Immediate Response

Photo: IOCC

Helping communities recover

Both internationally and in the U.S., CWS focuses particular attention on reaching the most vulnerable disaster survivors, including those with the fewest means and those with language, age, disability and other access issues – in short, those having the hardest time recovering.

After a disaster, we quickly make contact with affected communities to offer CWS Kits, Emergency Cleanup Buckets and Blankets. In the U.S., we make ourselves available immediately with emergency grants for recovery groups, provide mentoring and inform communities of our multi-faceted training program, including on-site and webinar-based instruction. We also offer start-up and sustainability grants to local long-term recovery groups.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone – regardless of economic or social status – has a chance to recover.

Burundian refugee crisis

Since early 2015, more than 205,000 men, women and children have fled from Burundi into neighboring Tanzania in search of safety. For many refugee women, feeding their children is a daily struggle. CWS is working with 80 women in Nyarugusu refugee camp to increase financial literacy and improve access to income generation opportunities, with the goal of improving nutrition among families who face the greatest risk of food insecurity. With support from the ACT Alliance and other partners, CWS has been responding to the Burundian refugee crisis since July 2015.

Aaron Tate/CWS

Superstorm Sandy

In Superstorm Sandy’s immediate aftermath, CWS mobilized shipments of CWS Kits and Blankets with a total value of more than $1.3 million for survivors in the United States and the Caribbean. CWS emergency response specialists worked with long-term recovery and other community groups, reaching more than 1,200 participants with disaster recovery workshops in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and West Virginia.

Photo: Chukwudi Ozo-Onyali


CWS responded immediately after the devastating 2010 earthquake with material assistance, then worked with partners to develop programs that assisted young people, Haitians with disabilities and others who were displaced. CWS also assisted food cooperatives in northwest Haiti that sustained storm damage and sent emergency assistance to Cuba, including funding for emergency family food packages and water provision.

Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance