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Home > About Us > Media Center > Disasters and Emergency Response

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.

School children in Sierra Leone return to school Tuesday. This photo, taken last year, captures a group of friends in the classroom. PHOTO: Jonathan Bundu / World Vision
Apr 14, 2015

As nearly 2 million children return to school in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone, psychosocial support will be crucial, says World Vision

School children in Ebola-plagued Sierra Leone return to school Tuesday after a nine-month hiatus, but some may be burdened by more than books and backpacks as they head to class.

Refugee Enstar, 28, and a neighbor. Enstar is a mother of eight including a young baby. She lives tent in an internally-displaced people’s (IDP) camp in Erbil, Iraq Kurdistan and is trying her best to keep her infant warm, despite the meager shelter. PHOTO: World Vision/Cecil Laguardia
Mar 30, 2015

‘Political solution the only option for Syria,’ says aid agency on eve of conference

Ahead of the third donor pledging conference in Kuwait, humanitarian relief, development and advocacy organisation World Vision has issued an urgent plea for support for Syrian humanitarian crisis.

The UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction - 2015 in Sendai, Japan
Mar 20, 2015

Cyclone Pam lends urgency to call for leaders in Sendai to tackle impact of disasters on children

World Vision will take its case, bolstered by the destructive force of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, for prioritizing the needs of children in humanitarian disasters to the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction - 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

Children enjoy a nutritious meal at a World Vision program in Rwanda. PHOTO: World Vision / Ilana Rose
Mar 10, 2015

World Vision joins with other aid organizations to urge Congress to fund important work tackling poverty around the world

World Vision joins more than 150 other aid organizations in calling on Congress to support U.S funding to help reduce poverty around the world.

Most families on Vanuatu live in thatched-roof houses that are very vulnerable to severe weather. PHOTO: ©2015 World Vision
Mar 17, 2015

World Vision reaches remote island in Vanuatu, finds 'utter devastation'

As aid agencies begin to gain access to Vanuatu’s outer islands, the full extent of the damage from Cyclone Pam is becoming clearer. World Vision’s emergency team chartered a flight to Tanna Island on Tuesday, which they described as "a scene of utter devastation."

Houses were destroyed and possessions scattered by sustained winds of 160 mph when Cyclone Pam hit Port Vila. PHOTO: World Vision
Mar 15, 2015

Staff missing, damage unknown as aid agencies rush to respond to Cyclone Pam

One day after Cyclone Pam slammed into the Pacific islands of Vanuatu, the full extent of the damage remains unknown. It is believed that the cyclone may have impacted as much as 50 percent of the country.

Cyclone Pam: Category 5 storm slams Vanuatu
Mar 17, 2015

Cyclone Pam: Responding to needs in Vanuatu

The category 5 storm pounded the islands of Vanuatu with heavy rain and winds last weekend. We are distributing critical relief supplies, including clean drinking water and shelter materials.

Panorama image taken by NASA of lights on earth at night, focusing on the European/Middle East area. Since this photo was taken on November 27, 2000, Syria's lights have dimmed significantly due to war. PHOTO: Courtesy http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Mar 11, 2015

Eighty-three percent of Syria's lights extinguished after four years of crisis

Analyzing satellite images, scientists based at Wuhan University in China, in co-operation with the #withSyria coalition of 130 non-governmental organizations, have shown that the number of lights visible over Syria at night has fallen by 83% since March 2011.

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.