International service is a key aspect of Rotary life, with thousands of members helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Many of these people are without access to some of the most basic human rights: food, shelter, sanitation facilities, education and healthcare.
Rotary mobilises rapidly in the wake of human and natural disasters to provide emergency support, as well as implementing longer term projects to bring economic and community development.
Our global network means Rotarians collaborate from thousands of miles apart. Distance is no barrier when it comes to changing lives.
To find out different aid options, charities to support and when each is most appropriate, refer to our Disaster Timeline and Guide. Current appeals are listed below.
A list of current appeals can be found below. Rotary members seeking more detailed information on current disaster appeals should log into the members’ area.
Iran and Iraq Earthquake
Hundreds of people lost their lives and thousands were injured when an earthquake struck the Kermanshah District of Iran.
Seven towns and 2,000 villages were damaged with over 30,000 homes destroyed or affected.
Urgent help is needed in the form of shelter and clean water. Those wishing to support relief efforts should do so through the emergency response box charities listed below.
Hurricane Irma is a category five hurricane, the highest possible level with sustained wind speeds reaching 185 mph.
In light of the problems being caused in the Caribbean by Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean Hurricane Appeal, which was set up in 2016 by the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Donations Trust, has been re-opened.
A Recovery Fund has also been set up by local Rotarians, based in Distrct 7020 (Northern Caribbean). Out of the ten countries or territories covered by District 7020, eight of them (Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Martin/St. Barts, British Virgin Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti and Bahamas) have, or are about to be, directly affected. Only Jamaica and the Cayman Islands have been spared.
Many of the cities along the Gulf Coast of the United States have been devastated by category 4 Hurricane Harvey with winds of over 130 miles an hour and over 50 inches of rain. It’s the heaviest storm on record anywhere in the U.S. outside Hawaii.
This severe rainfall has caused historic flooding along the Texas coast, including in Houston. Deluged towns in the region are in desperate need of aid as thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes. Cities like Rockport, Texas have been completely destroyed.
The Greater Houston area with a population of over 6.5 million people (the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United States) has had over 3.7 million people leave the region in the evacuation effort. Others remained trapped inside their homes, as entire neighborhoods were submerged.
Nepal Flooding in Pokhara
Most of the Terai, plain area of Nepal is covered by water following extreme rainfall. Almost all the area of Sauraha, Chitwan nNational park) is completely flooded with lots of landslides in the hilly areas. All the highways from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Chitwan and Bhairahawa/Lumbini are blocked.
More than 100 people are already dead or have disappeared. The water supply in Pokhara is extremely dirty with rain water being collected for shower and other uses.
There is a big possibility of epidemics of diarrhea, cholera and other diseases and Aquaboxes/Water Survival boxes are desperately required.
Sierra Leone mudslides
The recent mud-slide near Freetown engulfed a community. The death toll is probably about 600 people, mostly poor families living in shacks. In addition, many survivors have been left homeless and without belongings.
The Government are limited in their capability to manage the recovery therefore Cholera is an immediate risk and clean water and shelter are immediate essentials.
East African Famine
Aid agencies have launched a joint appeal to raise money for the millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) urgently needs more funding to reach those urgently in need of food, water and medical treatment.
How we respond
Emergency response box charities
Following the immediate aftermath of disasters, Rotary members support a number of emergency response box charities, most of which actually started out their lives as Rotary club projects and have grown to provide essential assistance throughout the world. In most cases, these charities will work with local Rotarians, wherever the disaster may be in the world.
Emergency response box charities include:
This is the recommended route for Rotarians and members of the public who are looking to donate following humanitarian and environmental disasters and crises.
To find out different aid options, charities to support and when each is most appropriate, refer to our Disaster Timeline and Guide.
Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Donations Trust
As well as supporting in the immediate aftermath, Rotary is able to use our network of clubs across the globe to introduce sustainable, community development projects in the longer term.
The Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Donations Trust is a registered charity, established in 2007. Since then the charity has continued its work with the purpose of responding to major disasters at home and abroad in the reconstruction phase following a disaster. Typical projects include constructing and equipping school and community centres, rebuilding infrastructure and providing rescue vehicles.