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The Survival Fund




Providing Emergency Aid and Journeying with Survivors

Disasters occur in many forms. Be it famines, floods, or refugee crises, The Survival Fund enables World Vision to respond quickly to unforeseen catastrophes and journey with children and communities to recovery. 


On Aug. 4, 2020 a massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital tore through several downtown neighborhoods, destroying homes, shattering glass, and releasing thick smoke into the air. The blast has killed more than 100 people, wounding thousands, and leaving as many as 300,000 homeless. The explosion has also caused extensive damage to buildings within a large radius of the blast site and hospitals are said to be overwhelmed.


Lebanon's Prime Minister Hasan Diab has called the incident a "catastrophe" and this disaster could not come at a worse time; Lebanon, which was already hosting millions of Syrian refugees, is in the middle of an economic crisis and has also seen the rate of COVID-19 infections drastically increase over the past few weeks.



World Vision teams are on the ground assessing the needs of the most vulnerable children. Initially, we plan to respond by providing:

  • Temporary shelter to families whose homes have been damaged

  • Food, hygiene and household supplies for families who are now homeless or staying in shelters

  • Psychological First Aid to help children and families affected by the explosion

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COVID-19 is a contagious virus that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019. It causes flu-like and respiratory symptoms and is transmitted from person-to-person. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world and the sustained risk of further global spread.

World Vision is especially concerned about especially concerned about the coronavirus spreading to children living in poorer communities. While wealthy countries typically have 2-12 hospital beds per 1,000 population, in the poorest countries it is as few as 1 bed per 10,000. There also can be a lack of oxygen, ventilators, and intensive care units. In refugee camps, this kind of medical support is commonly not accessible and death rates from COVID-19 may be higher than the 3.4% reported so far and which come from countries with more advanced healthcare systems.  Infection rates may be higher due to cramped living conditions and poor hygiene.

In a growing effort to protect the world’s most vulnerable against the rapid global spread of COVID-19, World Vision is increasing its response in 17 countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Syria, and Thailand. These have been chosen on the basis of the impact of and vulnerability to COVID-19, sponsorship operations, and World Vision’s in-country capacity to respond. Countries may graduate off or be added to the list as the pandemic impacts various parts of the world.

The focus of this global response will be through three areas of intervention:

  1. Promoting preventive measures to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19

  2. Supporting health systems and workers 

  3. Supporting children made vulnerable by COVID-19.

    More information found here

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11-year old Princess from Laurel, Batangas shared, "I pray that this will be over so we can go home soon." Her family is taking refuge in a school turned evacuation center, sharing a classroom with seven other families. Princess says it's cold in the evening, she could barely sleep. She also gets terrified with the constant jolts caused by the restless Taal.

The Taal Volcano in Philippines began erupting on 12 January 2020, spewing ash and lava. Tens of thousands of people are evacuating near the capital of Philippines, Manila, amid warning of a further possible “explosive eruption” imminent within hours or days. There are at least 450,000 people within the danger zone who are the most vulnerable to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami. More than 4,000 families or 18,000 individuals are now staying inside evacuation centres, including children distressed by the volcanic activities.


Areas near the volcano are covered with ash. Communities are like ghost town, no people, dusty, and everything is coloured grey. Agricultural lands also covered by ashes, severely affecting livelihoods like farming and fishing. Children are particularly vulnerable to respiratory illnesses because of the ash fall that has reached even Metro Manila. Prolonged exposure to ash could trigger respiratory illnesses, gastrointestinal problems due to ash-contaminated food and water. It can also cause eye irritation.


World Vision’s response team is already on the ground to support the ongoing needs of affected children and communities. World Vision aims to initially support the immediate needs of 2,000 families or 10,000 individuals with:

  • Provision of hygiene kits (e.g. bath and laundry soaps, toothbrushes and toothpastes, sanitary packs, nail cutter, and undergarments)

  • Provision of non-food items (mosquito net, mats, blanket, dust mask and drinking water)

  • Set up child-friendly spaces to help children cope from the distress caused by the disaster

Additionally, plans are in place for early recovery, including implementation of cash-for-work focusing on community clean-up.

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Elina is 70 year old grandmother living in Mambobe community in Zambia’s southern province which has been hard-hit by the recurrent drought. She shares, “We have resorted to only eating one meal a day to survive the next critical days as we look up to those who may come to assist us with food and water to save our lives. If we won’t get any help in the next one to two months, we will die,”

She add, “A family like mine has nothing to fall back on. I have no livestock and I lost everything: I planted more than a hectare of maize field and from that I have only harvested very little maize that has even failed to fill the dish [with capacity of 12-15 litres].

Southern Africa has increasingly experienced the negative effects of climate change in recent years, with recurrent droughts, floods and cyclones generating exponential growth in hunger and impacting livelihoods. As the region never fully recovered from the impacts of the 2015/2016 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-induced drought, the recurrent drought is sending many rural, subsistence farmers deeper into poverty. While countries in Southern Africa are affected to varying degrees, Zambia has been particularly hard-hit. In Zambia, hunger is aggravated by unfavourable economic conditions influenced by poor macro-economic management.


Reports suggests that over 2.3 million people in Zambia are estimated to be facing acute hunger. Cropping typically contributes about 60% of annual food needs for rural households in Zambia but severe drought has caused an average of 95% crop failure in affected regions. Even if there are good rains during the 2019/2020 farming season, it is expected that most agricultural dependent households will also have no seed to cultivate their fields. To cope, the selling of livelihood assets is likely to increase, further plunging households into poverty.

To alleviate hunger induced by drought and climate change, World Vision is conducting an emergency hunger response focused on preserving lives and livelihoods. Specifically, World Vision will:

  • Distribute food to targeted households

  • Provide drought-tolerant seed varieties to targeted drought-affected households.

