Support in emergencies

1 in 4 of the world’s children live in a conflict or disaster zone.

We are the first to respond in a crisis and we stay for the long term.

Children are especially vulnerable in times of conflict and crisis.

Political instability, widespread poverty, weak state institutions and the increasing effects of climate change put children at an increased risk of malnutrition, disease, exploitation and long-term trauma.We are there to support them.

In the immediate aftermath of a crisis, our priority is to help children and families with our emergency response programmes.

We have a unique advantage that allows us to offer immediate support because we are often already active in the countries where disaster strikes. We operate in 137 countries and territories. We understand the context and terrain and can get help to those who need it fast.

How we respond in a crisis

In the chaos that ensues, families can easily get separated.We provide safe places for children to stay whilst we try to locate their parents or relatives.

We support relatives who step into the parental role to look after children whose parents go missing in conflict.

We provide ‘child friendly’ spaces where children can be children and find some normality in playing with their friends and taking part in activities whilst their parents seek to rebuild their lives.

We also offer long term mental health counselling and support to children and their families.

Multiple, simultaneous crises are occurring around the world. From the continuing rumbling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme cost-of-living pressures being felt by many, to the numerous complex and protracted wars, the climate crisis and natural disasters.

Strongly interconnected, these overlapping situations are having disastrous impacts on those who are most vulnerable. Children and young people – in particular those who don’t have, or who are at risk of losing, parental care – are all too often caught in the middle, facing the direst consequences.

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