Whatever the cause, wherever the place, a disaster or any humanitarian crisis always delivers the heaviest blow to the poor – especially children – often in the most fragile parts of the world.

In 2020, very few countries around the world went untouched by COVID-19. But for many, suffering caused by the pandemic was compounded by new and existing challenges, such as political conflict, violence, poverty, famine, natural disasters, and humanitarian emergencies.

Jesus calls us to be shepherds of the people He so deeply loves. Following Him, we seek out the lost, injured, and threatened, providing care and protection when it seems that all is lost. By providing rapid assistance to those devastated by natural and man-made disasters, we serve the most vulnerable in their hour of greatest need.

People desperately rely on emergency assistance: food and clean water for basic sustenance, emergency shelter and blankets to keep warm and dry, safe places for kids to play and begin a sense of normalcy, and emergency health services for those in need of care. In disasters, World Vision works across all humanitarian sectors to save lives, reduce suffering, and ensure families can begin to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. We also help communities to prepare for future disasters, so people and property are safer in the years to come.

God is with those suffering from disaster — the refugee, the earthquake or hurricane survivor, the family facing famine. He calls us to follow Him in offering hope to every last one. 

Why it matters

Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes can strike without warning, claiming thousands of lives in seconds. Man-made crises such as war and political instability simmer and progress over time, putting millions at risk over the long term.

In the past decade, the number of people affected by emergencies has almost doubled and resulting in more than 134 million people needing humanitarian assistance. Globally, there were 79.5 million forcibly displaced people as of the end of 2019 (World Bank, Oct. 2020). And 40% of the world's poor live in conflict-affected countries.


More than 110 million children in the areas where World Vision works are hungry and suffering today because of the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please support our efforts to provide help in this heart-breaking situation.

Give Now

With all of the conflict in the world resulting in brokenness and hunger, it’s great to have a partner like World Vision who clearly understands that there’s nothing more powerful than loving your neighbour as yourself. [I want to thank World Vision for their great partnership these many years, as we look forward to working together to end hunger all over the world.]



emergency_response-1-1Our Approach

World Vision’s approach covers the full range of disaster management, going far beyond the immediate response we see reported in news and on television.

Before an emergency, World Vision works with communities to develop disaster preparedness plans that map out local threats and identify how best to save lives and protect property.

The global pre-positioning resource network is our designated team of more than 600 disaster specialists who make sure we’re prepared to respond rapidly to any disaster anywhere in the world. They pre-position supplies and develop programming standards, logistic assessments, and logistic plans both for World Vision and with other disaster response partners.

During and after a crisis, we provide emergency food and water, along with basic relief items. We also promote personal hygiene practices to protect from deadly disease outbreaks.

Our child protection programs respond to urgent cases, such as children separated from their families, abuse, exploitation, and other forms of violence. We also respond to health, nutrition, and education needs.

Our goal is to support families not just in the short-run, but also as they go through the arduous process of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods. World Vision works alongside communities to establish permanent housing, sustainable access to clean water, food security, access to a quality education, and re-establish livelihoods. 

Proven Expertise, Industry Leadership

World Vision is a global leader in emergency response with decades of experience and an established resource network that is ready to respond to any disaster or humanitarian emergency, anywhere in the world.

World Vision is the World Food Program’s (WFP) largest partner. In 2020, WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its incredible contributions around the world. Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision U.S. President and CEO said, “Thanks to our partnership with the WFP, everyday we see children’s lives saved and hope restored to families. Under these grim circumstances, partnerships like this one and the support of donors and governments will be even more critical to save lives. We must do all we can to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive.”

World Vision is a deep-rooted and active member of society in each of the nearly 100 countries we work in. More than 95 percent of our 37,000 staff are based in their home region, bringing critical knowledge of and sensitivity to local culture and customs.

Our extensive network of national and local operations is positioned to immediately respond to disasters. Drawing upon our global rapid response team, local and global partners, and the capacity of more than 600 international disaster experts from around the world, World Vision is able to effectively scale our responses to suit the needs of affected communities.

In 2020 alone, World Vision responded to 53 emergencies, assisting 27.9 million people including 18.4 million children. Because of World Vision’s holistic approach, we are equipped to deliver a variety of critical programs depending on the situation and needs of the community.

And with the vast majority of our national entities led, managed and directed by local staff, World Vision makes a long-term contribution to local development and resilience.


World Vision is focused on leveraging private resources for greater impact in the field. Leverage refers to a multiplier effect that occurs when a smaller donation attracts additional funding, maximizing the yield for each dollar donated. It creates greater donation impact and enables World Vision to do something we could not have done otherwise. In FY19, World Vision leveraged $20 million in private gifts to mobilize almost $165 million in grants from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, and World Food Program (WFP). These grants alone enabled us to assist more than 4.6 million people.*
*The average leverage/multiplier effect across all of our grants is one to eight. However, this ratio differs from one grant to another.

emergency_relief.jpgImpacting women and girls

During humanitarian crises like armed conflicts and natural disasters, gender inequalities are often intensified, and violence has been shown to increase, especially toward women and girls.

Oppression of one means oppression of all. Research shows that societies with greater gender equality experience faster economic growth, better outcomes for children, and more representative government institutions.

To eradicate poverty, we must address the inequitable systems and beliefs that hold people back from achieving their God-given potential. World Vision works to:

  • Empower communities — girls, boys, women, and men — to transform discriminatory practices together
  • Implement an integrated approach, incorporating gender equality into all of our programming
  • Mobilize community and faith leaders to act upon gender injustices in their communities
  • Provide economic support for families to prevent negative coping mechanisms
  • Strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms, including community watch groups and child protection committees
  • Provide safe spaces for women and children

World Vision identifies and addresses harmful social norms in power and decision-making in communities. Building trust, equitable gender relations, conflict prevention and resolution, and valuing all children provide a foundation for resilience. 

Every child should be safe from harm

World Vision’s emergency response programs give priority to children, especially the most vulnerable, and empower them — together with their families and communities — to become active participants in improving their well-being.

World Vision educates and equips children and their families to prevent abuse, exploitation, and violence. We work with communities to protect learning environments through preparedness planning, conflict mitigation and peacebuilding, and providing safe play and learning areas during the aftermath of a crisis. 

ELO-ER_D2.jpgProgram highlight: Child-Friendly Spaces
Child-Friendly Spaces are safe havens that allow children to play, draw, sing, and share their feelings; engage in non-formal education; learn resilience and life skills needed to adapt to their new environment; and return to or maintain a normal routine.




2020 Highlights


people including 18.4 million children, benefited from our response to 70 disasters


in grants leveraged from $26.7M in private gifts


displaced people in Mali benefited from World Vision's water, sanitation, and hygiene activities

News and Stories

Our team of experts

Mark Smith
Senior Director, Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs