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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.

Hoda, 4, at right, and her brother Khalil, 5, are Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa valley in an informal tented settlement. As he stands in the snow in worn slippers, Khalil explains: “I don’t have a father or a mother. My grandma takes care of us.” Khalil spends his days watching over his younger sister, whom he gave his only pair of boots. PHOTO: World Vision / Ralph Baydoun
Mar 12, 2015

Aid agencies give UN Security Council a 'fail grade' on Syria

Aid agencies today released a scathing critique of the UN Security Council powers, detailing how they have failed to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Syria amid intensifying conflict four years after the start of the crisis.

Elizabeth is a 38-year-old woman and a female burial worker living in the Bo District in southern Sierra Leone. She believes in sacrificial work-especially that of restoring the dignity of her fellow women who die to Ebola during the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, despite heightened stigmatization of burial workers. PHOTO ©2014 World Vision / Sarah Wilson
Mar 3, 2015

Prioritizing needs of children critical to Ebola eradication and recovery

World Vision is urging global leaders attending the European Union High-Level Conference on Ebola in Brussels this week to offer increased support for children in affected West African countries. More than 8,000 children have been orphaned in Sierra Leone alone.

The University of Pittsburgh football team and World Vision partnered to build Ebola Caregiver Kits for health workers in Sierra Leone. PHOTO: Courtesy, University of Pittsburgh
Feb 26, 2015

University of Pittsburgh, World Vision build emergency kits for Ebola health workers

The University of Pittsburgh football team partnered with World Vision to build Ebola Caregiver Kits for staff in Sierra Leone. One of the students, Patrick Amara, was born in Sierra Leone and said he was happy to participate in the effort to help his country.

Photos: Harsh winter threatens Syrian refugee children and families
Feb 18, 2015

Photos: Harsh winter threatens Syrian refugee children and families

Syrian refugee families who have fled their homeland due to violence are ill-equipped to deal with the harsh winter conditions. These photos from an informal refugee settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley illustrate the daily challenges refugee families face.

After Ebola, survivors and orphans face challenges
Feb 16, 2015

After Ebola, survivors and orphans face challenges

Aruma, 14, lost his parents, his elder brother, and three younger siblings to Ebola. He’s one of more than 11,000 children in West Africa who have lost one or both parents to the Ebola virus. World Vision is helping provide for the needs of children like Aruma.

South Sudan: Former child soldiers released, long road to recovery begins
Feb 12, 2015

South Sudan: Former child soldiers released, long road to recovery begins

An estimated 3,000 child soldiers are expected to be released by a rebel group in South Sudan in the coming month. These children must undergo a complex rehabilitation process in order to recover from the horrors they have experienced.

 

Fatima, 8, and her friend, Sathi, 7, live at a center for vulnerable children in Bangladesh. The center, run by World Vision, cares for children who are living on the streets or in local brothels with their mothers. PHOTO: Jon Warren / World Vision
Feb 10, 2015

Next week’s meeting at UN key moment for children, says World Vision

Ending extreme poverty is only going to be possible if governments gathered for next week’s post-2015 meeting focus efforts on reaching all children, especially those living in war, fragility and instability, World Vision said Monday.

World Vision distributes its first shipment of Ebola health supplies to Mali's Ministry of Health. PHOTO: Francine Obura / World Vision
Feb 6, 2015

Emergency health supplies help World Vision remain vigilant against Ebola in Mali

World Vision received its first donation of personal protective equipment in Mali Thursday. The goods will be used by Mali’s Ministry of Health to protect its frontline health staff.

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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.