Rebuilding Communities through Disaster Response

“The KATYE project was much more than removing tons of rubble, repairing or building shelters, and providing clean water and other basic infrastructure. Working alongside the people who live in the community, we rebuilt a neighborhood.”

– Kenneth H. Merten, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti (2009-2012)


When disaster strikes—from earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, drought, and hurricanes to disease outbreaks—vulnerable populations are the hardest hit. Homes are lost, businesses and livelihoods are destroyed, and people of all ages face untimely deaths, sometimes in mass numbers. These disasters can have lasting, negative impacts on families and communities for the years and even decades that follow.

After a disaster, vulnerable populations are left with limited access to life’s essential needs, such as food, shelter, a source of income, and basic services like drinking water, electricity, and healthcare. More importantly, a large number of affected people are often displaced from their land or communities, in some cases permanently, reducing their ability to cope and increasing their vulnerability to future shocks and stresses. Immediate disaster response is critical for struggling communities, but sustainable and strategic disaster response and recovery approaches have been proven to build resiliency for long-term recovery.

PCI’s Approach To Disaster Response

Emergency response, when properly planned and executed, has lasting positive impacts on entire communities. PCI’s disaster response services focus on meeting immediate post-disaster needs while simultaneously building self-reliance and resilience alongside affected individuals and communities.

PCI’s approach is based on community partnership and a rigorous understanding of local needs while addressing the root causes of chronic vulnerability. In our experience, failing to deal with the root causes of vulnerability during disaster response slows recovery in affected communities and misses important opportunities for transformative change.

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PCI’s Disaster Response Activities

PCI’s disaster response program uses interventions across multiple sectors. We work in partnership with international and local partners like civil society, the private sector, and government officials to identify solutions to address urgent needs while building resilience to future shocks and stresses.

Food and Nutrition Security

PCI reinforces agricultural production in emergencies, such as drought and floods, by addressing crop and animal disease, improving livestock health and management practices, and promoting better nutrition through small-scale agriculture.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

PCI promotes access to clean water and sanitation thought activities such as helping local communities repair and upgrade water and sanitation systems, monitoring drinking and wastewater quality, adopting enhanced drinking and wastewater treatment solutions, reinforcing critical hygiene behaviors, and adopting water-saving and rainwater harvesting solutions in drought-prone areas.

Health and Infectious Diseases

PCI provides health assistance to affected communities, supports health institutions during crises, and addresses outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and cholera.

Reinforcing Livelihoods and Coping Mechanisms

PCI helps communities protect, enhance, restore, and diversify livelihoods to recover from and reduce their vulnerability to economic shocks and stresses, as well as increases access to financial services while decreasing economic exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Shelter, Settlements, and Housing

PCI provides shelter solutions and helps communities rebuild, repair, and enhance homes and neighborhoods—making them safer, healthier, and more prosperous.

Protection of Vulnerable Populations

PCI addresses the special needs of vulnerable individuals (e.g., older people, youth, children) in all intervention areas and promotes inclusive access to disaster response assistance.

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