Thousands of communities around the world are affected every day by emergencies such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks, leaving the world’s most vulnerable people in urgent need of help to survive and recover. While major disasters often gain much-needed widespread attention from media, outside governments and NGOs, organizations with a history of working in-country are best primed to support relief efforts quickly and efficiently. With boots on the ground supporting our ongoing development programs in some of the world’s most impoverished countries, World Hope International has played an instrumental role in assisting the vulnerable when some of the greatest disasters strike. View our 2016 Emergency Response Annual Report.
Hurricane Matthew in Haiti
On October 4, 2016, Haiti was devastated by Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade. According to Reuters, 1,000 people died and 1.4 million people were in need of assistance. An outbreak of cholera, a deadly diarrheal illness that spreads through contaminated water, had begun shortly following the hurricane.
To address the dire situation in Haiti, World Hope International delivered 2,000 water filters, 2,520 hygiene kits and 342 tarps to the most affected areas of Haiti. These life-saving goods were distributed through Global Partners and local Wesleyan churches in Haiti’s Southern Peninsula, where the hurricane hit the hardest.
We were able to immediately provide these life-saving supplies thanks to our network of NGO and business partners. Brink Trucking Lines donated their services to ship filters and hygiene kits to the staging point, where our nonprofit partner Airlink airlifted the shipment to Haiti.
To learn more about our Hurricane Matthew relief effort in Haiti, please click here.
Louisiana Flood Relief
In August 2016, Louisiana experienced major flooding, which resulted in the deaths of 13 people and left more than 1,000 homes destroyed. According to the Red Cross, it was the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years earlier. In fact, many damaged homes belonged to low-income and elderly homeowners.
With the support of our donors, World Hope International was able to finance an immediate emergency response effort in partnership with Poured Out, a non-profit that connects people and resources to those in need after a natural disaster.
This partnership aided in sorting and removing personal items in 10 homes in Louisiana immediately following the major floods. These homes were completely gutted, including debris removal, floor and wallboard tear out, sheet rock removal, and any other necessary clean up. Poured Out also worked hand-in-hand with homeowners to assess damage and determine next steps, which included mold remediation for many homes. Homes that were deemed condemned were demolished and dragged to the curb for pickup at no cost to the homeowners. In total, volunteers provided 816 hours of services to gut and/or clean up homes, and to minister to these 10 families impacted by the flood.
Flooding in Sri Lanka
On May 15, 2016, Sri Lanka was hit by a severe tropical storm that caused widespread flooding and landslides in 22 districts of the country destroying homes and submerging entire villages. More than 100 people are known to have died as a result of Tropical Storm Roanu. Hundreds of thousands were displaced from their homes. Many of the affected population, particularly in the rural areas, were already amongst the most vulnerable in the country and lost everything, including their homes, possessions, agricultural land and means of making a living. In the urban areas there were health concerns related to the quantity of so much standing water in highly populated areas and the destruction of much of the water and sanitation infrastructure, which had the potential to lead to serious public health issues. Read more details about Tropical Storm Roanu and the impacts in Sri Lanka in the UN Situation Report.
World Hope International partners with the Wesleyan Church in Sri Lanka to implement programs that care for children coming from very low income families. As beneficiaries of a child sponsorship program, children are able to attend school and receive needed assistance to ensure all items to excel in school are purchased including supplies, uniform and at times, medical care. All children in the program attend local Wesleyan churches and benefit spiritually from the mentorship in the church.
With the support of World Hope International donors, essential furniture pieces were purchased to benefit children in the program who were directly impacted by the storm.
Earthquake in Ecuador
On April 16, 2016, a major 7.8 earthquake hit in Ecuador and a few days later on April 20, 2016, another earthquake – 6.2 in magnitude - also struck the country. This devastating natural disaster has taken the lives of over 650 people and injured more than 16,000 – marking the worst natural disaster the country has faced in decades. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, including some 150 schools. While tourist areas were among the hardest hit, many remote villages were made inaccessible due to landslides and damaged communications systems. The destruction has been monumental and will take years to recover from, with Ecuador’s president estimating the cost of the damages at $3 billion.
Soon after news of the first earthquake emerged, World Hope International mobilized to provide water filters in response to the immediate need for clean water. World Hope partnered with Alabama-based nonprofit Filter of Hope, which manufactures low-cost, high-impact water filters that use dialysis technology to quickly transform polluted water into safe water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. With the support of donors, WHI was able to purchase over 700 filters for distribution in areas where water was a great need.
In addition to the water filters, WHI partnered with Christian nonprofit International Aid, which was in possession of 8,400 hygiene kits prepared by All Shores Wesleyan Church in Spring Lake, Michigan. WHI also partnered with Brink Truck Lines from Holland, Michigan and transportation specialist Airlink to deliver the hygiene kits and water filters to Guayaquil, Ecuador. With the help of Junta de Beneficencia and the Wesleyan Church in Ecuador, WHI was able to distribute these filters and hygiene kits in the highly effected Manabi and Esmeraldas provinces. Through of our partnerships with Filter of Hope, International Aid, Airlink, Brink Truck Lines, the Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil, The Wesleyan Church and donors, were able to provide opportunity, dignity and hope to the people of Ecuador when they most needed it.
Earthquake in Nepal
On April 25, 2015, two massive earthquakes struck Nepal, about fifty miles from the capital city of Kathmandu. More than 21,000 were injured and over 8,500 were killed, making the disaster the deadliest in the country’s history. In its aftermath, hundreds remained missing, thousands remain homeless, and one million children remained in desperate need of assistance.
The Disasters Emergency Committee reported that clean water supplies had been disrupted and residents were living and defecating in the open, which is lead to outbreaks of cholera and dysentery. In response to this need, World Hope International, in partnership with the Wesleyan Church, airlifted industrial strength tents to over 70 families. The tents, which are UV-proof, waterproof, rot-proof and fire-retardant, served as a safe haven for the many who lost their homes. They are suitable for a family of five and provided shelter to help protect families from the monsoon season.
In addition, a WHI assessment team along with a team from Venture Church in Bozeman, MT visited Barpak, Nepal, just a few miles from the earthquake's epicenter. The team provided relief supplies, including tents, water filters, food and hygiene kits to families in need. These are vital items since there is a severe lack of water and sanitation infrastructure due to the earthquake.
In June 2015, WHI's Nepal Relief Trek Team along with our partner, The Wesleyan Church, endured challenging backpacking through mountains and terrains along with 18+ hour road trips to deliver over 2,000 pounds of relief supplies to people in Nepal's remote regions who had not yet received any assistance.
West Africa Ebola Outbreak
According the Centers for Disease Control, the 2014 Ebola epidemic was the largest in history. Since the first reported case in March 2014, the outbreak claimed thousands of victims. While it affected multiple countries in West Africa, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone experienced the greatest number of infected cases and casualties.
World Hope International has been operating in Sierra Leone since 1996, fostering an expansive network of rural communities, which helped to tackle the outbreak at a local level. As one of the largest US-based NGO working in Sierra Leone during the outbreak, World Hope partnered with the Ministry of Health, CDC, UNICEF and others to fight the disease on many fronts – from turning trucks into ambulances, to setting up isolation units, to flying a Registered Nurse from the US to Freetown to train health workers, to helping with burials and delivering food, to providing care for shunned survivors, to developing Community Care Centers (CCC) – a model that makes care more accessible and approachable to those impacted by the disease - the team on the ground worked tirelessly to fight the disease. Learn more about World Hope International’s current Ebola efforts.
Philippines Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most powerful tropical storms on record, causing tremendous damage to the Philippines in November 2013 and killing more than 6,000 people. According to UNICEF, over 14 million Filipinos, including nearly 6 million children, were affected.
World Hope International responded quickly to bring hope in the midst of this despair. By working with our Hope for Children Filipino Associate and local Wesleyan pastors, WHI determined the extent of the need and the best means to alleviate suffering. Immediately following the typhoon, WHI provided emergency food relief, educational support and farming assistance to 70 families. Each family received a large bag of rice and a bag of groceries, which included sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, noodles, canned goods, coffee, soap and toothpaste. School supplies consisting of uniforms, backpacks, paper and pens were also distributed to the children. Each child also received a goody bag of sweets. In the weeks and months after the devastation, many more families benefited from a delayed distribution of assistance and farmers that lost their livestock to Haiyan received rice seeds and farm animals upon the start of the next planting season.
As relief goods were distributed, the community came together to enjoy a meal together. The offerings brought opportunity, dignity and hope to the people of the Philippines that lifted spirits and reminded them of their faith during the trying time.
On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti with a magnitude of 7.0 - the biggest the region had seen in 200 years. More than 230,000 people were killed in the massive earthquake, which injured over 300,000 people and left over 1.5 million people homeless.
In 2006, World Hope International established partnerships with Haitian community-based organizations, which together created the Haitian Partners for Health (HPH). This network of schools, universities, youth associations, churches and healthcare providers played an instrumental role in providing an immediate response to the earthquake. In response to the immediate food and water shortage following the earthquake, HPH partners distributed 12,800 food kits consisting of milk, sweet peas, rice, cooking oil, and sardines to 83,200 people in the tent camps of Jacmel, Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Carrefour, Petion-Ville, Cite Soleil, Leogane, Petit Goave and Croix des Bouquets. In addition, purified water was provided for 68,500 families.
WHI-HPH was also instrumental in providing emergency assistance to healthcare providers, distributing 16,103 hygiene kits to 80,515 people. HPH clinics provided basic healthcare and distributed medication to 7,320 orphaned and vulnerable children.
Additionally, WHI-HPH cooperated with UN agencies and with PEPFAR partners to meet the immediate needs of orphaned and vulnerable children who’d been separated from their caregivers, to maintain a database, and to operate an emergency hotline. WHI-HPH also cooperated with a USG team, Institut du Bien Etre Social et de Recherche (IBESR), and a Child Protection Cluster to track and reunite 282 children with their guardians.
The earthquake also destabilized many schools, churches, and family structures, leaving children vulnerable in tent camps without opportunities to engage with peers in normal and healthy ways. After the earthquake, WHI-HPH launched a MAST/IBSR- and USAID-approved program called “Soleil Leve” (“Sunrise”), that sought to provide a safe space for children living in tent camps. “Soleil Leve” staff provided emotional and psychological support to 887 orphaned and vulnerable children through this initiative. Events were held in tents in 26 different camps throughout the West and the South East, where 18,925 youth learned about and discussed HIV prevention. WHI also re-constructed three schools in Cite Soleil, Petit Goave, and Jacmel.