Distribution of OKI and HİJ bags filled with school and hygiene needs of children, Hatay
Support to Life (Center for Disaster Philanthropy)

Equity-Focused Investment Strategies for Disaster Relief and Recovery

In the face of escalating natural disasters and humanitarian crises, the need for effective and equitable disaster relief and recovery strategies has never been more pressing. Traditionally, relief efforts have often fallen short of reaching the most vulnerable communities, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and leaving marginalized groups further disenfranchised.


However, a paradigm shift is underway as a new wave of equity-focused investment strategies emerges, seeking to tackle these disparities head-on. By reimagining how we prepare for and respond to disasters, we build a more just and compassionate world for all. Private funders have opportunities to develop innovative solutions to help prevent or mitigate future disasters that the government cannot execute. The effort is co-designed in partnership with national and international institutions that have subject matter expertise and trusted relationships.


Equity-Focused Investment Strategies

At the St. Joseph Partnership Fund (Fund), the grantmaking foundation of Providence, we partner with globally recognized organizations with local presence in the affected areas. Two such partners are Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). We trust that communities know what they need to build sustainable systems and infrastructure to withstand the impacts of future disasters and crises. CDP and CRS have networks on the front lines that quickly mobilize to deploy resources to the most immediate need.


In the days following the February earthquake that decimated Turkey and Syria, The Fund contributed $100,000, with a follow-up dollar-to-dollar match, each to CRS and CDP as part of our ongoing partnerships. In a recent update, CRS’ shared key components of the work they were able to accomplish with combined funding support.


Immediate recovery focused on food, shelter, hygiene supplies, and educational support. Their long-term relief efforts are aimed at helping communities sustainably rebuild their homes and infrastructure while providing counseling for emotional well-being.


CDP also shared their immediate relief efforts, including imaging and mapping to assist emergency efforts. Subsequent recovery efforts include small business financial support and community resilience efforts. In addition to CDP’s work in Turkey and Syria, they provide hurricane relief in the United States and Puerto Rico.


Most recently, within a week of the wildfires that decimated the historic town of Lahaina and other communities on Maui, Hawai’i, we committed grants to the Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) for The Maui Strong Fund and Catholic Charities Hawai’i for their Maui Relief Fund. Our grant partners will assess the most critical needs as the situation evolves. Immediate support includes temporary shelter, food, financial assistance, and counseling. We will continue to monitor and engage partners to understand the long-term recovery needs of the community.


Proactive Planning for Effective Response

Preparedness is critical in recovery, regardless of the potential disaster. Proactive planning involves identifying potential hazards and risks, analyzing the community’s vulnerabilities and strengths, and developing plans to reduce risk and improve response capabilities. When a disaster does strike, a community with a proactive capacity and infrastructure plan is better positioned to respond quickly, minimize damage, and facilitate recovery efforts.


To learn more about the Fund’s Disaster Response and Resilience, visit our Partner’s page or follow us on LinkedIn.