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

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

In advance of the World Humanitarian Summit on 23-24 May, the British Red Cross calls for staff and volunteers working in their own communities to be protected.

The John Lewis Partnership, which operates John Lewis and Waitrose shops, and Aviva, the global insurance company, have become the latest members to join the British Red Cross Disaster Relief Alliance.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world and was devastated by a civil war. Read how the Red Cross is improving community-based health care.

The British Red Cross mapping team is helping the aid effort in Ecuador after the country was hit by an earthquake.

One hundred trucks have delivered aid to tens of thousands of people in a besieged Syrian town.


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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