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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.

Typhoon Haiyan and the benefit of sponsorship for children affected by disasters
Mar 26, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan and the benefit of sponsorship for children affected by disasters

After Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines in November, World Vision staff members moved quickly to find each child and family enrolled in sponsorship to identify their needs and concerns.

Picture drawn by a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon. PHOTO: Patricia Mouamar / World Vision
Mar 15, 2014

Three years of Syria conflict have devastated lives of millions of children

Five of the world’s leading aid organizations say that the three-year-old conflict in Syria has devastated the lives of millions of children and young people — and a generation is at risk of being lost forever.

Poll: Americans think Hurricane Katrina worse than Syria crisis
Mar 10, 2014

Poll: Americans think Hurricane Katrina worse than Syria crisis

A recent poll found that most Americans are not aware of the enormity of the crisis in Syria, a conflict that has so far impacted an estimated 9.3 million people. That’s nearly as many as affected by Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined.

A Syrian refugee family begins their registration process into Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
Mar 11, 2014

Poll: Americans think Hurricane Katrina worse crisis than Syria

Almost three years into the conflict in Syria, many Americans do not know the full scale of the crisis, according to a new poll conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of World Vision.

Syrian refugee children: ‘We live in constant fear’
Mar 10, 2014

Syrian refugee children: ‘We live in constant fear’

To mark the three-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria, World Vision invited children living as refugees to write a report to share their biggest concerns and propose solutions to end the suffering.

Syrian children in Jordan work together to research, compile and write a child-led report focusing on the challenges facing refugees like themselves. PHOTO: Meg Sattler/World Vision
Mar 11, 2014

New report by Syrian refugee children reveals fear, violence and uncertainty in host countries

Report entirely written and researched by Syrian children, with the text unaltered, helps shed light on the crisis through children's eyes.

InterAction: A United Voice for Global Change
Mar 6, 2014

Statement by InterAction member CEOs on the third anniversary of the Syrian civil war

Member CEOs of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international relief and development organizations, wish to express our deep concern for the families of the Syrian Arab Republic as the war enters its fourth year with no end in sight.

Top humanitarian crisises to watch in 2014
May 6, 2015

Top humanitarian crises to watch in 2015

Below are the top humanitarian crises and disasters we are watching and responding to in 2015.

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.