As a consequence of torrential monsoon rains mid-July, over 25 million people have been affected by flooding in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Myanmar. At least 600 people are known to have died and over half a million people have been displaced with homes,
schools and hospitals damaged or destroyed. There is the possibility that the situation could deteriorate further as rains continue in many of the flood-affected areas.
“Keeping children safe is our top priority,” says Rachel Wolff, Response Director of World Vision’s humanitarian work in Cox’s Bazar where flooding and landslides have devastated the Rohingya refugee camps of Bangladesh.
World Vision is on the ground providing life-sustaining aid to hundreds of thousands of children and their families across the Asia Pacific region.
There have been a total of 2,794 Ebola cases and 1,844 deaths in the DRC since August 2018, and the virus is spreading at an alarming rate (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 18 August 2019).
Ebola is one of several crises affecting the DRC, which combined are leaving an estimated
13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Insecurity is causing people to move around, making the disease more difficult to monitor and control, and treatment centres have been attacked.
To help prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease, we are raising awareness and distributing hygiene kits. A core part of our approach involves training faith leaders, teachers and health workers, so they can improve awareness and acceptance
of Ebola prevention and treatment among their communities.
East Africa emergency (including South Sudan): A complex hunger crisis driven by drought, conflict and political instability has left over 28 million people, including 17.5 million children, across
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda in need of life-saving assistance. Inter-communal conflict has been the largest driver of displacement. In South Sudan, a food crisis caused by conflict and political instability has resulted in more than one million people seeking refuge in Uganda.
Syria crisis: After over eight years of war, more than half of Syria’s population has been forced to flee their homes. More than 6.2 million people are currently displaced inside Syria and a further 5.7 million have sought refugee outside Syria, predominantly in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. ISIL have officially been defeated in Syria and Iraq, however conflict continues across Syria, with airstrikes intensifying in March 2019. Currently, 13.1 million people within Syria need assistance, including 5 million children.
Rohingya Refugee Appeal: The situation in Cox's Bazar has begun to stabilise for the first time in two years. Humanitarian aid is improving living conditions in refugee camps with life-saving assistance. Despite this, the Rohingya's future remains uncertain. Without recognised refugee status or legal citizenship, they are citizens of nowhere.
Cyclone Idai: The March 2019 cyclone caused widespread flooding and destruction across Mozambique, Malawi
and Zimbabwe, affecting up to 3.3 million people including 1.6 million children. You can help us provide emergency assistance and support families to rebuild their lives.
Iraq crisis: Between 2011 and 2017, the Syrian and Iraq crisis displaced over 6 million Iraqis and led to some 250,000 Syrians seeking refuge in Iraq. Since the end of military operations against the so-called Islamic State in late 2017, our focus is on expanding our areas of response to help children and families rebuild their lives. Their key challenges include lack of basic services, limited livelihood opportunities
and safety/security issues including unexploded ordnance.
DR Congo crisis: An estimated 13 million people need humanitarian assistance due to a complex mix of emergencies, including an Ebola outbreak and
mass displacement caused by inter-ethnic tensions and violence between pro- and anti-government groups. In response to Ebola, our health workers are raising awareness and distributing hygiene kits to help prevent the loss of more lives. We are also working to meet the needs of children and families displaced by conflict in areas including food assistance, education and sanitation.
World Vision’s priority is to save lives, and often the first response is to distribute a range of items such as shelter kits, food, clean water and hygiene products.
Our work focuses on children, especially those left vulnerable because they have lost parents or carers, or have been left homeless.
Whenever possible we integrate our emergency relief responses with our development and advocacy activities, to ensure communities receive long-term support – such as income-generating projects – as they recover.
World Vision responds to two main types of emergency:
In large responses, World Vision coordinates with the United Nations and other aid agencies to avoid duplication and make sure there are no gaps in the response.
We are part of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), a five-year (2017-2022) partnership between the Australian Government and NGOs. The aim of the AHP is to save lives, alleviate suffering and enhance human dignity in the face of conflict, disasters and other humanitarian crises.
In the AHP, World Vision partners with Habitat for Humanity Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), CBM Australia and Field Ready.
Through the AHP, World Vision has received funds for humanitarian activities in Mozambique, Bangladesh (Rohingya crisis), Indonesia, Vanuatu, South Sudan and Nepal.
The AHP's "Disaster READY" program supports Pacific communities and governments to better prepare for and respond to disasters. The program places specific emphasis on the inclusion of women, disabled people and faith-based organisations in disaster preparedness.
Within this regional program, we are implementing preparedness activities together with our Pacific-based partners in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.
Our staff are trained in rapid assessment in the aftermath of a disaster to capture the immediate needs of affected populations. Based on the core humanitarian principles, aid is given based on needs and recognising the rights of all people affected by disaster and conflict. These include the right to receive humanitarian assistance and the right to protection and security.
We ensure that those affected by disasters are involved from the beginning and work with communities and local authorities to build back better and increase their resilience to future disasters.
Poorer communities and countries aren’t the only ones hit by disasters, but they have fewer resources and less-robust infrastructure with which to deal with them. Australia is known as a country of terrible extremes and we’ve lived through some devastating emergencies, including floods and bushfires. But we have well-trained and resourced emergency services, some of the world’s best hospitals and doctors, stable governments and countless other factors that help contribute to minimising the impact of emergencies and speeding up recovery.
Not every country is so lucky, and when emergencies hit there is little room for error, as:
Being prepared and having strategies in place to respond to emergencies is just one way World Vision helps people most in need.