accessibility & help

Help after emergencies around the world

Sudanese Red Crescent volunteer hands out relief items

First on the scene


Within hours of an emergency – or even before it’s happened – our partners in the local Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society will be at work keeping people safe.

Local volunteers and staff might evacuate homes in the path of a cyclone, or rescue people from buildings knocked down by an earthquake.


So where does the British Red Cross fit in?


We will either send aid directly or fund work carried out by our partners in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

The support we give might include goods like blankets and mosquito nets, or expert help from aid workers. When airports are blocked and phone lines down, getting the right aid to the right place as quickly as possible is a huge challenge. Our logistics teams make this happen.

Help we bring


Shelter and blankets

Every year, millions of people are left homeless after disasters. Tents, tarpaulins and blankets can protect them in the aftermath. We also help people repair damaged homes.



With shops closed, roads blocked and crops and fishing boats wiped out, food supplies can quickly run out. Our support includes food parcels and mobile kitchens.



When water supplies run dry or get contaminated, people go without or drink dirty water – putting them at risk of illnesses such as cholera. Our engineers, emergency purification equipment and bottled water tackle the problem. We also bring latrines and better plumbing to cut the threat of disease from human waste.


Experts to re-unite families

Disasters can separate families. Our tracing teams put people back in touch.



If shops and traders are still open after a disaster or conflict, it can be better to give local people money to buy emergency goods rather than shipping them around the world. In the right situation, cash grants can go further than the same amount spent by us on buying aid.


Emotional support

We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to give emotional support to British citizens affected by disasters overseas. See how did this in Kenya and Tunisia.

Building back stronger


While most disasters and conflicts only hit the headlines for a few days, the damage they do can last for decades. After the news crews disappear, the Red Cross helps people rebuild their lives so they’re ready to withstand future disasters.

This might mean creating stronger housing, or giving training that helps people find new ways to make money. This work can take years, but it’s absolutely vital – preparing for disasters is always more effective than reacting after they’ve happened.

Latest international disaster news

More than 500 children, many of them malnourished, were among those given essential food and water in Syria this week. The Red Cross, through our partners the Syrian Arab Red Crscent, helped 1,500 people who fled besieged areas of Al-Raqqa, Palmyra and Dier ez-Zor.

Over 60,000 people have fled the city of Fallujah in Iraq after fierce fighting. The families, who are now reaching camps in Amriyat Al Fallujah, are in need of food, water, shelter and medical attention.

As fears grow for tens of thousands of people are trapped inside the Iraqi city of Fallujah by fierce fighting, the Red Cross is supporting 850 families who fled to a safe area about 30 kilometres away.

The Red Cross provided the first relief aid to reach the besieged Syrian town of Daraya since 2012. This included medicines, baby milk, vaccines and nutritional supplements. A delivery of urgently needed food is planned for Friday 3 June.

Thousands of malnourished mothers and babies in Yemen will benefit from essential health services thanks to a new grant for a reproductive health unit.

The Red Cross is now delivering essential water, food, health kits and shelter to help people caught up in the devastating conflict in Yemen.


Disaster Fund

Philippines rescue worker carrying a child

Help the Red Cross prepare for disasters. Your donation will be used in the UK or overseas.

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