Our Work

Emergency Response Programs

Situation Overview

In 1949, 40 Austrian children were taken into safe new homes and families after being orphaned during World War II. Thus began the mission that drives SOS Children’s Villages: to provide a safe haven for children in need.

Today, humanitarian crises are increasingly frequent and severe, and often occur against a complex backdrop of political instability, widespread poverty and weak state institutions.

These extreme circumstances impact family and community resilience, putting children at an increased risk of losing care and protection when they need it most.

children are living in extreme poverty
children live in areas affected by armed conflict
children are displaced from their homes
2001 in every
children is a refugee

Our Impact
services provided to vulnerable children and families in 2016
Emergency Response Programs in 2016
Emergency Response Programs since 1988
countries have hosted SOS Emergency Response Programs

Protection from Harm

We support vulnerable children before, during and after humanitarian crises. And because of our longstanding commitment to local communities, children can count on us for the long term.

When humanitarian crises occur, SOS is there to quickly move children out of harm’s way and into safe environments where we provide the food, clothing, medical care and psychological support children need. We also reunite children with their families, deliver life-saving aid to affected families, and offer special protection and care to traumatized children.

SOS Emergency Response Programs:

Alleviate Suffering

with food, water and shelter.

Reunite Children

with their families.

Protect and Care

for traumatized children in Child-Friendly Spaces.


with NGOs, government, and private sector for impactful disaster response.

Learn More: SOS Children's Villages in Action

Case Studies

Responding to the Refugee Crisis

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SOS provides critical support to children in nearly every country impacted by the refugee crisis, from Syria and Lebanon to many countries in Eastern Europe.

Our teams offer psychological care, help reunite separated children with their families, and provide recreational activities that offer children an escape from the stresses of their situation. By providing protection and shelter, along with food, clean water, hygiene kits and medical care, we help displaced families survive.

In 2015, our supporters helped SOS provide life-saving care to tens of thousands of people affected by the refugee crisis. For example, in FYR Macedonia — a major transit country for refugees and migrants — SOS has delivered relief to nearly 30,000 children and families.

Learn More: Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe

Rebuilding Nepal

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SOS provides care and support to the children and families affected by natural disasters, such as the Nepal earthquake.

In the immediate aftermath, SOS provided families with blankets, mattresses and financial support. Children suffering from the trauma of an earthquake received psychological support, food, and recreational activities. SOS teams have also helped rebuild schools and provide education and school supplies for the children.

With the help of our supporters, SOS was able to respond quickly to the needs of children and families in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. We did this by strengthening vulnerable families, and providing children who lost their families with temporary and long-term care. Since 2015, 28,000 children and their families have received help.

Learn More: Nepal Earthquake

Protecting Children During Syria's Civil War

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Due to the chaos and violence of the war in Syria, thousands of children are being separated from their families or orphaned. SOS Children's Villages operates two care centers in Damascus and Tartous where children are cared for until they are reunited with their families or placed in permanent care. SOS and its supporters have helped nearly 500 children through these centers, including 200 that have been reunited with their families since 2014.

The care that SOS provides for these children includes education and recreational activities to give the kids something to do during the day since thousands of the schools in Syria have been destroyed. At SOS Childcare Centers, children are also provided with free access to counseling and psychological support by trained professionals.

The conflict in Syria has left over 6 million people displaced since 2011. Many of these people are families that left everything behind to find shelter. Thanks to our supporters, SOS has been able to provide meals, clean water, and winter clothes to those families in need.

Read More: Syrian Crisis

Responding to Severe Drought in East Africa

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The food crisis in East Africa has left over 12 million people starving or dangerously malnourished. As a result, children are at a much higher risk of being orphaned, abandoned, trafficked, and worse.

SOS is providing critical aid to the children and families affected by the crisis. We are setting up shelters where children can receive psychological and medical support while working to reunite them with their families.

In addition to the 1.4 million children at risk of dying due to malnutrition, the lack of clean water facilitates the spread of deadly diseases. In Somalia, SOS runs a medical center, which has seen an increase in patients due to the food crisis.

Learn More: Food Crisis in East Africa

Download The Fact Sheet

Download our informational fact sheet to learn more about SOS Children's Villages' Emergency Response Programs around the world.


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