Overcoming Hardship In Vulnerable Communities

We support vulnerable communities to overcome hardship by responding to crises, addressing root causes of vulnerability, and laying foundations for recovery and resilience.

Overcoming Hardship In Vulnerable Communities

We support vulnerable communities to overcome hardship by responding to crises, addressing root causes of vulnerability, and laying foundations for recovery and resilience.

The Purpose

Overcoming hardship in already vulnerable communities requires dedicated and innovative approaches. Since 1961, PCI has worked on the front lines of humanitarian emergencies. Our organization has provided medical services in the Vietnam War; responded to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, drought, and hurricanes; fought outbreaks of disease, and dealt with economic volatility across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

PCI recognizes that all types of shocks and stresses—not just big emergencies—can erode households’ coping mechanisms along with their capacity to overcome hardship and thrive. Even small household or community-level emergencies can have disastrous effects on lives and livelihoods, and they often do not trigger urgent responses at the local, national, or international levels.

Shocks and stresses can be rapid or slow to onset, natural or man-made and come in many forms while affecting populations differently. For example, women, marginalized groups, single-headed households, people with disabilities, the elderly, farmers, or fishermen will all require diverse approaches and solutions to emergencies.

From nomadic pastoralist areas of Africa, to coastal areas of Bangladesh, to urban informal settlements in Guatemala and Haiti, PCI is dedicated to overcoming hardship and helping build resilient, disaster-ready communities.

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Our Approach to Overcoming Hardship

PCI’s approach to overcoming hardship always begins with reinforcing communities’ ability to cope with shocks and stressors while reducing their vulnerability to future crises. Secondly, PCI helps build the capacity of partners from government agencies, community groups, universities, and the private sector to create sustainable models for managing disaster risk.

The objective of PCI’s Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Unit is to reduce hardship and nurture resilient neighborhoods. To achieve this goal, PCI’s work is underpinned by four strategic approaches:

  1. We support disaster-affected communities via immediate interventions across sectors that save lives, promote livelihoods, and reduce vulnerability to future shocks and stresses;
  2. We support vulnerable communities to become more resilient and better prepared to manage future disasters;
  3. We ensure international humanitarian and development organizations benefit from PCI’s approaches by providing assistance that facilitates recovery and resilience; and
  4. We transform high-risk, informal, urban settlements into safer, healthier, food-secure, and more prosperous neighborhoods.

PCI’s risk management strategies—many of which started as small pilot projects at the community level—have been scaled across municipalities and states and have informed national policies.

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