A man stands in his new home in the Philippines constructed using CARE's ‘build back safer’ principles

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Shelter is never more important than in times of crisis

A house can be any family’s largest asset, especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. The loss of a house leaves people who are already living on the edge exposed to ill health, poor security, indignity and poverty.

When emergencies strike, CARE works to meet people’s basic shelter needs: protection from the elements, security and a base for their livelihoods. Our emergency response fund, resources and specialist staff allow us to provide fast, effective disaster relief to communities, working with the people most affected to meet their immediate and their long-term needs. Watch this short video by Tom Newby, one of our emergency shelter experts, to find out more:

Our rapid response to emergencies is only the beginning

When we support families to find shelter we are doing more than just providing walls and a roof:

  • Secure shelter is a catalyst for enabling families to recover from emergencies.
  • Shelter provides security and dignity through privacy.
  • Shelter protects health and supports access to water and sanitation services.

After a disaster, we remain with communities to help them rebuild their homes long after the TV cameras have gone. We help families prepare for and minimise the impact of emergencies through transitional shelters, supporting their return home and improving the construction of their houses and community buildings. Our projects range from improved construction to security of land rights, from infrastructure repair to supporting home-based businesses.

Our specialist Shelter team

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said about our response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines:

CARE’s Shelter programme is both innovative and exemplary in its approach to ensuring quality and accountability.

We help communities prepare for emergencies, through capacity building, training, and advocacy for housing, land and property rights.

When disaster strikes, we deploy shelter experts immediately to support emergency response on the ground. Their expertise ranges from architectural and structural engineering design support, to development of communications materials and training programmes to enable communities gain the skills to build back safer.

And after a crisis, we support evaluations and reviews to ensure lessons are learnt, both for the affected communities and for other emergency responses in the future.

After the Nepal earthquakes: CARE's shelter response

Watch this short video by Amelia Rule, one of our emergency shelter experts, explaining how CARE helped people in Nepal whose homes were destroyed by the 2015 earthquakes: