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

Saving lives, reducing suffering, maintaining dignity


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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.


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

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

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

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

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

Long-term emergencies

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