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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.

Video: Stories of Syria’s Lost Generation
Jun 3, 2015

Video: Stories of Syria’s Lost Generation

Amid shattered dreams and broken hearts in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, refugee children like Ali, Hassan, Nour, Marie, and Ayat share their stories of survival, loss, pain, and hardship.

Severe drought returns to Somalia
Jun 3, 2015

Severe drought returns to Somalia

Suffering people tell World Vision staff, “This is the worst drought we have ever seen.”

Texas floods: World Vision responding
May 29, 2015

Texas floods: World Vision responding

Deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma has destroyed homes and swept away bridges. We’re preparing relief supplies for churches and community organizations to distribute to local families affected by the massive storms.

People ran into the streets, stalling traffic following the 7.4 magnitude quake that struck Nepal on Tuesday. PHOTO: World Vision / David Munoz
May 12, 2015

Nepal gripped by another earthquake; World Vision concerned for children and communities already struggling in quake aftermath

A strong earthquake aftershock in Nepal hits areas already devastated by last month's deadly 7.8-magnitude quake.

The violence in South Sudan's Unity State has left thousands dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, of these are thousands of children afflicted by the violence. At the Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp, an estimated 5,000 children had arrived by mid-January. PHOTO: World Vision / Lucy Murunga
May 11, 2015

More than 10,000 children face malnutrition as aid agencies forced to withdraw staff in South Sudan

World Vision has been forced to stop its life-saving interventions, including nutrition programs for children and distribution of blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene products, shelter materials, and mosquito nets, because of ongoing violence in South Sudan's Unity State.

A Child Friendly Space set up in Kathmandu helps children impacted by the Nepal earthquake have a safe place to play. PHOTO: Alina Shresthra / World Vision
May 1, 2015

World Vision creating safe spaces to help children ‘come to terms with loss’ after Nepal quake

World Vision creates safe spaces for children impacted by disasters such as the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

Chicago pastors held a press conference to announce a plan by a group of west side churches to support recovery efforts for Nepal and to challenge Chicago’s faith community at large to participate as well.
Apr 30, 2015

Chicago clergy unite to help recovery efforts in Nepal quake that took 5,000+ lives

Clergy from the west side of Chicago are gearing up to provide assistance for the international humanitarian crisis in Nepal that stemmed from Saturday's earthquake.

Videos: Responding to the Nepal earthquake
May 8, 2015

Videos: Responding to the Nepal earthquake

Watch some of our videos from Nepal to understand the enormity of the need after the disaster and learn more about how we are helping children and communities.

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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.