Aid agency response to humanitarian disasters

Every year humanitarian emergencies affect millions of people around the world. Whether these develop slowly, like a drought or a refugee crisis, or happen more suddenly, like an earthquake or a typhoon, aid agencies are there to help the survivors.

Aid agency CAFOD (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) have produced the resource pack Emergency! to help KS3-P16 students understand how an aid agency works during a humanitarian emergency.

Emergency! film

In this four minute video students discover what how aid agency CAFOD responds to an emergency, and how the money donated from the public is used to support communities affected by a disaster. Link.

Flood! game

Flood! (PDF download) Is a board game where small groups work together to protect a community threatened by floods, and see the impact of their actions. Download the accompanying PowerPoint presentation for the game.


Details of what CAFOD does in an emergency and various lesson ideas to accompany the flowchart (PDF download).

Aid agency response to disasters - short films

The videos on this page are about CAFOD’s emergency response work to previous disasters in the Philippines, Syria and Haiti. They provide an insight into how aid agencies respond to these events.

Case studies

This PowerPoint presentation includes case studies of some of the victims of humanitarian disasters, and how they were helped by aid agency CAFOD.

Lesson suggestion for the resources on this page

Below is a suggested session outline for a classroom or youth group, which can be adapted according to time allocation and student ability:

  • Show a recent emergency poster or news clip as stimulus. Ask students to name some recent humanitarian emergencies and identify their own big questions around emergencies.
  • Watch the film of young people finding out what happens when an emergency strikes.
  • Do a flowchart activity to explore a humanitarian disaster in greater depth.
  • Play the Flood! game, to explore the difficult decisions faced by aid agencies when allocating money and resources to a disaster struck area.
  • Debrief using the guidelines included in the game PDF download.
  • Ask: Have your big questions (the student questions prepared at the start of the lesson) been answered?

Additional disaster response resources from CAFOD can be accessed here.

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in! Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.

1 Comment


AChaudhry Guest

The Powerpoints don't seem to open - they say that they need a repair?

Join the GA

For professional journals, huge discounts on publications and CPD and online access to member only resources.

Join now
  • Rayburn Tours
  • Cambridge International Examinations
  • NST Travel Group
Receive our email newsletters

Sign up to our email newsletter for all the latest news and updates throughout the year.