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World Vision staff member waves with his back to camera in front of a crowd of people

The Difference We Can Make

Thanks to supporters, we have responded to disasters across the world

Why we respond to emergencies

We are called to go where we're needed most. Over the past five years we've increased our work in fragile states by 18%. Now nearly one in three of the children we support live in the most fragile and inaccessible states in the world. We work where disasters are most likely to strike and the most vulnerable children live.

Why? Emergencies can deprive children of their homes and security, leaving them open to abuse and extreme poverty. With your support, we intervene rapidly when disaster strikes. We protect and bring hope to vulnerable children and families, supporting displaced people and those seeking refuge across borders. We help them rebuild, adapt and increase resilience in the long term.

Our response

During 2019, World Vision helped 20 million people in emergencies across 58 countries. That’s 55,000 people each day. We responded to many long-term humanitarian crises caused by conflict – often made worse by drought, as well as natural disasters including flooding, earthquakes, cyclones and tsunamis. With support from Start Fund, we responded rapidly to 20 emergencies. We delivered emergency projects within 45 days and assisted over 600,000 people.

Respond with us

One of the reasons we are able to be on the ground, supporting people within 72 hours of an emergency - or often even faster - is because of World Vision supporters backing our Emergency Fund. It allows us to build relief supplies such as food, shelter, and household items, ready to be distributed to families when catastrophe strikes.

When emergencies hit, children are often the most at risk. That’s why we need to be there – in places torn apart by disasters and conflict. Help make sure we can always be there.

Recent Emergency Responses

Ensuring children in emergencies don’t lose out on education

A Syrian boy stands outside his tent in Idlib, with mud on the ground around him
Ahmad, 4, is one of the children living in a displaced camp in Northern Syria. Many children like him have had their lives and education disrupted by war (his name has been changed)

According to a 2017 UNICEF study, humanitarian crises have disrupted the education of 75 million children. We worked with a local partner in Syria and the then-Department for International Development on an education project to prevent children from losing out on education due to the ongoing conflict.

The Result

The project trained 380 teachers, and over 10,000 children were reached with a back to learning campaign. 2,531 children were registered in either pre-primary or catch-up education. Evidence from progress improvement tests showed that children hugely benefitted from the programmes. This contributed to both increased attendance rates and buy-in from parents and children.

Building resilience to climate change in Uganda

A World Vision staff member gives a radio to a boy so that he can continue lessons remotely during COVID-19.
A World Vision staff member is providing radio to a boy in Uganda

In Uganda, we worked with the government and the national meteorological authority on an 18-month project that aims to improve the resilience of vulnerable people by providing weather and climate information. The WISER project, funded by UK AID working through the UK Met Office, provides information translated into local languages in 22 districts across Uganda, along with advice for farmers. Information is shared through a range of channels, including local radio stations, community meetings, district climate champions, churches and other faith groups and local government agricultural extension services.

I have followed the advice, and that is why I am resilient to the impacts of climate change because I have enough food for my family all year round.

The Result

By the end of October 2019, evaluation results showed that 160,000 farmers had reduced their vulnerability to climate hazards by taking various actions. These included storing up food before prolonged droughts, using sustainable agricultural practices to improve production, and putting in place measures to reduce the impact of climate change. These included digging channels for water, terracing and planting trees.

Short term response to keep long term gains in Sudan

Five women in Sudan walk through a field, one carrying a large plate
Women in Sudan walk through a field of drought-resistant seeds provided by World Vision

In response to the 2015-2016 El Niño causing drought in Sudan, we acted fast to ensure we didn’t lose long term progress, by providing animals to 16,533 families so they had food and income. We also reacted to the rise in malnutrition by screening and referring malnourished children to therapeutic feeding centres for treatment.

As well as the emergency actions, our previous work in community structures and training meant we could quickly respond to the drought. This meant people were shielded from some of the worst effects. We could, therefore, help prevent great community migration, meaning families, communities and peoples’ lives were kept more stable, and children’s education less interrupted.

We'll keep you updated

We respond to emergencies within 72 hours, and through our national offices in nearly 100 countries, we always have rapid information on the issues affecting vulnerable children around the world. Sign up to receive emails for breaking news about our emergency response around the world, updates on our work, and ways you can care for children.

Our history of emergency response

Two refugees on the Seasweep, the smaller child clings to the older child.
After the Vietnam War, thousands of refugees were at risk. A World Vision ship became the first international rescue ship to provide food and medical assistance to 93 stranded refugees from Vietnam.
Woman looks into camera with baby in a sling on her back, and other children behind her also looking at the camera in this black and white photo
In the 1980s, millions were at risk of starvation in Ethiopia due to a famine. We were first in and last out, providing food, water and helping communities become to self sufficient through farming.
People in Rwanda stand on a hillside with the few possessions they could salvage
In 1994, a genocide in Rwanda killed almost 1 million people. We provided medical care and food and helped people to relocate. When the conflict ended, we developed a reconciliation process.
People walk around graves near their house
In the 1990s, when AIDS was stigmatised by the Christian community, we spoke out to help millions of children, helping to bring about global action with the HIV and AIDS Hope Initiative.
Mother, Father and Daughter smile in Thailand
The earthquake that hit Indonesia in 2004 triggered a massive tsunami killing nearly 230,000. World Vision initiated its largest-ever relief response across all of the five affected countries.
A nurse stands in the middle of a cholera tent in Haiti with patients lying on beds
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, killing 250,000 and injuring even more. Within minutes, local World Vision staff sprang into action and began distributing emergency supplies.
Two people kneel next to a cooking pot outdoors in Kenya
During the East Africa hunger crisis our local teams helped the poorest and most vulnerable: malnourished young children, female-headed households, orphans, disabled breadwinners and the elderly.
A girl in Sierra Leone stands in the vicinity of a person covered in protective clothes due to Ebola
We worked in Sierra Leone for almost 20 years, so when Ebola hit, we quickly got prevention messages and safer burial and hygiene practices in place, reaching 1.6 million people during the epidemic.
A boy stands in front of makeshift tents in Nepal nearby to where an earthquake hit
In 2015, communities in Nepal were left in shock after two huge earthquakes struck. We responded immediately and over three years of relief, recovery and rehabilitation, we supported 573,688 people.

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