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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:

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.

Refugees camp out at an informal settlement in Lebanon after fleeing the conflict in Syria. PHOTO: World Vision/Jon Warren
Sep 22, 2016

History will Judge Leaders for Response to UN convoy Attack in Syria

A statement by over 100 Syrian, regional and international humanitarian and human rights organizations on Monday’s attack on a humanitarian convoy in Aleppo

A picture of one of the many tented settlements, home to Syrian refugees who have fled conflict and now live in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. PHOTO: World Vision/Jon Warren
Sep 22, 2016

InterAction Announces $1.2 billion Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance Pledge

Group of 30 international NGOs commit over $1 billion in private resources to help address global refugee crisis over the next three years.

World Vision brought together renowned 3D chalk artist Hani Shihada and New York City students to bring messages of hope and urge world leaders to help children caught in the Syrian crisis. The resulting truck drove around the city, visiting major landmarks. PHOTO: World Vision.
Sep 20, 2016

UN refugees meeting a wasted opportunity to improve the lives of millions of children

Meeting was intended to share responsibility for refugee crisis across entire international community

Scene from Debaga camp in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Hundreds of people are arriving to the camp daily, fleeing violence around Mosul. This is creating overcrowded conditions. PHOTO: World Vision.
Sep 20, 2016

World Vision preparing for potential large-scale displacement, humanitarian crisis in Iraq

Anticipated military action in Mosul could force up to one million people to flee their homes

Syrian refugee and his family who live in an Informal Tented Settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley that houses Syrian refugees. Families build shelters with wood frames and plastic tarps on land that they rent in the settlement. PHOTO: World Vision/Jon Warren.
Sep 16, 2016

Syria Cessation of Hostilities Welcome: Humanitarian Aid Desperately Needed

A statement from 100 Syrian, regional and international humanitarian and human rights organizations on Syria’s Cessation of Hostilities

Families live in makeshift tents in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, after fleeing their homes due to the Syria conflict. PHOTO: World Vision/Jon Warren
Sep 16, 2016

UN leaders can no longer sit on the fence; children’s lives are at stake

Nearly 50 million children are depending on leaders at UN summit to commit to concrete actions to address the issues causing children to flee their homes

World Vision relief supplies for flooding survivors arrive in south Louisiana
Aug 19, 2016

World Vision relief supplies for flooding survivors arrive in south Louisiana

This weekend, World Vision will provide relief supplies, including hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, food and clothing, to families in south Louisiana who have been affected by this week’s deadly flooding.

Ashton and Brianne Thiesen-Eaton
Aug 17, 2016

World Vision announces new Celebrity Ambassadors

The new Celebrity Ambassadors join Patricia Heaton, who recently agreed to serve as the founding member of World Vision’s Celebrity Ambassador Network.

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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.