prevention and treatment.

More than 4,000 people are taking refuge at the airport of Bangui, the capital city of Central African Republic. PHOTO: World Vision / Bruno Col
Nov 13, 2014

As conflict drags on, children in Central African Republic suffering the most, says new report

More than 4,000 people are taking refuge at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic. The airport is heavily protected by French and African forces, giving families some assurance of safety from the rampant conflict. 

Many people still live inside the "40 Meter No-Build-Zone," in makeshift huts, with nowhere else to go. PHOTO: German Press photographer Klaus Becker on his trip to Tacloban and Ormac for the one year anniversay of Typhoon Haiyan. Used with permission.
Nov 7, 2014

A year since Typhoon Haiyan: More than a million people assisted; a remarkable journey of resilience

November 8 is precisely one year since the world’s strongest typhoon slammed the Philippines with unimaginable force. In the last 12 months, World Vision has continued to stand with survivors as they begin to rebuild their lives and look toward the future.

One year after Typhoon Haiyan, World Vision helps more than 1 million people
Nov 6, 2014

One year after Typhoon Haiyan, World Vision helps more than 1 million people

In the central Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan survivors are benefiting from new homes and restored livelihoods one year after the devastating storm, but much work still needs to be done.

Sierra Leone: Ebola closes schools, imperils students’ future
Nov 6, 2014

Sierra Leone: Ebola closes schools, imperils students’ future

Schools are closed in Sierra Leone because of the Ebola virus. Twelve-year-old Zainab worries about falling behind in learning. She and her mother say children may become dropouts or child brides if they are out of school for long.

Ethiopia famine, 30 years later: Alerting the world to a humanitarian emergency
Oct 23, 2014

Ethiopia famine, 30 years later: Alerting the world to a humanitarian emergency

October 23 marked 30 years since a BBC news report turned the world’s attention to the plight of famine-stricken Ethiopians. World Vision catches up with the pilots who helped them get that footage. They reflect on the experience, its impact on their lives, and the transformation communities there have experienced since.

Drought and food insecurity could lead to another famine in Somalia.
Oct 16, 2014

Somalia on brink of famine again as world celebrates World Food Day, says World Vision

Somalia is on the brink of famine again, as the world celebrates World Food Day.


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.