Emergency Response

For emergency response to be effective, it is important to act quickly and tailor the aid to the needs of the local population. That is why we always work via local organizations and churches.

Go back to all Themes

After a natural disaster like a flood or earthquake, or in conflict areas, people are often forced to leave their home and belongings. Food shortages and epidemics are often a result of these disasters. In situation like these, ICCO and Kerk in Actie jointly offer emergency relief.

For emergency aid to be effective, it is important to act quickly and tailor the aid to the needs of the local population. That is why we always work via local organizations and churches. They know the local context and people well and know where help is needed most. The local organizations offer emergency relief by issuing food, blankets, tents, water and medication, as well as psychological support, health education and training on conflict transformation. Emergency relief goods are bought locally as much as possible. This works effectively and this stimulates the local economy.

After the disaster

It is important that after a disaster, the situation in the area will improve in the long term. Also after the emergency aid programs of ICCO and Kerk in Actie are finished. That is why we link emergency aid to structural development projects. For instance, besides food, we also distribute seeds and give agricultural training. In this way, people are able to create a livelihood.

Learning from disasters

Disaster preparedness can prevent future damage. ICCO and Kerk in Actie therefore try to make local organizations, churches and communities better prepared for future disasters. For example by training them with disaster simulations or by planting trees to prevent landslides. By strengthening the capacities of local people and organizations, they get less vulnerable to natural disasters and less dependent of outside help.

Worldwide network and cooperation

ICCO, together with Kerk in Actie, provides training and financial support to local partner organizations. We operate in 39 countries worldwide. The partners are supported by our regional offices and from the global office of ICCO Cooperation in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Besides, we are active in the following networks:

ACT alliance

ICCO is a member of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a worldwide network of churches and Christian NGOs. The ACT Alliance coordinates emergency aid in order for it to reach the people and places where it is needed most. The ACT Alliance offers help to victims regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, faith, gender or political conviction.

SHO (Emergency aid fundraising cooperative of Dutch NGOs) 

Sometimes a (natural) disaster is so enormous that a lot of money is needed to address it well. In cases like that, ICCO and Kerk in Actie cooperate with other large Dutch NGOs to raise the necessary funds among the people in the Netherlands via Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties (SHO). 

ICCO is also active in international network organizations ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies) and NGO Voice (Voluntary Organizations in Cooperation in Emergencies), organizations which advocate for independent emergency aid for everyone.

Dutch relief alliance

ICCO is, together with Kerk in Actie, part of the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA). The DRA responds to major international crises in a timely and effective manner. The Alliance is a cooperation of 14 Dutch NGO’s, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Dutch Relief Alliance consists of the following organisations: CARE Nederland, Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO en Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Plan Nederland, Save the Children, Tear, Terre des Hommes, Stichting Vluchteling, War Child, War Trauma Foundation, World Vision and ZOA.


Sustainable Development Goals

Zero HungerGood health and well-beingQuality education Clean water and sanitationClimate actionPartnerships for the goals

    Nepal - April 2015

    Emergency aid in Nepal

    On 25 April 25 2015, Nepal was hit by the worst earthquake in the country over 80 years. Thousands of people lost their lives and millions of people lost their homes and sources of income. The collaborating organizations immediately launched a national action. A few weeks later, Nepal was hit again by a second severe quake on May 12, which caused dead and caused much damage. ICCO and Kerk in Actie immediately came in action.

    Immediate response of ICCO

    The response of ICCO and Kerk in Actie after the earthquake of April 25, 2015 in Nepal is a good example of how we work:

    • Right after assuring that ICCO staff and their families were all safe and evacuated, we engaged in raising support through the network of churches of Kerk in Actie, the general Dutch public through SHO and the Dutch government through DRA.
    • At the same time, we engaged with the ACT Nepal Forum and its members to prepare the first response. Within 48 hours, ACT members started providing the first relief to thousands of survivors of the earthquake.
    • One month later, four national Nepalese partners, ICCO and Kerk in Actie, aided by colleagues from Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and India, prepared an action plan for recovery of livelihoods of 10,000 families affected by the earthquake in three remote districts.
    • Thanks to the support received 15,000 families have benefitted so far from cash for food and shelter, latrines, safe drinking water, trauma counselling, temporary education facilities, and from support to recover their own sources of income.


    Infographic Nepal

    Early Recovery Work in Nepal

    Within the Nepal Earthquake Response Program, funded by ECHO, ICCO worked on the winterization program. Almost 5,000 households received support in the form of warm clothing, blankets and cash vouchers redeemable on food and medicine items in Makwanpur district. Construction of 167 houses has been successfully completed.

    Additionally, 765 beneficiaries received shelter-kits. The ECHO funded program was implemented through a direct participation of 54 local organizations including fourteen village disaster management committees and forty water users committees. Particular attention was paid to disaster affected communities allowing them to build and bolster their disaster resilience. For example, 93 local masons and carpenters were trained in resilient transitional shelter construction.

    Movie: Building back better after the earthquake

    Food Security

    • Smallholder farmers produce or have access to adequate and healthy food for household consumption and markets.


    Read more 

    Economic Empowerment

    Smallholders move beyond subsistence farming to sustainable agri-food production for inclusive markets.  

     Read more

    Responsible Business

    Companies do no harm in local communities and governments create an enabling environment for companies. 

    Read more

    ICCO International uses cookies We use cookies to make your experience of our website better. Please indicate whether you can consent to us using cookies. Our cookies policy explains what cookies are and how we use them