How does World Vision ensure it is prepared when a disaster strikes?

Having a Disaster Response Fund ready to use, the global pre-positioning resource network ensures we can respond rapidly to any disaster, with pre-positioned supplies (seven warehouses strategically-located worldwide), preparedness plans and trained staff worldwide.Community development programmes include training in disaster preparation and prevention (e.g. first aid, how to respond to a disaster, improving the construction of buildings, developing early warning systems, and mapping potential threats and vulnerable areas).

What are World Vision’s guidelines with regards to disaster management?

World Vision is a signatory to the Red Cross Code of Conduct – we commit to assisting people irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations.Our emergency projects are in line with the Sphere Project’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, which outline internationally-recognised minimum standards for emergency response. As a member of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), we are also accountable to communities in our emergency response.

What are World Vision’s priorities in disaster management?

Children: In the context in which World Vision works, children are in greatest need of protection from further injury, disease or neglect, with assured attention to their basic needs, including psychosocial needs.While World Vision prioritises families in distribution and livelihood initiatives, our child-friendly spaces also provide children a safe place to play, begin emotional healing and re-establish a normal routine.

Relief supplies: In addition to shelter, food and water, assessment of other needs is pivotal to ensure that our response also facilitates long-term physical relief.

Education: Our field staff aims to improve vulnerable children’s well-being with both formal and informal education, which includes life-skills training, and more.

Psychosocial support: Conflicts and disasters cause significant psychological and social suffering. Therefore, we protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being by reducing the effects of disasters through psychosocial services.

Health & nutrition: Another priority is to save lives, alleviate suffering and promote the return to normalcy by addressing the health and nutritional needs of the affected.

Shelter: Exposure to cold, rain or mosquitoes can be life-threatening, while the lack of privacy, loss of belongings, and inability to provide for affected children is extremely distressing for displaced communities. Tents or tarpaulins help to protect families while more permanent structures (that can withstand possible future disasters) are rebuilt.

Water & sanitation: Water and sanitation are critical, as victims are much more susceptible to illness (e.g. diarrhoea) and death from diseases which rise from the inadequacy of sanitation and clean water supplies. Using contaminated water for washing can also aggravate injuries and infections. Water purification and other solutions for will therefore limit diseases and save lives.

HIV/AIDS: It is vital that HIV/AIDS interventions are integrated into the structure of all disaster response programmes to ensure that HIV/AIDS victims are not made more vulnerable.

Protection: Humanitarian protection is about respect for the fundamental rights of people, for their safety, dignity and integrity as human beings.

How does World Vision help in the long term?

Our quick response does not undermine our focus to help effect long-term solutions. We assist victims to transit from the relief phase to the recovery and rebuilding phase. The latter includes permanent housing, clean water, sustainable sources of food, access to education, and re-established livelihoods.Our global risk reduction strategy educates communities, down to family-level disaster preparedness, and instills community-based disaster risk management programmes.