Disaster Relief

Access to information and education is critical during a complex emergency and in its aftermath.

Over the past two years, 700 natural disasters were registered worldwide affecting more than 450 million people, according to a 2012 IMF study. A 2012 UN report found that there were 43 million people who had been forced to flee their homes due to a combination of causes. These included conflict, climate change, population growth, urbanisation, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition. Eighty per cent of the 43 million live in the developing world.

Whether they occur through extreme weather, famine or conflict, complex emergencies devastate the lives of survivors. Accurate information is an urgent need, along with water, food, shelter, medical attention and clothing.

We keep a supply of portable emergency solar and wind-up radio radio-lights to respond quickly to disasters.  Small groups can tune into local FM broadcasts, have safe LED light at night and switch on a siren if they’re in trouble.

Incorporating AM, FM, and three short-wave bandwidths, the wind-up and solar-powered Prime radio provides access to vital information to groups of up to 60 people. Families can learn how to locate missing loved ones, where to go for medical care and food, locations of shelters and how to replace important documents such as birth certificates or identity papers.

Voices on the radio in local languages allow those in ravaged areas to feel less isolated and to know when help will arrive. Displaced populations can use radios while they are on the move or living in refugee camps, without worrying about replacing transistor batteries.

In addition, our Lifeplayer MP3s can be preloaded with 64GB of educational content, allowing children to keep learning even if schools have been destroyed or teachers are unavailable.

Read about our emergency initiatives in Haiti, Indonesia, Japan and Mozambique.