Disasters and Crises Explained

Everything you need to know

Disasters affect thousands of people around the world each year.

From earthquakes and tsunamis through to conflicts and complex emergencies, these disasters can cause deaths, homelessness and massive population movements.

But why do extreme weather events occur? How did some of the world’s worst conflicts begin? What are the devastating effects of disasters and climate change?

Explore our Disasters Explained series to discover the answers to these questions.

Disasters Explained


Disasters explained: Droughts

Droughts affect millions of people each year. Learn what they and and how we’ve supported communities.

Disasters explained: Heatwaves

Heatwaves are extreme weather events. Learn about what they are, why the happen and and their link to climate change.

Disasters explained: Earthquakes

Powerful earthquakes and landslides can be very deadly. Learn everything you need to know about earthquakes and landslides and how we help.

Disasters explained: volcanoes

Learn what volcanoes are, how they erupt, and the effects of a volcano eruption.

Disasters explained: tsunamis

Tsunamis can destroy lives, homes, crops and roads in the blink of an eye. Learn more about what they are, what causes them and what the effects are.

Disasters explained: floods

Floods are among the most common and devastating disasters. Read more about why they happen and their effects.

Disasters explained: Hurricanes

Find out everything you need to know about hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons.

Disasters explained: Wildfires

Wildfires burn millions of acres of land every year. Find out more about what they are, their connection with climate change, and facts about the 2020 Australia bushfires.

How does climate change affect disasters?

Climate change is a humanitarian crisis. Find out key stats about climate change, how it affects disasters and people, and what we’re doing about it.

Why disasters are not natural

Read why we no longer use the term ‘natural disasters’, the definition of a disaster, and how we have come to change our language.

Disasters explained: avalanches

Each year, avalanches kill over 150 people worldwide. Read more about avalanches, what causes them and more.

Crises Explained


Ukraine crisis explained

Russia has launched a military operation on Ukraine. Read more about the crisis, who is involved, and get key facts.

The crisis in Yemen

Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Learn more about the crisis here.

The Syrian Conflict Explained

Learn how the war in Syria began, who is involved and how families have been affected.

The crisis in Ethiopia

Read about the crisis in Ethiopia and find out how we’re helping.

Our work in the Lake Chad Basin

We’re providing aid to families affected by the the Lake Chad Basin crisis.

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