skip to main content

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.

Photo of a child refugee from Syria in a camp in Croatia where Caritas provided food and tea

A child refugee from Syria in a Caritas Croatia warehouse where refugees received food and tea. Photo: Meabh Smith, 2015

Impact of our humanitarian response work in 2015/16


people have benefitted directly from our emergency programme

Sustainable communities icon


people in Somalia have received health services, particularly mothers and infants


people in South Kordofan, Sudan received healthcare, food and livelihood support during conflict

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 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 and on protecting women and girls.   

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. 

Current humanitarian programmes

South Sudan 

Famine has been declared in South Sudan where approximately five million people now need emergency food aid.

Over 100,000 people are now in famine but 4.6 million people in the country – 40 per cent of the population – are at risk over the coming months. 

The crisis is also extremely severe in Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya. 

In total, the Famine Early Warning System Network is warning that 70 million people are in urgent need of aid. 

Find out more about the emergency situation in South Sudan

Syria conflict

Five years of war in Syria has driven 7 million people from their homes, with over 4 million seeking shelter in neighbouring countries and in Europe. There are currently 1.1 million Syrians in Lebanon, 1.9 million in Turkey, 630,000 in Jordan and 250,000 in Iraq. Many are leaving home with nothing more than the hope of finding safety. 

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.

Food crisis in East and Southern Africa

Severe drought has left millions of people in need of emergency aid across Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. As much as 90% of the crops have failed in some affected areas leaving people without a source of food and an income. Without support, people in these areas will have nothing to eat over the coming months. 

In Ethiopia, over ten million people need food support, while in Zimbabwe approximately three million people  ned support. Up to 8.4 million people in Malawi need aid because of severe drought.

Trócaire, along with our partners, is supporting families with emergency food, cash transfers to buy essentials, seeds, water and sanitation. 

Read more about our work on the Africa Food Crisis


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


Latest updates on our humanitarian work