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Disasters and emergencies

Niger famineCrises around the world continue to increase and in recent years we have seen an unprecedented number of natural disasters and conflicts.

When these crises occur, SOS Children provides humanitarian relief to reduce the impact on affected communities.  With proven structures and existing networks, we are well equipped to help in these situations.  Where we are present, we will always help.

Thanks to our local knowledge and experience, our staff can provide assistance and supplies rapidly to those that need it most. In the immediate hours following a disaster, we scale up our activities to get help quickly to children and families that most need it.

We always work closely with local governments to ensure transparency and accountability within our programmes, and often we are given immediate authority for the care of unaccompanied children during disasters.

We help vulnerable children and families before the crises, in the immediate aftermath and rebuild communities in the long term.

Disaster resilience

Whilst we cannot prevent natural disasters occurring, we can work with communities to increase their resilience. By strengthening communities, families, and individuals, we increase their ability to withstand the impact of disaster and recover quickly. This is important not only to keep them safe, but also for them to rebuild their livelihoods following the shock of a crisis. SOS Children supports families in growing food, building their homes, receiving an education and enables their involvement in financial systems - all of which build their safety nets and reduce their vulnerability.

Responding to the food crisis in the Sahel

The ongoing food shortages in the Sahel region due to drought, low resilience and capacity of families have led to high levels of malnutrition and famine across many of the countries within the region. This has put millions of lives at risk. With a long term presence in the Sahel region, we are well-positioned to respond to a food crisis.
In 2012 we reached thousands of vulnerable families with life saving packages. In particular we focus on those most at risk of malnutrition; children under five, HIV affected households and women.

In Niger, we delivered aid to families affected by famine in 21 villages in the Tahoua region of the country. The support reached 6,000 children and 1,000 adults and included food distribution, training for women to prevent malnutrition, delivery of nutritional supplements to health centres and the provision of life saving medicines against hunger-related diseases.

Our humanitarian assistance in Mali reached 9,400 adults and children. SOS Children distributed free food packages to help families cope with the immediate threats of severe malnutrition and worked with them to find solutions to prepare sufficiently for the next season's harvest.