Photo:Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Our roots are in disaster response: CWS was formed in response to an emergency – the aftermath of World War II, when we provided more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing and medical supplies to war-torn Europe and Asia. As we near our 70th anniversary, responding to emergencies remains a cornerstone of what we do. We are currently responding to Nepal's devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake through our partner on the ground in Kathmandu, providing emergency relief, psycho-social care and other critical assistance. In recent years, we have also responded internationally in Haiti (earthquake), Pakistan and Afghanistan (floods), Cambodia (floods), Indonesia (volcanic eruptions) and Japan (earthquake and tsunami). Earlier, CWS responded to major humanitarian crises ranging from the Indian Ocean tsunami to the situation in Darfur, Sudan. We are a founding member of the ACT Alliance, which brings together the resources and expertise of different agencies throughout the world. In the United States, we have responded in recent years to Superstorm Sandy and numerous floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and other storms throughout the country. Earlier, CWS responded following the terror attacks of September 2001 and to many natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina. Our U.S. emergency response program focuses on serving vulnerable individuals and families in disaster-affected communities who are having the hardest time recovering.
Being prepared for a disaster as an individual, a congregation and a community can make all the difference.
Photo: Lesvi Roselim/CWS
Right after a disaster, CWS is there, providing material assistance requested by communities in need.
Photo: Chukwudi Ozo-Onyali
Communities need assistance in the long term, helping them not only recover, but also become more resilient than before.
Photo: Jason Knapp/CWS