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Sindhuli Flood Response

This year, the monsoon season, which traditionally lasts from June–September, started on 11 July 2019. Heavy monsoon rains have resulted in floods and landslides in 32 districts across the country. Specifically, a total of 222 landslides was recorded throughout the country from 1 July 2019 to 1 August 2019, with Udaypur and Sindhuli being two of the most affected districts.

The Ministry of Home affairs has confirmed that 117 have died, 38 people are missing, and 80 have been injured. Furthermore, according to a report published by UNICEF on 2nd August 2019, over 413,572 people have been affected, of which 59,565 are children. Along with the large loss of life, significant damage to assets, housing, water and sanitation infrastructure, food stocks, crops and livestock have been reported. 


In coordination with the respective District Disaster Management Committees and Local Disaster Management committees, World Vision has distributed a total of 1,114 non-food item kits in the affected districts as well as provided 132 households with food rations. In Sindhuli, the following items were distributed to date:

  • 10 food packs

  • 10 water and sanitation kits, including buckets, mugs, water filter, and jerry cans

  • 97 hygiene kits, including towels, soaps, toothbrush, toothpastes, and female sanitary items

  • 48 dignity kits, including undergarments, soap, slippers, sanitary napkins, and torch lights

  • 128 student kits, including school bags, pencils, erasers, and sharpeners


Flood waters have receded in most areas, and following repair works major highways are operational.  However, needs remain and the medium-term focus in other sectors is on recovery.

To this end, rebuilding projects and livelihood interventions are in the pipeline, including:

  • Facilitating debris clearing of irrigation canals, culverts and roads through cash for work

  • Repairing and reconstructing irrigation system, access to culverts and roads, market centre, school buildings, and health posts

  • Providing flood-affected farmers with seeds so that they can continue the farming after the clearance of waste of flood is done in the farms or in their kitchen gardens

  • Providing flood-affected families with livestock so provide alternative sources of income and improve their livelihoods

  • Conducting technical trainings for farmers on improved livestock raising and vegetable farming techniques

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(UPDATED 23 JULY 2019)

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"We had everything there and here we have very little,” says their Venezuelan mom who fled two months ago due to the hunger, lack of opportunities and insecurity present in Venezuela. She arrived with just two bags at the Talento sector, an illegal settlement in Cúcuta. Thanks to World Vision, they had the opportunity to access food vouchers that offer them the possibility of acquiring a basic basket of food. 

"With the voucher we were able to buy oats for our children, cereals, milk and a few other products. Thank you very much for this help you’re giving us, because this way, our children can have our basic daily meals,” says another grateful mother. 

Latin America’s largest migration from Venezuela to Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru is ongoing, with more than 1.25 million people settling in Colombia alone. Venezuela is in crisis. The economy has collapsed, and an uprising of political opposition to President Nicolas Maduro has put the country’s leadership in question. Driven by hyperinflation, violence, and food and medicine shortages stemming from recent years of political turmoil, about 3.4 million Venezuelans — 5,000 per day in 2018 — have left the country seeking food, work, and a future.

Once-eradicated diseases like cholera and malaria have returned, and children increasingly are dying of causes related to hunger and malnutrition. According to a UNHCR February 2019 assessment, for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Colombia, only 17.2% have access to food; 15.4% have access to health.

Children are among the most vulnerable in this crisis. As food stocks dwindle, they are at greater risk of hunger and death. And they face greater danger of exploitation and harm while in transit with their fleeing families. Girls often face gender-based violence and greater risk of trafficking.

Key challenges include
• Hyperinflation in Venezuela
• Cholera and malaria have returned
• Lack of food and medicine
• Risk of trafficking


World Vision is working to help 300,000 migrants, of which 131,000 are children in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.
• Brazil: Run Child Friendly Spaces so that migrant children in difficult living conditions have a place to play, learn and receive psychosocial care, and facilitate registration for official documents
• Colombia: Provide healthcare, food, economic empowerment and educational programming, as well as run Child Friendly Spaces
• Ecuador: Distribute hygiene kits and conduct workshops in child protection and economic empowerment
• Peru: Equip families with healthcare, hygiene, food services and pre-paid cash cards so they can cover their basic needs upon arrival

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30-year-old Phaivanh is a single mom with two children. Sharing her experience during the flood, she says, "I received a phone called from my cousin in another village. They told me to move out from the village quickly because the floodwater was coming to my village. Within minutes the water arrived at our village. I didn’t know what to do, I just climbed up to my neighbour house’s roof and stayed there night then I was rescued at 10:30am the next day. I was very scared, but I am lucky that my children survived because of my older sister helped me. Thank you very much for the relief hygiene kit. I am very happy to receive this support."

In late July - early August 2018, tropical storm Son-Tinh devastated Laos and caused massive flooding across Northern, Central and Southern Lao PDR. The situation escalated with the incident at the Xepien-Xenamnoy Hydropower dam construction in Attapeu Province, causing flash-floods affecting the villages downstream. It was the worst flood in a ten years. 268,000 people were estimated to have been affected, 49 people lost their lives, 1,658 houses were destroyed, and 66,000 hectares of land was damaged. In total, 17 provinces were badly affected, with Khammoun province being the most affected province, after Attapeu Province which was featured extensively in the media.


World Vision was one of the first international organisation to start relief distribution of tents, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, blankets, water, and rice. To date, water and food interventions have been provided for the survival and recovery of affected populations. A total of 1,796 people flood-affected villagers were supported, including 771 children.



To ensure the recovery of the affected families and communities, World Vision continues to engage in disaster recovery in Laos. To this end, rebuilding of schools in Savannakhet and Khammoune are in the pipeline.

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Click on these situational reports for the latest disaster updates.

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World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

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