Home > Our Impact > Disaster Relief
Disaster Response | World Vision

Help provide emergency relief

Our impact on disaster relief

More than 90 percent of natural disaster-related deaths occur in developing countries, where poverty and lack of resources exacerbate the suffering. We work in many of these countries, preparing for disasters before they happen, and responding quickly when they do. These accomplishments represent some of our 2015 impact:


major disasters and humanitarian emergencies responded to globally

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors all around the world.


increase in U.S. government international disaster assistance for 2016 due to advocacy 

Thanks to the support of World Vision U.S. donors in 2015.

12.2 million

children and their families affected by emergencies received assistance

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors all around the world.

Evaluations and Evidence

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, affecting more than 3 million people — one of every three. The quake killed 222,570 people and injured more than 300,000. More than 1 million people were left homeless and vulnerable. World Vision’s initial response efforts focused on the basics: food, shelter, water, and sanitation. Health clinics were set up to help care for the injured, and hospitals were stocked with medicines and equipment. After one year, emergency supplies were still being distributed to families. Two years later, World Vision is helping Haitian families rebuild lives and recover livelihoods.

Read the report (pdf) >

When a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, a tsunami some 40 meters (133 feet) high was triggered. More than 15,000 people were killed, 300,000 were evacuated, and 3,100 people are still unaccounted for. A nuclear emergency was triggered in the Fukushima area. World Vision supported earthquake- and tsunami-affected communities with relief items; established community kitchens in evacuation centers; and set up Child-Friendly Spaces. The current recovery and rehabilitation phase of the response also incorporates an expansion of support to children; the recovery of livelihoods in the fishing industry; child-focused disaster preparedness; and support to Fukushima evacuees.

Read the report (pdf) >

Our Approach

+ How quickly does World Vision respond to a disaster, and what is your immediate response?

When disaster strikes, World Vision adopts a “first-in, last-out” approach: We first respond with life-saving emergency aid, and then we stay for the long term to help families recover and rebuild.

  • Within the first couple of hours after a disaster, World Vision staff members closest to the disaster respond with reports on the level of severity and need.
  • Within 24 to 72 hours of the disaster, our global rapid response team is on the ground, making assessments and beginning to provide emergency relief.
  • Within 72 hours of the disaster, our pre-positioned relief supplies are loaded up, transported, and distributed from local and international warehouses.
  • For the first week, we continuously distribute emergency aid and relief to residents affected by the disaster.

Over the following month, we work to help families stabilize by providing assistance with temporary shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection activities, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

+ How do you help residents recover from the trauma of disaster over the long term?

We are quick to respond to disasters, but we also focus on helping to rebuild the lives of disaster-affected families and communities over the long term. Large-scale disasters often leave hundreds of thousands of people homeless and vulnerable.

While emergency relief is necessary and saves lives, it is not enough. We help disaster survivors by assisting their transition from relief mode to recovery and rebuilding mode. This recovery and rebuilding phase involves a transition to permanent housing, clean water, sustainable sources of food, access to education, and re-established livelihoods.

+ When disaster strikes, which World Vision employees respond?

World Vision’s Global Rapid Response Team brings together international disaster experts from around the world, who are deployed within hours of a major emergency to support local teams and communities. The global rapid response team includes relief managers, program officers, and specialists in health and nutrition, human resources, finance, logistics, security, food aid, child protection, information technology, and communications — all working as a team to provide effective emergency relief.

In a large-scale response, World Vision collaborates with the United Nations and other local aid agencies. This collaboration helps avoid duplication, maximize efficiencies, ensure all needs are met, and eliminate gaps in humanitarian response.

+ How do you prepare to make sure you’re ready when an emergency occurs?

Having a disaster response fund ready to use, pre-positioning supplies like non-food items, and having staff prepared and trained to respond to emergencies is increasingly important to how we respond to disasters.

The global pre-positioning resource network is our designated team that makes sure we’re prepared to respond rapidly to any disaster anywhere in the world. The team pre-positions the supplies and develops preparedness plans, programming standards, logistic assessments, and logistic plans. The supplies are ready to go in seven different warehouses that are strategically located all around the world. These relief supplies are ready for up to 225,000 beneficiaries at any time, ensuring that those affected by disasters will have emergency supplies distributed to them quickly and efficiently.

Our Areas of Impact

water drop icon

Clean Water

The foundation of life, health, and freedom from poverty

Learn more >
Heart icon with a child, arms raised

Child Protection

Preventing child trafficking, child labor, exploitation, abuse, and neglect

Learn more >
disaster icon with cracked house, exclamation point

Disaster Relief

Life-saving emergency relief and long-term response

Learn more >
coin icon

Economic Development

Financial empowerment for communities

Learn more >
pencil icon


Equipping children for a future of opportunity

Learn more >
corn icon

Food & Agriculture

Building food security; fighting hunger and malnutrition

Learn more >
first aid kit icon


Promoting well-being for children, families, and communities

Learn more >
American flag icon

U.S. Work

Assisting and empowering our American neighbors

Learn more >
cross icon

Our Faith

Following Jesus’ example through our global work

Learn more >
icon, man and woman holding hands


Promoting gender equality to bring fullness of life for all

Learn more >