Disaster Relief Fact Sheet

U.S. Media Contacts:

Tim Glenn (719) 272-5377 and Allison Meggers (219) 384-8177

For all non-media related inquiries, please call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

What is it?

Compassion is first and foremost a child development organization. However, we will intervene when disaster strikes an area where we work and directly impacts Compassion-registered children and their families.

Compassion’s Disaster Relief and Recovery fund is designed to help our children and their families reclaim their lives in the wake of disaster. The program tends to immediate needs such as food, shelter and water, as well as critical needs for future development like income generation and infrastructure development.

A young man carrying disaster relief supplies

Key Statistics

  • A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the coast of Ecuador on April 16, 2016, killing more than 600 people, including three Compassion children and 13 of their siblings and caregivers. More than 16,600 others throughout the region were injured. Compassion responded with disaster relief and recovery efforts to care for 9,448 Compassion children and their families, as well church partners and staff that were impacted.
  • On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, made landfall across the heart of the Philippines, killing more than 6,300 people. More than 4,000 Compassion beneficiaries lost their homes, but none were killed or seriously injured. Compassion provided disaster relief assistance to 9,774 Compassion children and 20,226 adults through 61 church partners.
  • In 2010, an earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving a million homeless. Compassion created a Disaster Response Office that implemented 21 initiatives to help its staff, beneficiaries, and their families reclaim their lives. In all, Compassion served more than 60,000 Haitian families through its disaster relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.
  • In the past 10 years, natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, heat waves and droughts have quadrupled.1 Natural disasters kill around 90,000 people and impact approximately 160 million people worldwide every year. They often result in the destruction of the physical, biological and social environment of those affected, impacting their health, well-being and survival long-term.2
  • It is estimated that from 1995-2014, low-income countries made up 89 percent of storm-related fatalities but experienced only 26 percent of storms, worldwide.3 This is due to the fact that developing countries often suffer from poor physical infrastructure and lack systems to cope with weather-related events, such as flooding and drought.

Our Strategy

Targeted disaster relief interventions give children and their families living in disaster zones the greatest chance to stabilize, restoring their health, independence and opportunity.

A disaster relief volunteer sits and prays with a young man affected by the event

Compassion’s Disaster Relief and Recovery fund makes possible critical interventions, which may include:

  • Emergency food and water, temporary shelter, personal and household items and school supplies
  • Replacement of such things as household items, school supplies and items a family need to earn income
  • Vocational training
  • Trauma counseling, spiritual support and care for staff and their families and for children who have been orphaned or live in other highly vulnerable circumstances due to disaster
  • Infrastructure reconstruction of affected staff, beneficiaries and church partners

1 Live58, 10 Facts About Natural Disasters, 2014
2 WHO, Environmental Health in Emergencies: Natural Events, 2017.
3 World Bank, Disaster Risk Management Overview, 2016