Disaster Response 

Click here to learn about how you can respond to disasters

Disasters usually occur unexpectedly and require an immediate response.

Whenever disaster strikes, TEAR Fund New Zealand is ready to assist. This is because of our global network of partners and existing infrastructures, including indigenous workers on the ground. With your regular support and giving we are equipped to respond to cries for help. In a humanitarian crisis such as an earthquake, cyclone or war, TEAR Fund works to provide emergency relief and practical rehabilitation support.

TEAR Fund has assisted people in humanitarian disasters including Hurricane Mitch, Papua New Guinea’s tsunami, the Mozambique floods, the refugee crises in Kosovo, the Timor conflict and survivors of the earthquakes in El Salvador, India, Iran and Pakistan. Most recently TEAR Fund has been supporting communities affected by the Pakistan earthquake and also assisting internally displaced Sudanese.

When a disaster strikes a developing country, relief efforts involve more than just rescuing people, giving them food and clothes, and rebuilding their homes so they can get on with life as it was before. You can be sure that when you donate money to TEAR Fund for disaster response, the organisation goes deeper than this superficial view of relief and works hard to ensure the community is not just returned to its original condition but is strengthened. When another disaster strikes, the community is better prepared and recovery is easier. The emphasis in all of this is participation of the local communities. TEAR Fund can also apply for grants from the New Zealand Government to supplement funds raised in disaster relief appeals, which greatly extends the scope of our work.


Rebuild Is about building an upfront disaster relief fund, so whenever a disaster strikes, TEAR Fund can respond quickly and effectively. This is to help people return to their previous standard of living, then to help them progress through to long term sustainable community development solutions.

Here are the steps of a typical disaster relief action plan:

  1. Initial emergency response – for example, removing rubble to rescue people trapped after an earthquake and providing first aid.
  2. Work with local community affected by disaster to assess their needs – rather than simply imposing on them what aid agencies and financial contributors think is necessary.
  3. Local people participate in process of rebuilding.
  4. Partnership is formed to address barriers to equality and attempts made to remove these barriers which may be social, economic or political.
  5. Development projects such as disaster resistant crops, improved storage methods, protection of water supplies and training of health workers contribute to disaster preparedness.
  6. Disaster threat is assessed continually to ensure the community is prepared to protect itself and warning systems are working well.
  7. Education programmes ensure community leaders and members know what to do when disaster strikes.