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

Investing in risk reduction saves both lives and money. This is the important message of a Red Cross report set to launch on 14 October.

The British Red Cross is sad to report the death of our colleague in Yemen, Ibrahim Abu Taleb. He was killed by attacks on 7 October along with at least 140 other civilians.

The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti causing widespread flooding and damage to housing.

Vital relief supplies are reaching up to 20,000 people affected by serious flooding in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea.

Since an obstetrician, midwife and two nurses started work at a Yemen health clinic, 1,854 pregnant women have received life-saving healthcare.


Disaster Fund

Philippines rescue worker carrying a child

Help the Red Cross prepare for disasters. Your donation will be used to help people in crisis across the world.

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