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Taking action in an Emergency Response

HI delivers multi-disciplinary humanitarian responses to vulnerable populations affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

South Sudan, HI team at a PoC site (Protection of Civilians), IDP Camp near Juba. South Sudan, HI team at a PoC site (Protection of Civilians), IDP Camp near Juba. South Sudan, HI team at a PoC site (Protection of Civilians), IDP Camp near Juba. South Sudan, HI team at a PoC site (Protection of Civilians), IDP Camp near Juba.

© T. Mayer / HI

Our organisation provides specific support for the injured, victims of trauma, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

72 h

our response time
in the event of an emergency


notre temps de réponse


countries of intervention in 2018

413 551

beneficiaries of our
actions in response to basic needs in 2018

Our approach to emergency relief operations


HI is on permanent standby intervene in the event of crises triggered by natural or human causes (armed conflict) and its emergency response experts ensure all the necessary resources can be mobilised to rapidly respond to the needs. In  countries where we already works, we implement a preparedness process to anticipate potential future emergencies and ensure our teams can cope with sudden changes in context.

We also work at community level (villages, urban districts or towns) to prepare the most vulnerable populations for disaster risks.



Find out more about our expertise


HI works hard to ensure our emergency responses are accessible to all, including the most vulnerable. We also share our extensive experience on the inclusion of people with disabilities and the most vulnerable, with other humanitarian actors.



Find more about our expertise


Dedicated resources for rapid deployment


HI is capable of deploying a response to a natural disaster or conflict, anywhere in the world, usually within 72 hours of the onset of the crisis. 

Emergency response specialists, strong logistics, direct spending control and optimised approval procedures allow us to provide a rapid and effective response. We have a team of specialists dedicated to the initial emergency response. Part or all of this team is capable of immediately deploying to the affected area to undertake an evaluation mission to identify the needs and ensure a rapid response. Multi-disciplinary teams are deployed to work closely with the people affected to meet their essential or specific needs and facilitate their access to humanitarian services.

Our sectors of activity


• Livelihoods in emergency settings

• Managing and distributing humanitarian aid

• Hygiene, emergency and semi-permanent shelters, rehabilitation of community infrastructure

• Physical and functional rehabilitation

• Psycho-social and psychological support

• Inclusion and accessibility for people excluded from services

• Armed violence reduction (including decontamination, risk education, victim assistance and advocacy) 

• Protection against violence and abuse 


Meeting the population’s basic needs

HI implements activities which meet the essential needs appropriately and rapidly. It also builds the collective capacities of humanitarian actors to take rapid, concerted action.

Essential items

distribution of kits containing essential household items (blankets, water canisters, cooking kits, hygiene/hygiene promotion kits, etc.), food and/or cash transfer programmes.


emergency shelter (tents), construction/rehabilitation of accessible individual temporary shelters and community infrastructure (compatible with anti-cyclone and earthquake resistant building standards).


pooled logistics services for humanitarian actors (transport, storage, road repair etc.) delivered by Atlas Logistique, our operational unit specialised in local supply chain management. 



Atlas Logistique is an operational unit within HI specialised in logistics services and logistics chain management in humanitarian crises. Our service offer includes shared transport and storage, civil engineering, garages and advisory services. 
Find out more about our service offering.

Meeting the specific needs of the most vulnerable people

HI works with the victims of humanitarian disasters, with a particular focus on people with disabilities and any person excluded from the relief efforts.

Our organisation campaigns for these people to be included in overall aid provision, and contributes to organising emergency relief through integrated, adapted projects:

• Support for hospitals on the care management of people with injuries: technical and logistical assistance, teams strengthening, material assistance etc.

• Physical and functional rehabilitation of people with injuries and disabilities: early intervention, assistive devices (wheelchairs, walking frames etc.), functional rehabilitation sessions, orthopaedic fitting and manufacture of prostheses, training of rehabilitation technicians.

• Psychosocial and psychological support (individual and community): implementation of activities to reduce the psychological distress of at-risk people or victims though targeted individual interviews, peer-to-peer discussion groups, activities to further social cohesion, distribution of protection kits etc. 

• Protection against violence and abuse

As part of our armed violence reduction projects, we also implement victim assistance, explosive ordnance risk education and advocacy in the same geographic area in order to increase the impact on the affected communities. We also identify and refer victims to dedicated services including emergency rehabilitation, psychosocial support and mid and long-term socio-economic inclusion activities.



Find out more about our activities.


HI emergency kits pre-positioned


Our emergency kits are pre-positioned in secure warehouses in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Lyon (France) in order to optimise our intervention capacity and our response times when a crisis occurs:

  • Capacity to meet the essential and specific needs (functional rehabilitation equipment) of over 7,000 people, within 72 hours, with the possibility of re-stocking within 3 weeks.
  • All of our kits meet international standards and are available for use not only by HI programmes, but by all the humanitarian actors on the ground.
  • The supply chain is closely managed to guarantee the financial traceability of the kits.

HI has also developed an integrated strategy on global and local pre-positioning combining a centralised, standard offer from the stocks in Dubai and Lyon and an offer developed under framework agreements with local suppliers. This strategy allows us to put efficient supply solutions in place which can be adapted to the community’s needs.

Emergencies as a continuum: forward planning, taking action, preparing for the future

HI implements development and emergency response programmes in around sixty countries. 

When a humanitarian disaster occurs in one of these countries, the organisation can mobilise its teams already in place. In emergency situations their in-depth understanding of the country allows them to design our emergency response interventions in collaboration, where relevant, with legitimate and effective national services and partners.

There presence also facilitates our access to the affected areas and speeds up the collection of information from the affected communities on the real needs in the wake of a crisis.


Where we work


The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown on this map are not warranted to be error free nor do they necessarily imply official endorsement or acceptance by HI.


Photos : © B. Blondel / HI - © M. Črep / HI - © B. Blondel / HI - © B. Almeras / HI - © B. Blondel / HI