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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.

Drought and food insecurity could lead to another famine in Somalia.
Oct 16, 2014

Somalia on brink of famine again as world celebrates World Food Day, says World Vision

Somalia is on the brink of famine again, as the world celebrates World Food Day.

Ansha, playing with her youngest daughter, Maida. Ansha was just 10 years old when Ethiopia’s infamous 1984 famine swept Antsokia Valley. Suffering from malnutrition, she recovered following treatment at one of World Vision’s emergency feeding centers. Though she experienced nightmares for years, today her life has transformed. Now the mother of four healthy children, Ansha sells sugarcane by the truckload. PHOTO: Alexander Whittle / World Vision
Oct 20, 2014

Antsokia Valley transformed over 30 years, says World Vision

Children are now thriving in today’s lush green landscape of Antsokia, which was one of the hardest-hit areas 30 years ago, where an estimated 1 million people were affected by famine in Ethiopia.

World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins visits with Veronica, a mother of five, and her youngest child, Joseph Kyanowok. PHOTO: Nigel Marsh / World Vision
Oct 15, 2014

South Sudan escapes official famine, but even without a name hunger still kills

South Sudan’s food insecurity crisis hasn’t worsened to the point of famine, but the threat still looms large with meager crops potentially only delaying life-threatening hunger.

Ebola crisis: World Vision staff, faith leaders fight to curb deadly virus
Oct 9, 2014

Ebola crisis: World Vision staff, faith leaders fight to curb deadly virus

In Sierra Leone, World Vision staff, with government officials and other agencies, are working to curb the deadly virus. Faith leaders are being equipped with messages on prevention and awareness, and we are helping them address hopelessness, fear, and stigma in the communities they serve.

Child affected by conflict in Iraq/Syria
Sep 23, 2014

As airstrikes in Syria begin, World Vision urges international leaders to protect affected children

As news breaks about airstrikes in Syria, World Vision is gravely concerned about the impact of the Syrian crisis on a generation of children. 1.5 million children have now fled Syria. Twice that number remain, many under direct threat of violence.

Ebola Medical Supply Donation
Sep 18, 2014

World Vision, McKesson, other donors prepare massive shipment of medical supplies to support Sierra Leone health workers

Days before the government of Sierra Leone institutes a three-day quarantine to contain the spread of Ebola, World Vision will begin a massive delivery of 200 pallets of medical relief supplies.

Ebola outbreak slows but continues to devastate West Africa
Jun 5, 2015

Ebola outbreak slows but continues to devastate West Africa

While Liberia has been declared Ebola-free and the disease’s spread is slowing in Sierra Leone and Guinea, there is still much to be done to eradicate the disease and recover from the crippling social and economic effects of the outbreak.

Syrian refugee Fatima, 8, with her father and younger brother Hakim. The family left Syria for Lebanon after their home was hit by rockets. Some members of the family have lost their lives in the conflict. PHOTO: Alexander Whittle / World Vision
Sep 3, 2014

Children 'may never recover' from Syrian conflict, says World Vision

World Vision is urging world leaders not to forget the ongoing suffering of children caused by the Syrian conflict, as refugee numbers surpassed 3 million Friday in what the UN is calling “the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.”

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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.