When disaster strikes anywhere in the world, people can suddenly find themselves without a home, without a way to make a living, without basic services like water and sanitation. In these situations, families are incredibly vulnerable, and often fall victim to exploitation, disease, and famine. They need their basic needs covered, quickly and efficiently.
Responding from the start
ARC traces its beginnings as an organization back to our first emergency response effort on the Thai-Cambodian border in 1979. It’s in our blood. In an emergency situation, if we have the capacity to respond effectively, we will. We don’t make these choices lightly – we go when we can make an impact, and where there is a clear gap in services that we specialize in. Depending on the nature of the emergency, that can be a variety of things – from distributing food relief during the Somali famine, running Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia, building emergency shelters for Burundian refugees in Rwanda, to establishing water and sanitation infrastructure for displaced families in Syria – we do what we can to save lives.
Sometimes, when there is a huge influx in refugees seeking safety in a neighboring country, we help to establish whole refugee camps and all of the infrastructure that goes with it. These pop-up communities are often in the middle of nowhere, and have no existing water, sanitation, health, or shelter infrastructure. In those cases, we coordinate the construction and management of services, partnering with other organizations to cover our respective areas of expertise. This was true for us most recently in Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, where thousands of Burundian refugees began fleeing instability at home. In a matter of weeks, we constructed thousands of temporary shelters, built and staffed health facilities, and got a nutrition program focused on malnourished children up and running. We’re continuing to provide support to these families, our services evolving with their changing needs.
Emergency Response Locations
ARC’s recent emergency response efforts include: