Emergency & Disaster Relief Fund

Because Women-Centered Disaster Relief Works

c. Daniel Smith


MADRE's strength lies in our ability to meet the urgent needs of women and families as we work towards a long-term vision of social justice.

Our sisters need us most urgently when a disaster hits. That's why MADRE launched an Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund lets us act immediately and effectively, bringing crucial resources—like food, water, medical care and shelter— directly to the women and families most in need.

Women are often hardest hit when disaster strikes. That's because they have fewer resources to start with and often have no safety net. Women are also primarily responsible for those made most vulnerable by disaster—children, the elderly and people who are ill or disabled.

But women need more than aid. Women at the community level must be integral to designing and carrying out relief efforts. When emergency aid is distributed by community women, it has the best chance of reaching those most in need.

MADRE has pioneered a model of Women-Centered Disaster Relief. It sustains and empowers our sisters worldwide, and it helps rebuild communities on a stronger foundation.

Want proof? Click the links below for more information.

Profiles of MADRE's Emergency & Disaster Relief Initiatives

c. Womankind Kenya

Kenya and Somalia: Responding to the Famine

After the 2011 famine forced families to abandon their homes and flee to refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, MADRE partnered with local organization Womankind Kenya to provide urgent food, water and medicines. We are now equipping mobile clinics to help provide health care to communities still in crisis.

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c. Oxfam International

Pakistan: Responding to the Floods

Some 85% of those displaced by the 2010 flooding in Pakistan were women and children. MADRE partnered with our friends at Shirkat Gah to dispatch mobile reproductive health units and distribute packages with medicines, cooking supplies and food.

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c. Bradley Parker

Haiti: Responding to the Earthquake

The devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and displaced many more. After, women and girls struggled to access humanitarian aid and to survive as an epidemic of rape raged in displacement camps. MADRE continues to help women rebuild their lives and country.

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Gaza: Responding to the Airstrikes —

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Burma: Responding to Cyclone Nargis —

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Nicaragua: Responding to Hurricane Felix —

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Sudan: Responding to Crisis in Darfur —

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A Small Organization with a Big Impact

We all want to meet the needs of those most impacted by disaster. While international relief agencies have a critical role to play, large-scale operations are not always the best.Peru rostro anciana- COUNTRY OVERVIEW.jpg

MADRE knows that women who are affected by disaster have a clear understanding of what kind of support they need. What they usually lack are the resources to meet those needs.

That's why MADRE's support strengthens community women's efforts in times of crisis. By partnering directly with local women's groups, MADRE is able to mobilize resources quickly and efficiently. We can carry out relief efforts in ways that respond to the priorities and perspectives of local communities.


For example, in 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated Nicaragua's North Atlantic Coast. Decades of government neglect pushed some Indigenous communities off the map of relief operations. Responders didn't know where these villages were, much less how to reach them in flood conditions. But MADRE delivered aid directly to women in the region. They knew where every family lived, which households had new babies or disabled elders, and how to reach remote communities by canoe.

MADRE does not replicate the work of existing organizations. Instead, our relief and reconstruction programs leave resources and training in the hands of community women for the long term. We equip our partners to rebuild their lives and communities on a stronger foundation.

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More Information & Resources

Save a life. Donate now to MADRE's Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund.