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Every child has the right to survival


In addition to development work, Save the Children is a recognized leader in disaster response. When disaster strikes, children are most at risk. Responding to emergencies is not optional, its core to their mission. And, Save the Children brings an important perspective—one that prioritizes the needs of children—to relief operations.

Many of the disasters that affect children around the world are cyclical — droughts in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, flooding in India and the deltas of Bangladesh, and hurricane season in Central America.

There’s a lot that can be done to prepare vulnerable communities and children from disasters and to lessen the impact of emergencies.

Support our emergency relief operations by donating to our Children’s Emergency Fund.

Save the Children responds to three main types of emergencies:

Sudden-Onset Emergency

Earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, cyclones, industrial accidents, and war or political reprisals.

Slow-Onset Emergency

Drought, desertification, deforestation, pest infestations, epidemics, pandemics, and war or political reprisals.

Complex Emergency

Internal and external dislocation, famine, war and civil breakdown.

While the nature and scale of our support is determined by the type of emergency, we prioritize the following projects:

  • Health and nutrition
  • WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
  • Food security and livelihoods
  • Child protection
  • Education


What We Do

Save the Children works in the world’s most disaster prone countries. This means that our staff are often already in-country carrying out longer-term development and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) work. As a result, when disaster strikes we are able to quickly mobilize an emergency response.

We believe that everyone has the right to receive aid in an emergency. But, because women and children face disproportionate risks in emergencies, such as forcible displacement and human rights violations, our emergency response is organized to meet their immediate needs.

Support our emergency relief operations by donating to our Children’s Emergency Fund.

To ensure that our emergency relief efforts are efficient and effective:

  • We develop and maintain local and international partnerships with other agencies to add value to our emergency work
  • We take a collaborative approach to emergency work
  • We are engaged in a wide variety of humanitarian partnerships at regional and national levels
  • Our work is guided by the Global Humanitarian Platform Principles of Partnership, which include equality, transparency, result-orientation, responsibility and complementary assistance
  • We co-lead the UN's Education Cluster with UNICEF, helping ensure that education support in emergencies is well-coordinated
  • We maintain supply hubs around the world stocked with the necessities of life such as medicines, hygiene and shelter kits, as well as blankets and water purification sachets
  • We fundraise year-round to ensure that wherever and whenever an emergency occurs, Save the Children is ready to quickly deploy resources, human and material
  • We are a founding and active member of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION. Learn more

While other first-responders may leave a disaster zone after the first phase of relief and recovery, Save the Children remains to help people build back better. Save the Children was working in Pakistan when the country experienced its worst flooding in recorded history and in 2010 in Haiti when the devastating earthquake levelled the capital. They were in Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami. You’ll find us there today too, rebuilding communities, ensuring children have access to health care and a chance to go to school, and helping improve the quality of life for millions of people.

In Haiti, we're helping build back better so that children like Andrise can pursue their dreams.



How You Can Help

Support our emergency relief operations by donating to our Children’s Emergency Fund.

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