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Heifer International specializes in Values-Based Community Development rather than relief. Heifer also works with vulnerable communities in disaster-prone areas. As part of our development methodology, we help communities at risk to prepare for and mitigate the potential impact of disasters. Yet, if a major disaster strikes a project community that exceeds its capacity to respond, Heifer will partner with relief and first-responder agencies to support project communities and affected surrounding regions for long-term rehabilitation, with a focus on livestock and agricultural systems.
Disaster responses will be coordinated through headquarters and area offices and with organizations that have a demonstrated expertise in disaster recovery. Heifer International will complement, not duplicate, the work of government and other NGOs.
Our role, if needed, is limited to short-term provisional support—food, water and transportation—with an emphasis on helping existing Heifer project participants. We will direct all efforts toward long-term rehabilitation per Heifer's development path as soon as possible.
Because so many Heifer International project communities are in areas sensitive to climatic events—hurricanes, fires, floods, mudslides, etc.—there is a likelihood of a disaster impacting project communities somewhere in the world all year long. Therefore, the organization will raise funds forand administer a disaster rehabilitation fund of $1 million to $2 million to support communities or countries following a natural disaster.
Heifer International will occasionally issue solicitations to support the disasterrehabilitation fund. These solicitations will be clearly messaged as "in case" funds to be used only if a Heifer project community is impacted by a disaster.
Large-scale fundraising will be considered only when there is significant geographic impact or a large number of Heifer communities or families are impacted. Recent examples of such events include the Southeast Asia tsunami (December 2004) or the Haiti earthquake (January 2010). Fundraising decisions will be based on the severity of damage. Heifer International will not leverage or exploit natural disasters as fundraising opportunities unrelated to existing program locations or projects.