Disasters, climate and crises

The IFRC and our 192 National Societies respond to, and work to prevent or lessen the impacts of, all types of crises and disasters. We do so for all people, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable. Our priorities are to save lives, reduce suffering and uphold human dignity.

Every year, disasters and crises have devastating impacts on people, communities and entire societies around the world. Worryingly, they are predicted to become more common in the future. 

Changes to our climate and environment are already contributing to an increase in the frequency, intensity and unpredictability of severe weather events. And while there are now fewer large-scale conflicts between countries, other forms of conflict and violence are on the rise around the world.

Crises and disasters are also evolving in other ways:

More concentrated

Disasters and crises are much more frequent in fragile settings (areas affected by political instability, conflict and violence). By 2030, almost half of the world’s poor people are expected to live in countries affected by fragility and conflict.

More complex

The world’s growing reliance on technology brings new risks and vulnerabilities. This includes cyber and digital threats that we may not even know about yet.

More costly

More and more people are moving to live in urban and slum settings, resulting in worse living conditions and increased exposure to hazards. When disaster strikes, it is more difficult and costly to provide assistance in these environments.

What we do

The IFRC is there at the right time—investing before an event in disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation, and integrating this across all areas of our work.

We work to ensure that we are always in the right place—effectively using technology and innovation to anticipate risks and disasters, support proactive early action and provide predictive financing.

We work together to make sure we have the right capacity—efficiently coordinating across our regional and global networks to ensure we can respond to increasing humanitarian demands, and improving locally-led humanitarian action.

We help our members develop the right skills—building the capabilities needed to respond to increasingly complex humanitarian environments: digital, urban, protracted, and technological.

We insist on the right focus—placing affected people and communities at the centre of preparedness and response. We continually promote ethical and people-led approaches, such as cash programming, and support response models that are as localized as possible.

Find out more in our Disaster Risk Management Policy: From prevention to response and recovery

Related documents