A man contemplating the destruction caused by Typhoon Bopha which hit the Philippines in December 2012.

Saving lives, reducing suffering, maintaining dignity


You are here >


Saving lives, reducing suffering, maintaining dignity
Photo: Salacion Pacatang/CRS

Caritas responds to emergencies around the world. We aim to save lives, reduce suffering, and maintain human dignity as we show our solidarity and shared humanity with those who suffer, and meet their basic needs – regardless of ethnicity, religion or nationality.

A man contemplating the destruction caused by Typhoon Bopha which hit the Philippines in December 2012.

In emergencies, we respond to needs and requests of our development partners and through the Caritas Internationalis confederation. This consists of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies working in more than 200 countries and teritories. Wherever a disaster occurs, one of our partners will be there, coordinating local people and supplies to provide an effective and efficient response.

Do not collect and send goods

Please DO NOT organise collection and donation of goods following a disaster. Receiving goods that are not needed or inappropriate for the local context can hinder rather than help humanitarian operations. Aid organisations such as the Caritas network are geared up to provide emergency bulk supplies quickly. Wherever possible and viable, supplies are also sourced locally to support local businesses and rebuilding economies. 

A cash donation to a recognised appeal is the best way to support disaster relief – to help agencies buy whatever is needed most. Visit the New Zealand NGO Disaster Relief Forum for more details.


Peace in the Middle East - Crisis in the Holy Land

Peace in the Middle East

In light of the ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza, Caritas has launched the Peace in the Middle East campaign.

The aim of the Peace in the Middle East campaign is to enable New Zealanders to stand in solidarity and show support for the most vulnerable in the region, while ensuring that Caritas is able to continue working with partner organisations to make a difference.

Donations for the campaign are collected in the Peace in the Middle East Fund and are used to support our ongoing programmes and emergency humanitarian aid responses in the region. 

Read More ...

Flooding of the Matanaikau River, Honiara, Solomon Islands caused damage to houses.

Solomon Islands flooding April 2014

On the 4th of April, Solomon Islands experienced the worst flooding in its history. Flash floods resulted in 24 confirmed deaths, thousands of evacuees and destroyed homes, roads and infrastructure.

Read More ...

Damage to properties caused by Cyclone Ian in Ha'apai.

Tonga – Tropical Cyclone Ian

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged $40,000 and is taking donations in support of Caritas Tonga’s response to Tropical Cyclone Ian, which caused one death and extensive destruction in the Northern Ha’apai islands on Saturday 7 January.

Read More ...

Caritas aid distributions to Palawan, Coron and Marcilla after Typhoon Haiyan.

Philippines - Typhoon

A global Caritas effort is supporting NASSA/Caritas Philippines to provide relief following Super Typhoon Haiyan. It struck the central Philippines on 8 November, leaving 13 million people in need of food, water, shelter, medical attention or other support.

Read More ...

St Anne's Catholic school, Christchurch.

Christchurch quake

Caritas maintains a long-term commitment to supporting vulnerable people and community recovery after the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010-11.

Read More ...

A project in the village area of Karma 60 km west of Niamey, Niger pays people in grain to dig half moons to harvest rain water.

Sahel food crisis

In the Sahel region in West Africa, about 19 million people faced severe food shortages after a failed harvest in 2012.

Read More ...

A woman who belongs to a women's farming collective.

Horn of Africa crisis

In 2011 the Horn of Africa had the worst drought in 60 years. Donor support from New Zealand, including the New Zealand government, contributed more than $560,000 to a multi-million dollar international Caritas response to the crisis.

Read More ...

A woman carrying water at Ban Kwai/Nai Soi camp on the Thai Burma border

Long-term emergencies

Read More ...

CRS distribute hygiene kits, sleeping mats, water cans and buckets, they also provide hygiene and water treatment training.

Philippines suffer typhoon damage

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is making a significant contribution to rebuilding 800 homes for people affected by Typhoon Bopha in the southern Philippines.

Read More ...

A woman washing dishes outside her tent in Haiti.

Recent emergencies

Read More ...




Info & Resources


Visit Caratas on Facebook

Visit Caratas on Flickr

Visit Caratas on Youtube

Visit Caratas on Twitter