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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

p 206.310.5476

Subject Matter Experts:

Jeff Wright

Chris Palusky

The Latest

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

Remedial education classes at the World Vision partner women's center in Irbid, helping Syrian refugees and poor Jordanians.  Photo: Jon Warren / World Vision
Dec 13, 2013

Joint release - Education declines for Syrian children

The decline in education for Syrian children has been the sharpest and most rapid in the history of the region, according to a new paper published today.

Two Syrian refugees look out from their tent in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon as snow begins to cover the area. Photo: Ralph Baydoun / World Vision
Dec 11, 2013

Winter storm headed for Lebanon

Winter storm in Lebanon threatens Syrian refugees

A bitter winter is coming: Pray for vulnerable Syrian refugee children
Dec 10, 2013

A bitter winter is coming: Pray for vulnerable Syrian refugee children

This Christmas, join us in praying for children deeply affected by the crisis in Syria. The brutal cold of winter has arrived, and more than 1 million Syrian refugee children and their families are in dire need of life-saving assistance.

Lunch helps Syrian refugee children stay in Jordanian school
Dec 9, 2013

Lunch helps Syrian refugee children continue attending Jordanian school

Donations help Syrian refugees living in difficult conditions.

Harvy and his family, who are receiving relief assistance from World Vision, stand in front of their home damaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Photo ©2013 Annila Harris/World Vision
Dec 6, 2013

Millions at risk of future disaster, says new World Vision report

As the world marks one month since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, a new report from World Vision calls for stronger disaster planning for cities to avoid widespread future devastation.

World Vision Senior Director of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Response Chris Palusky testifies to Congress on December 3, 2013.
Dec 4, 2013

Chris Palusky testifies before U.S. Congress on Typhoon Haiyan relief

World Vision Senior Director of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Response Chris Palusky testified to Congress on December 3, 2013 about the relief response to Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A child plays in a Child-Friendly Space, after Typhoon Haiyan
Nov 25, 2013

Child-Friendly Spaces open in Philippines’ typhoon-ravaged communities

World Vision is setting up about 40 Child-Friendly Spaces in order to provide a safe place for children recovering from Typhoon Haiyan to resume learning, play, and process the disaster’s effects.

World Vision launched its first Child-Friendly Spaces associated with its Typhoon Haiyan response on Nov. 20 at Tabugon in northern Cebu. At least 400 children took part. Photo: Jon Warren / World Vision
Nov 21, 2013

World Vision opens its first Child-Friendly Space for 400 children in Philippines

World Vision opened on Wednesday its first dedicated ‘safe spaces’ for 400 children affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The spaces allow children to continue learning, playing, and start coming to terms with the disaster.

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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.