Disaster Relief Grant Impact Syria Earthquake

Providing families in Turkey and Syria with critical supplies. Photo courtesy of Caritas.

Building Resilience: Disaster Relief Grant Impacts Around the Globe

As the grantmaking foundation of Providence, SJF’s disaster response and resilience strategy prioritizes immediate relief, long-term recovery, and preparedness for vulnerable communities. With the rising frequency and severity of disasters globally, we partner with trusted nonprofits to provide proactive, unrestricted grants to enable partners to respond swiftly, innovate solutions, leverage resources, and sustain a presence in vulnerable communities.

Regardless of the origin of the disaster, these events cause widespread damage, including loss of life, infrastructure destruction, economic hardships, and increased vulnerability in at-risk communities. Last year, SJF’s grants supported several disasters, including the February earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and the wildfires in Maui, Hawaii. Through our disaster response and resilience focus, we also supported EMPOWER in West Africa, a long-range capacity-building effort to uplift the infrastructure of partner organizations in the region.


2023 Disaster Relief Grant Impacts

Support for Turkey and Syria

Through our partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), SJF assisted individuals and families impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Our grants supported those affected with food assistance, household and hygiene items, emergency shelter, and psychological support.

More specifically, through its local relief agency, Caritas, CRS met the communities’ urgent needs, including providing blankets, mattresses, food, water, personal care supplies, baby supplies, medications, electricity, education support, and cash assistance. Resilience efforts include programs to support individuals’ mental well-being as they cope with stress from the earthquake.

Community Power in West Africa

In addition to the grants for CRS in response to the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, SJF provided a grant to support the EMPOWER program in West Africa. EMPOWER is a long-range capacity-building effort to bolster the infrastructure of partner organizations active in the region. Our long-term support of EMPOWER began in 2022, and we anticipate continuing funding through 2025.

The program expanded to 10 partners in 8 countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire. It uniquely supports training for emergency operations, finance, supply chain, and HR and integrates new information and technology tools. EMPOWER is committed to assisting partners by providing ongoing support, including assisting in coordination efforts for short-term emergency relief, conducting additional needs assessments, and developing strategies for emergency response to ensure effective collaboration with government agencies and other organizations during times of crisis.

Rebuilding Maui

In August, wildfires devastated the close-knit historic community of Lahaina in Maui. SJF provided urgent funds to the Maui Strong Fund, administered by the Hawai’i Community Foundation, and the Maui Relief Fund, established by Catholic Charities Hawaii. Catholic Charities provided food, essential supplies, and temporary lodging for individuals and families displaced by the fire. Catholic Charities’ mission is to care for the whole person. To that end, they offered counseling and case management services to help those facing trauma caused by the fires.


The preceding summary represents only some of the disaster relief and resilience work we supported in 2023. We look toward the future with the hope that we can continue influencing our partners’ infrastructure and the broader humanitarian aid landscape. You can learn more about our disaster relief and resilience efforts on our news and perspectives page. Or sign up for Rooted in Love, our monthly email roundup, to stay informed of our partners’ work around the globe to respond quickly and facilitate recovery efforts after disasters.


Disaster Relief Grant Impact EMPOWER

EMPOWER Agreement signing and equipment donation to Caritas Freetown, February 2024. Photo Courtesy of Catholic Relief Services.