Menu
Boy in street in Sierra Leone washing his hands at wash station set up to control Ebola.

Humanitarian

We've been responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters around the world since 1945, providing urgently needed immediate relief and long-term support.

Throughout our history, we have intervened in some of the worst disasters our world has faced – the Ethiopian famine, the South Asian tsunami, the Ebola outbreak – as well as in forgotten or protracted crises such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We commit almost a third of our total income to our humanitarian work, and every year Christian Aid reaches millions of disaster-affected people.

Our approach

Our approach is founded on a vision that empowers local partners and disaster-affected communities to decide what is needed and how best it can be delivered. 

Through our humanitarian work, we aim to:

  • Significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets of vulnerable people.
  • Enable people to manage risks and face disasters with dignity and access humanitarian aid safely.
  • We champion an approach that integrates preparedness, response, disaster risk reduction, advocacy and development in order to deliver programmes that respond to the multiple and complex risks faced by the communities we aim to assist.

Partnership model

Our partnership model is central to our response. We strengthen the capacity of local organisations and civil society to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and reduce risks.

They are there before a disaster strikes, they know their communities and they will be there long after the international community has departed.

Collaboration

Christian Aid collaborates in all areas of its humanitarian work with a wide range of partners and coalitions, in order to ensure our work is comprehensive and well coordinated, and that the voice of disaster-affected people is always heard. 

I feel wealthy because when it rains, I don’t get wet. Everyone came together to help build my house and this has strengthened our relationships
Shelter beneficiary, Haiti

World Humanitarian Summit 2016

The May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit was a generational opportunity to reform the service the humanitarian system provides to people affected by crisis.

We demanded a shift in the balance of power in the humanitarian system toward the Global South, putting affected populations in the driving seat in terms of the design and implementation of humanitarian interventions, and greater investment in preparedness and resilience before crisis strikes.

Read our full commitments to the World Humanitarian Summit 2016.
 

Progress so far

The Summit made encouraging progress on these themes. The UN Secretary General called for a shift in the way humanitarian aid is delivered, including by reinforcing rather than replacing local efforts, and by investing in disaster preparedness.

Other commitments included:

  • pledges to channel 25% of funding directly to national organisations by 2020 – up from the current 0.3%
  • ensuring people receiving aid help to make decisions that affect their lives
  • to increase significantly resources for prevention, mitigation, preparedness and early action.

We will now be pressing donors and agencies to deliver on their commitments.

Christian Aid spearheaded work among a network of NGOs that provided high quality policy recommendations that have, to a large extent, been picked up in the global process. This is valuable for the issue Christian Aid works on, but also in showing the value of engaged NGO work
Coalition partner

Results

Christian Aid’s strong track record has enabled us to continue the trend of increased breadth and depth in our humanitarian programming over recent years.

In 2016, major crises and disasters affected millions of people around the world. According to the UN, hunger and conflict in Africa and the Middle East and natural disasters in the Caribbean and Pacific left 130 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

The global refugee crisis has been building for many years, with 65 million people now forcibly displaced from their homes. This is the highest number of displaced people since the Second World War.

Large-scale humanitarian crises in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, coupled with decades-old instability and conflict in Afghanistan, the DRC and Somalia, mean that millions more people have been forced to flee. 

  • In 2016/17 we responded to 44 emergencies in 26 countries, reaching an estimated 1.2 million people affected by disasters.
  • We spent £28.9m in 2016/17 on our humanitarian work, the same as the previous year. 
  • In Nigeria, violence displaced 2 million people and left more than 5 million hungry. We helped 109,000 people get water, food, sanitation and hygiene products.
  • Our partners in Serbia and Greece provided much needed assistance to vulnerable refugee families, including food, clothing, community support and temporary accommodation. . 
  • Working with local partners and suppliers, we launched a rapid response to the Nepal earthquake, carrying out assessments within the first day and a half, a mobile health post was set up in two days, and we started providing food and medical support on the third day in Gorkha (the epicentre). 
  • We have driven forward innovative practice in disaster risk reduction and resilience work, most notably in conflict settings.
  • Through our humanitarian advocacy work, we have been recognised as a leading voice in promoting the role of local and national NGOs in humanitarian action.  

In-depth information is available in our Annual Report 2016/17

Read more about our current emergency work.

Reports and resources

The Big Shift: Banks - campaign briefing

Get clued up on how banks are fuelling climate change, and how they could be a key part of the solution. 

Safe Place Ludo: instructions

Board game instructions for Safe Place Ludo.

Prayer for the world based on Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Can we hide our faces from the headlines of violence and tragedy?

Prayer for Rohingya crisis

A prayer for all communities displaced by violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Rohingya Crisis Appeal presentation

PowerPoint presentation to tell your congregation about the Rohingya appeal and inspire them to give.

Transformers resource pack - English

Download all the Transformers resources in one go as a zip file.

Transformers resource pack - Welsh

Download all our Welsh language Transformers resources in one go as a zip file.

Crazy Climate: all resources - English

Download all of our Crazy Climate resources in one go through a zip file.

Crazy Climate: all resources - Welsh

Download all of our Welsh language Crazy Climate resources in one go through a zip file.

The Big Shift: Banks - planning a local campaign

Tips on how to get the campaign noticed in your community and importantly by your bank. 

Contact us

Want to know more? If you have any enquiries about our work, please contact us

Sign up for email updates about Christian Aid’s work

By signing up for email updates and filling in your email address you are consenting to receive marketing from Christian Aid. For further information on how we handle your data please see our privacy policy.