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Humanitarian response

Trócaire responds to humanitarian crises in countries where natural disaster or conflict has put people's lives at risk. Long after the TV cameras have gone, we stay and support people to ‘build back better’ so that they are less vulnerable to future emergencies.

A cannula is inserted into Osman Colow's hand to allow the medical staff at the Trócaire supported Dollow Cholera Treatment Centre in Somalia to fit him with an IV drip. Photo: Amunga Eshuchi

A cannula is inserted into Osman Colow's hand to allow the medical staff at Dollow Cholera Treatment Centre, Somalia, to fit him with an IV drip. Photo: Amunga Eshuchi, May 2017

How we support people with humanitarian assistance

During emergencies it is the local community and local organisations that react first. Trócaire is a member of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church’s global confederation of 165 development agencies.

When a crisis strikes we support local Caritas agencies and other local organisations to get aid to where it’s needed immediately and effectively. We often also provide staff and expertise.  

We focus on responding to the needs of the most vulnerable in a crisis. Working in partnership with local organisations, we provide a range of supports to crisis-affected communities, from food aid and emergency shelter to healthcare, education and clean drinking water. We also have a particular focus on the protection of women, girls and potentially vulnerable groups.

And we support people living in areas at risk to prepare plans for responding to disasters when they strike, such as developing evacuation plans and warning systems.  

Trócaire also has offices in 15 countries internationally, many with humanitarian response programmes and strong partnerships in place. 

We adhere to the Core Humanitarian Standards, which set out nine commitments that organisations involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of their response. 

Key Facts


people supported directly by emergency programmes across Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East last year

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people living in extremely dangerous environment in Sudan provided with primary healthcare services

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people in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua are less exposed to natural disasters due to Trócaire disaster risk reduction activities

Current humanitarian programmes

East Africa Hunger Crisis

Across four countries in east Africa, over 26 million people are facing acute food insecurity and the threat of famine.

Trócaire is responding to severe food shortages and disease outbreak in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia brought about by drought and conflict.


Somalia has been devastated by ongoing drought events in recent years. Now, half the population (6.7 million people) is experiencing serious food insecurity.

We are working in partnership with other international NGOs in the country to deliver large-scale nutrition support to malnourished children, and pregnant and nursing women.

Trócaire has a strong, long-established presence in the Gedo region in southern Somalia.

Trócaire is currently implementing scaled up health services in three hospitals, one referral health centre, three health centres and 11 primary health units, targeting women and children in particular.

An average of 19,000 people per month are being treated at our health centres in Somalia.

As of August 2017 Trócaire has begun water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities mainly on water points and hygiene promotion in schools, villages and hospitals. 

South Sudan

7.5 million people across the country – over 50 per cent of the population – are at risk of severe food shortages, malnutrition and chronic health problems over the coming months. 

Trócaire is responding by providing food, water, sanitation facilities, and emergency livelihood materials like seeds and tools, to families who have been displaced by conflict and drought, as well as the communities hosting them in Lakes State in South Sudan.

We are reaching 25,000 people with monthly food distribution, 4,000 households with staple crop seeds, providing basics like soap, jerry cans and 'dignity kits', including sanitary items for women, and 1,100 households are being provided with water and sanitation facilities.

We have also pre-positioned stocks of medicines and materials in preparation for cholera outbreaks. 


Over 8.5 million people require emergency food assistance in southern Ethiopia, in addition to the 7 million who are already receiving government support. This number is set to rise further, due to consecutve poor rainy seasons. 

So far, Trócaire has provided livelihoods protection support to over 85,000 people. This includes immunisation against drought-related disease and veterinary care for their animals.

Over 40,000 people have received emergency food aid or cash transfers.

And 47,000 people have been supported by water projects, including the building of water points and boreholes. 


5.6 million people in Kenya have been affected by the drought, 3.4 million of whom are food insecure. 2.6 million people are now facing severe food insecurity, amongst them 500,000 of whom are facing life threatening ‘emergency’ levels of food insecurity.

With Trócaire's support nearly 14,000 households are receiving food rations and other support. 

4,800 of the most affected and vulnerable people in the region are also being targetted with cash transfers to support their households.

8,000 children at risk of malnutrition have been reached with high energy nutritional food distributed through health facilities.

Elsewhere with Trócaire support, the Diocese of Meru is undertaking vaccination of 10,000 livestock, to try to keep animals healthy and protect pastoralist livelihoods.

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Syria Conflict

Seven years of war in Syria has driven over half the population of Syria from their homes, with 4.4 million seeking shelter in neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. Many more are leaving home with nothing more than the hope of finding safety. 

4.7 million people in need trapped in hard-to-reach areas, of which 860,000 are living in besieged areas. 13.5 million people are currently in need or humanitarian assistance. 

Trócaire is working with Caritas and other local partners in the five countries to deliver shelter, medicine, food and water to displaced Syrian families. We have worked with over 140,000 displaced Syrians, providing them with vital aid. 

Read more about our work to support people affected by the conflict in Syria

Find out more about our work in Lebanon, Serbia and Greece to support people from diverse countries and backgrounds who seeking refuge from conflict and persecution.

Trócaire also currently has active humanitarian response programmes in the following countries:


Latest updates on our humanitarian work