Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) has become more involved in emergency relief efforts in recent years. We have responded to humanitarian crises caused by war and conflict, by climate change and catastrophic weather events, and by natural disasters such as earthquakes. In the current decade, for example, CJI has responded to the Haiti earthquake (2010), Syrian conflict (from 2011), Horn of Africa famine (2011), Colombia Civil War (new program for victims in 2012), Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013), Nepal earthquake (2015), Ecuador earthquake (2016), and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti (2016).
Such emergencies often result in population displacements and have an adverse impact on people’s rights to shelter, safety, health, hygiene, food supply, education and livelihoods.
When CJI responds to emergencies, relief is usually provided in two phases. The first phase addresses the most basic and immediate humanitarian requirements such as shelter, food, hygiene and health. The second phase is generally much longer and addresses the need for accompaniment and rehabilitation, including the recovery of livelihoods, the resumption of education, psychosocial services, and rebuilding houses and other infrastructure.
CJI always coordinates its emergency relief with trusted local and international partners. The two international partners we collaborate with most frequently are the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the Xavier Network (XN). CJI has representation with both organizations and is a full member of XN. These connections, together with Jesuit and other on-the-ground partners in areas where humanitarian crises are located, enable us to respond to emergencies with much greater efficiency and effectiveness than would be possible on our own.