Emergency relief

The main focus of Mary’s Meals is our school feeding programmes but we also have a long history of providing emergency relief to vulnerable regions around the world.

Responding to Emergency Situations

Mary’s Meals grew out of a response to the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s. Since then we have been involved in emergency relief work in countries including India, South Sudan, Myanmar, Haiti, Kenya, Thailand and Malawi.

At the heart of any emergency relief work we undertake, is always our principle of feeding vulnerable children in a place of education. In many cases, we have been able to extend our support to reach wider communities.

Mary’s Meals has strong relationships with partners operating throughout the world. Should an emergency situation arise in an area where we have a trusted local partner, we will work together in order to reach those suffering most.

Crisis in Malawi

In Malawi, Mary’s Meals played an essential role during the food insecurity crisis in 2016 and early 2017. More than 6.5 million people were affected – half the rural population – across huge areas of the country, particularly in southern and central Malawi. The provision of humanitarian assistance by various agencies, including Mary’s Meals, prevented the crisis from escalating into an emergency.

More recently, the south of Malawi was hit by flooding as a result of tropical cyclones at the beginning of 2019. Mary’s Meals supported 17,000 men, women and children taking shelter in primary schools after being forced from their homes because of severe rainfall and flooding with emergency rations, while continuing to assess the situation and implement the school feeding programme.

Click here to read more about our work in Malawi in 2019.

Kerala Floods Emergency Appeal

In August 2018, devastating floods in Kerala, India, left more than one million people seeking refuge in relief camps and in need of humanitarian assistance. Mary’s Meals launched the Kerala Floods Emergency Appeal to support the worst-affected families. Working with our longstanding partner, BREAD, we provided essential food supplies to thousands of vulnerable families returning from relief camps to find their homes badly damaged, their possessions washed away, and their crops and livelihoods destroyed. We were also able to provide gas stoves and cooking kits to families who were identified by their communities as most in need.

In 2013, we provided material aid to those affected by the devastating floods and landslides.

In 2004, we launched an emergency appeal after India was hit by a tsunami that washed away homes and fishing boats, leaving families without the means to support themselves. The appeal raised funds to help a fishing community in Tamil Nadu, initially providing food and shelter, and then support to rebuild homes and purchase new boats.

Crisis in South Sudan

In June 2018, we launched an urgent campaign in response to the worsening crisis in war-torn South Sudan. With fighting forcing families from their homes and 6.3 million people facing a hunger crisis, we were determined to work with our partner to reach more vulnerable children with life-saving daily meals in school. Thanks to generous support from across our global family, we were able to continue reaching the 20,520 children already receiving Mary’s Meals in South Sudan as well as welcoming almost 4,000 children at five new schools to the feeding programme, bringing hope to many more families and communities.

East Africa Emergency

In March 2017, we launched our East Africa Emergency Appeal in response to the humanitarian emergency across that region, including two countries in which Mary’s Meals are served, South Sudan and Kenya. Violence, conflict and drought plunged the region into a state of severe food insecurity, with famine officially declared in several areas. The incredible response from supporters to our East Africa Emergency Appeal allowed us to keep our promise to the 46,000 children in South Sudan and Kenya relying on Mary’s Meals. We were also able to reach an additional 2,000 children in seven schools in South Sudan.


Kenya and South Sudan

In 2014, Mary’s Meals responded to the East Africa crisis, where 10.7 million people were affected by severe food shortages. In addition to our ongoing work in this region, we provided emergency school feeding to areas of particular need in Kenya and South Sudan.

India

In 2013, we provided material aid to those affected by the devastating floods and landslides. In 2004, we launched an emergency appeal after India was hit by a tsunami that washed away homes and fishing boats, leaving families without the means to support themselves. The appeal raised funds to help a fishing community in Tamil Nadu, initially providing food and shelter, and then support to rebuild homes and purchase new boats.

Somalia

In 2011, we joined forces with our friends in the charity Gift of the Givers, to deliver as much emergency food aid as possible to help keep more than 40,000 starving people in Somalia alive.

 

 

 

Philippines

In 2011 we provided food, material and financial aid to the Mary’s Meals volunteers and their families who lost their homes due to a typhoon.

 

 

 

 

Haiti

In January 2010, an earthquake ripped through Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, wrecking the schools in Cité Soleil where we provide Mary’s Meals to thousands of children living in terrible poverty. Our supporters were extraordinarily generous, allowing us to channel emergency food and medical supplies through our partners within days of the earthquake.