What we do in emergencies

When disaster strikes, we do whatever it takes to save and protect children and their families.

How we respond to emergencies

When you donate to an emergency appeal, this is the life-saving work you make possible:


We provide food to families in urgent need. When children are already suffering from malnutrition, we provide high-nutrient paste to help them get back up to a healthier weight. After the first phase of our emergency response, we distribute seeds, livestock feed and tools so people can start to rebuild their lives.  

In South Sudan...

Photograph of child eating food.

We treat children like Chuol* who are suffering from severe malnutrition. We gave Chuol a high nutrient peanut paste as an outpatient clinic in Akobo, South Sudan, to help get his weight back up to safe levels.  

The conflict in South Sudan has hit children the hardest. Across this young country, they are facing hunger, disease, violence and displacement. Save the Children is supporting nearly 50,000 children in South Sudan with education, child protection, nutrition, shelter and healthcare.


Without clean water, diseases spread quickly in emergencies so we provide safe drinking water and repair water supplies. In critical situations, we truck water to families and communities who have no other option. 

In Myanmar...

Photograph of young men working to provide purified water.When heavy monsoon rains hit Myanmar in July 2015, we gave provided emergency support to families including water, soap, tarpaulin and household kits. We gave purified water to children like Sandar Aye to help make sure disease didn't spread through dirty flood water.  We also set up rain water harvesting systems to give families a fresh supply of water.


We provide life-saving medicines and emergency healthcare. Our new Emergency Health Units are strategically positioned around the world so they can be deployed within 24 hours. Within 72 hours they can be on the ground, saving lives. The teams are made up of surgeons, doctors and nurses who can repair broken limbs, give emergency rehydration, treat malnutrition and provide vaccinations. 

In Nepal...

Photograph of child receiving medical aidWhen Nepal was shaken by at earthquake in April 2015, Dr Binamra Rajbhandari – who is part of our team in Kathmandu – was deployed as part of our Emergency Health Unit. "We went to different places…that were inaccessible by road," says Binamra, "we flew in helicopter and conducted mobile health clinics. 

Our response to the devastating earthquake, which killed almost 9,000 people, has reached 550,000 people with healthcare, water, food and shelter.


In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, we provide temporary shelter to protect children and their families when their homes have been destroyed. After the first critical phase of an emergency response, we help families recover by helping them rebuild safer and more durable shelter for the future. 

In the Philippines...

Photograph of a person carrying emergency shelter equipmentWhen Typhoon Koppu hit the Philippines in October 2015, Save the Children provided essential items such as tarpaulins for emergency shelter as well as basic household items, and hygiene and water kits. Our three humanitarian warehouses across the country mean we can rapidly distribute life-saving aid when disaster hits.


We help reunite children with their families when they've been split up during the chaos of a disaster. Children are at their most vulnerable in an emergency so it's important that, wherever possible, they are quickly reunited with their parents of caregivers. We work hard to identify unaccompanied and separated children, and families missing children, and if possible bring them back together. 

In South Sudan...

Photograph of a father with two sons

When fighting broke out in their hometown of Bor, South Sudan, six-year-old Sammy* and three-year-old James* were separated from their mother and father. They spent 18 months apart but were reunited by Save the Children in May 2015. "The process of reuniting family with children is very important," says their father Gatwech, "I cannot even express my happiness. I can only giving blessings to the people who are committed to facilitating families to be reunited."


More than half of those affected by emergencies each year are children, and crises can severely affect both their physical safety and emotional wellbeing. To make sure children get the support and protection they need during emergencies, we set up spaces to give children a place to play, learn and receive emotional support.. 

In Australia...

Photograph of an adult working with a child

When bushfires broke out in Lancefield, Victoria, Save the Children set up Child Friendly Spaces so parents could focus on recovering from the fires and sorting out their homes and livelihoods – knowing their children were in safe hands.

Help make sure we're always ready

We don't know when the next disaster will happen, but we do know that the faster we respond, the more lives we save.

Help make sure we're always ready by donating to our Children in Crisis fund.