Emergency Response

Emergency Response

Angola, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Kenya, Japan, Myanmar, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanzania, United States, Venezuela

CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets arrive in Kingston, North Carolina as part of the CWS response to Hurricane Matthew
in October 2016. Photo: Char Rodriguez, American Red Cross on behalf of the United Church of Christ

Our team works in partnership with communities and fellow ACT Alliance members to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean and United States, we provided over 46,000 CWS Kits and Blankets to aid in recovery. Working through local partners in Haiti, CWS supported community cooperatives through seed distribution and repaired or rebuilt damaged houses. In Kenya, our team responded to drought through emergency water supplies, desilting and cash-for-work. Monsoon flooding in Myanmar affected or displaced families, and CWS responded by supplying rice in 26 villages. Fourteen of those villages were part of CWS community development programs; our direct response usually focuses on places where our teams are active and knowledgeable about the local context.

CWS emergency response programs address the full disaster cycle. Our U.S. team facilitated disaster preparedness training with vulnerable groups such as refugees and immigrants. In other cases, we support communities facing ongoing effects of previous crises, such as children in Japan experiencing trauma related to the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake.

While most CWS emergency response programs focus on natural disasters, our work also includes responding to man-made crises. For example, we provided a steady supply of milk to stranded refugee and migrant families with children. Additionally, our partner in Cairo, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, is addressing twin challenges of a deteriorating economic situation stemming from the severe devaluation of the local currency and a growing number of refugees from Yemen as well as unaccompanied refugee children.

This year, CWS distributed more than 206,000 CWS Kits and Blankets, including over 100,000 hygiene kits internationally and nearly 12,000 emergency cleanup buckets in the U.S. Shipments of material goods went to Angola, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Syria and Venezuela.

CWS distributed over
46,000 kits & blankets
in the United States and in Cuba in response to Hurricane Matthew this year.