Life can change for millions of families in an instant: natural disasters take loved ones and the outbreak of war drives families from their homes. When the unthinkable happens, Mercy Corps delivers rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities and then teams up with them to build back stronger.
We have responded to almost every global natural disaster in the last 20 years, including the Nepal earthquake, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Japan tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, and the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Our seasoned emergency responders work through conflict in Gaza and are on the ground in Ukraine, Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic distributing critical supplies and protecting families uprooted by ongoing violence.
We're also working to support 2.5 million people affected by the crisis in Syria, a long-term refugee crisis and humanitarian disaster with no end in sight. Learn more about our ongoing response to the Syrian crisis ▸
All stories about Emergency response
Japan: Handing over a little help
Japan: A very large surprise party
It was my first time in Kamaishi, a three-hour drive north from the city of Ichinoseki where the Peace Winds Japan team is based.
Japan: Epilogue: the temporary world
There is a place that seems neither here nor there, but somewhere in between. It's a worried place: sometimes uncomfortable, and often lonely. It's the temporary world in which displaced tsunami survivors in Japan are living right now.
Japan: Taking back the sea
Kesennuma, Japan is a city of the sea. Before the tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, more than 85 percent of its 73,000 citizens were involved in the fishing industry in some way.
Japan: The tree and the photograph
Once not long ago, in the city of Rikuzentakata, there were 70,000 Matsu trees. These trees were planted more than 300 years ago along the city's ocean coast to keep salt water and spray from inundating precious rice paddies.
Japan: Keeping a space safe
I was really excited about today's possibilities for stories here in Japan; we were going to see Comfort for Kids activities in the city of Kesennuma. But, as soon as we arrived at our destination, everything changed.
Japan: Roger Burks and Mao Sato amid ruins of Rikuzentakata
Mercy Corps' Roger Burks (left) and Peace Winds' Mao Sato stand where some of the city of Rikuzentakata used to be.
Japan: Forty families, forty minutes
Japan: Darkness and daylight
My plane landed at Tokyo's Narita Airport at five o'clock in the afternoon. The sun set around 6:30, as we were driving into the city — and it just kept getting darker.
Japan: Returning to Touhoku