Emergency Response

Watch highlights of our emergency response and disaster relief efforts around the world.

Emergency Alert: Philippines

Protecting Children

No one knows when the next earthquake, flood or tsunami will strike. But we do know children are severely affected by natural disasters. They also suffer greatly during conflict, drought and disease outbreaks. That's why Save the Children is prepared to help protect vulnerable boys and girls during disasters and their aftermath. We also support children's needs throughout ongoing, complex emergencies.

Help us prepare for emergencies around the world by contributing to our Children's Emergency Fund

Download our Children's Emergency Fund Report

We Don’t Choose Sides. We #ChooseChildren.

The world's children don't choose when or where they’re born – amidst the chaos of a natural disaster, into poverty or wealth, health or hunger, on one side of a man-made conflict or the other. Children don’t choose sides and neither do we. We choose children. Thanks to you, whenever and wherever children are in crisis, Save the Children is there, working around the clock to meet children's unique health, education and protection needs – even in the most challenging, the most complex, the most controversial circumstances. For example, we are helping children:

  • Atop the mountains of Iraq – In one of the most rapid displacement of people ever seen, more than a million Iraqi men, women and children have fled for their lives, only to be trapped in the nearby mountains without adequate shelter or supplies.
  • In both Gaza and Israel – The intense conflict between Gaza and Israel has had a devastating impact for children on both sides of the border, who have seen and experienced horrors that no child, anywhere, ever should.
  • At the U.S. border – Increasing numbers of children escaping unthinkable violence in their Central American communities are seeking refuge in the United States, overwhelming the capacity of a Border Patrol system struggling to meet the basic needs and ensure the due process rights of so many vulnerable children.
  • In South Sudan – The scene of Africa’s longest running civil war, South Sudan’s recent humanitarian needs have escalated to alarming levels, with some 4.9 million people in need of assistance throughout the region.
  • In Syria’s Refugee Camps – Since the beginning of the conflict, children have been the forgotten victims of Syria's horrific war. Today, more than 5 million children are at risk of becoming a "lost generation" without our help.
  • In response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – Save the Children is working urgently to halt the outbreak before it spirals further out of control and care for children.

For nearly 100 years, the compassionate generosity of supporters like you has allowed Save the Children to achieve results for children in the United States and around the world – helping address the underlying causes and solve the big issues, while saving and sustaining the smallest and most vulnerable among us: our children. We can and do help, but we can’t do it without you.

Our Emergency Response

In 2013, we responded to 119 humanitarian crises, including armed conflict and natural disasters, in 48 countries, reaching more than 4 million children. We helped nearly 18,500 people in tornado-damaged areas of Oklahoma, and continued helping some 40,000 children recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. And we provided desperately needed aid to 1.2 million children in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

On any given day, Save the Children's disaster relief experts can be found responding to the needs of children during these challenging times, providing essential food, safety, comfort and lifesaving care. Here are some of the places our brave humanitarian heroes are helping children today:

  • Border Children in Crisis : Save the Children is working to address the immediate needs of children at the US border who have fled violence and insecurity in Central America.
  • Syrian Crisis: Humanitarian needs are at critical levels inside Syria, with more than 4 million people in urgent need of relief.
  • South Sudan Crisis: Save the Children is supporting the distribution of vital shelter and other critical humanitarian aid.
  • Crisis in Iraq: A massive humanitarian crisis has engulfed Iraq with hundreds of thousands of children forced to flee with their families to escape violence in the north and west of the country.
  • Crisis in Gaza: Children, rather than combatants, are bearing the brunt of the ongoing conflict. One in five people being killed are children.

If you can't find the emergency you are looking for, please use our site search at the top of the page

Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Background

Emergency assistance is a core part of Save the Children's work. Whether recovering from Hurricane Katrina, Haiti Earthquake or the Indian Ocean Tsunami, children face an insecure and uncertain future in the aftermath of a disaster. Since our founding, Save the Children has responded to the needs of boys and girls in crisis around the world. Learn more about historical emergencies

Responding to Emergencies

Save the Children responds to three basic types of emergencies — sudden-onset, slow-onset and complex emergencies. Save the Children develops and maintains local and international partnerships to meet the challenges posed by disasters and crises in high risk communities worldwide. Read more about our emergency response programs


Over the past two decades, the number of natural disasters has increased four fold. But there is much that can be done to prevent and ease the suffering of children in the aftermath. In response, Save the Children has pioneered child-centered Disaster Risk Reduction. Read more about our emergency preparedness programs

Ways You Can Help

Support for a Global Action Fund provides footholds in the world's hot spots as well as in the world's most desperate, isolated places.

Help us prepare for emergencies around the world by contributing to our Children's Emergency Fund

In addition, you can help make a difference by supporting all the work that Save the Children does to help children in need in the U.S. and around the world. Donate Now to Support our Mission

Last Updated December 2014

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