Respond to Emergencies

As part of HIAS’ commitment to assisting those most in need, we proactively prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters around the world that create displaced populations.
Respond To Refugee Emergencies | Rapid Response To Refugee Crises | HIAS

The number of people crossing the treacherous Darién Gap between Colombia and Panama has risen dramatically in recent years, one of many humanitarian emergencies HIAS is currently responding to around the world. (HIAS Panama)

Overview

HIAS is committed to proactively responding to emergencies around the world in order to better assist displaced populations — including refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people — and vulnerable host communities. These emergencies include complex, protracted situations arising out of conflict or political upheaval, those triggered by a natural disaster, or the initial stages of the effects of climate change.

Displaced individuals are at heightened vulnerability to emergencies and disasters, and these crises are often the springboard for large-scale and long-term displacement. Through the HIAS Emergency and Humanitarian Programs Team we provide immediate help to short or long-term displaced communities. The team is prepared, funded, and ready to scale provision of essential goods and services, build resilience, and support recovery. HIAS’ Emergency and Humanitarian Programs Team better enables HIAS to continue meeting the most critical needs facing vulnerable populations before, during, and after an emergency.

Strategies

  • Expand emergency programming capacity

  • Adapt emergency response systems

Ukraine

War in Ukraine has created one of the largest human displacement crises in the world today. HIAS is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance, providing essential services to displaced persons within Ukraine and helping refugees from Ukraine in neighboring countries.

Learn about HIAS' Ukraine response

Chad

Violence in Sudan has forced more than 400,000 refugees to flee to Chad. HIAS is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance, providing essential services to displaced persons in refugee camps.

Learn about HIAS' Chad response

JOIN OUR EMERGENCY ROSTER

HIAS is looking for experienced, high-quality humanitarian professionals to join our emergency roster. The aim of the HIAS roster is to bolster our emergency response capacity and to increase our capacity to effectively respond to humanitarian crises around the world. Humanitarian professionals on the roster should be interested in short-term deployments to respond to global emergencies and crises.

How to Join

Successful applicants will be added to the HIAS emergency roster. Roster members will be contacted when they are needed to support an emergency response and may need to deploy within 72 hours.

Impact Stories

Desperation Drives Thousands Through Darién Gap

For years, people have risked their lives to traverse the Darién Gap in an attempt to get to the United States. Many have died trying. HIAS, which has well-established operations in Panama and nearby Colombia and Costa Rica, has staff on the ground in the region and is working to help those fleeing violence.

Read more
HIAS Panama Country Director Roberto Mera and HIAS LAC Deputy Regional Director Ignasi Calbo visit the Darien Gap in Panama to see what is happening on the ground in October 2021. HIAS Panama has three staff members in the region to assist asylum seekers after they exit the tropical rainforest and need medical assistance. A couple thousand people used to cross the Darien per year, but this year, nearly 100,000 have been estimated to make the perilous journey.

HIAS Panama has staff members in the region to assist asylum seekers after they exit the tropical rainforest and need medical assistance. A couple thousand people used to cross the Darién Gap per year, but in 2021 year, approximately 134,000 made the perilous journey. (HIAS Panama)

Responding to Severe Flooding in Chad

In the Koukou Angarana region in eastern Chad, where HIAS works in the Goz Amir refugee camp, more than 1,000 households were affected by severe flooding at the end of July 2022. As one of the main humanitarian aid partners of UNHCR and the World Food Program in eastern Chad, HIAS is distributing food, sandbags, tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, and mosquito nets.

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In the Koukou Angarana region in eastern Chad, where HIAS works in the Goz Amir refugee camp, more than 1,000 households were affected by severe flooding. The high waters affected many in local communities as well, and thousands have been displaced by the torrential rains, with scores of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. July 2022. (HIAS Chad)As one of the main humanitarian aid partners of UNHCR and the World Food Program in eastern Chad, HIAS is distributing food, sandbags, tents, blankets, plastic sheeting, and mosquito nets. HIAS Chad is supporting clients impacted by the flooding, as well as providing assistance to host communities in surrounding villages.Several HIAS offices in the camp have been damaged or destroyed by the floods, temporarily suspending programming. HIAS Chad will shift its focus to providing emergency aid in the Goz Amir camp and surrounding areas until refugees can return and offices can be restored and/or rebuilt.

Refugees in the Goz Amir refugee camp in southeastern Chad walk through high waters that caused damage in the camp and host communities, August 2022. (HIAS Chad)

Quick Pivot to a War Footing

Right to Protection (R2P) — HIAS’ long-time partner in Ukraine — had to ensure the safety of its staff, and work out how the organization responds to the needs of refugees and displaced persons during wartime.

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May 2, 2022Vinnytsia, UkraineAnatoly from Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast and his granddaughter are among the over 250 Internally Displaced People are living at the Vinnytsia No. 1 Center for Professional-Technical Education, a technical college. PHOTOGRAPH by ALAN CHIN

R2P helps people like Anatoly and his granddaughter who are among hundreds of displaced people staying at a technical college in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, May 2022. (Alan Chin for HIAS)

Resources

Sep 28, 2022

The Emergency Response Fund

Sep 28, 2022

This fund is used to establish a foundation for emergency response capacity during times of displacement and for actively responding in a variety of contexts including critical emergency needs assessments.

Sep 13, 2022

Waiting for the Sky to Close

Sep 13, 2022

As part of a partnership with HIAS, VOICE conducted a four-week rapid assessment of Ukraine and five bordering countries to assess the needs of women and girls affected by the war and the needs of WROs and groups responding to the emergency.

Ilia Ryzka, who has autism and cerebral palsy, hugs his mother, Zoia, in the yard of the L'Arche house where his family stays with other refugees from Ukraine on May 30, 2022 in Wieliczka, Poland. (Betsy Joles for HIAS)

Give Now

Ilia Ryzka, who has autism and cerebral palsy, hugs his mother, Zoia, in the yard of the L'Arche house where his family stays with other refugees from Ukraine on May 30, 2022 in Wieliczka, Poland. (Betsy Joles for HIAS)

Help HIAS provide vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world