War, floods, earthquakes, drought and famine claim millions of lives worldwide every year. Those who survive are often uprooted and forced to seek temporary shelter without access to clean water, adequate sanitation, or food. We believe that intervention in emergency situations must be rapid and well-structured in order to be successful. Moreover, we recognise that once the immediate danger is over people need the opportunity to rebuild their lives and to support themselves.
International Relief Foundation (IRF) response is to meet people’s basic needs, including food, water, sanitation, shelter and health care. IRF emergency capacity – funds, resources, volunteers, staff and partner organisations – allows us to provide fast, effective assistance. We work with communities for the long term, to help rebuild lives and livelihoods, and to help communities reduce their vulnerability to similar events in the future. Because when emergencies, like drought or conflict, happen repeatedly it is difficult for people to work and support their families. This puts them at greater risk in the future, making them less able to cope when an emergency strikes.
For vulnerable communities, any disaster can be catastrophic. After an emergency IRF moves from emergency relief to recovery to ensure that communities are not dependent on hand-outs, but are able to help themselves. For example, in Somalia following the extreme drought in 2011 we provided food, tarpaulin, blankets and mosquito nets to those in need.