Emergency and Humanitarian Response

HIAS is committed to proactively responding to emergencies around the world in order to better assist displaced populations — including refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people — and vulnerable host communities. These emergencies include complex, protracted situations arising out of conflict or political upheaval, those triggered by a natural disaster, or the initial stages of the effects of climate change. 

Displaced individuals are at heightened vulnerability to emergencies and disasters, and these crises are often the springboard for large-scale and long-term displacement. Through the HIAS Emergency and Humanitarian Programs Team we provide immediate help to short or long-term displaced communities. The team is prepared, funded and ready to scale provision of essential goods and services, build resilience, and support recovery. HIAS’ Emergency and Humanitarian Programs Team better enables HIAS to continue meeting the most critical needs facing vulnerable populations before, during, and after an emergency.

Read about the Emergency Response Fund.

Panama and Colombia

The Darién Gap is one of the most dangerous places for migrants attempting to travel north — at certain times over 1,000 migrants daily are expected to pass through this border between Colombia and Panama. The Colombian town Necoclí is an important hub in the migration routes and HIAS is evaluating a plan to provide emergency assistance to people transiting through the town as well as to support people who settle in Necoclí whether by choice or necessity.
Read about our work in the Darién Gap and watch a video here.
Read the Necoclí Rapid Needs Assessment report in English or Spanish.


When Guyana was affected by flooding in the summer of 2021, HIAS’ Emergency and Humanitarian Team mobilized internal resources to conduct a rapid needs assessment and distribute relief items. HIAS Guyana staff and the team supported several villages, assisting about 300 households by distributing food and potable water, tarpaulins for shelter, and vital hygiene items such as soap and sanitary pads. The post-flood outreach included partnering with villagers and community leaders to provide information on gender-based violence and menstrual health.
Learn more about our work here.

Guatemala-Honduras border

HIAS worked with FUNADEH, a local Honduran NGO, to distribute food and dignity kits for women, offer phone calls to migrants, set-up psychological first-aid tents, provide water, and fund vital logistical support. FUNADEH provided emergency kits containing hand sanitizer, face mask, toilet paper, basic dental hygiene, and basic medication. The Emergency Department also assisted with logistical support and transport. Psycho-emotional support services were offered to vulnerable migrants, including many children. Through HIAS’ partnership with FUNADEH, migrants and returnees at the border received critical humanitarian assistance as well as additional services and support. 


HIAS currently supports recent Haitian arrivals by orienting migrants on legal issues and providing mental health support. Staff distributed hundreds of dignity kits which help women and girls maintain proper hygiene during their displacement. The Emergency Department issued a grant to the Haitian Bridge Alliance, a Haitian and woman-led organization fighting the deportations and inhumane treatment of Haitians seeking asylum at the U.S. border.
Read about our work with the Haitian Bridge Alliance.
HIAS is looking for experienced, high-quality humanitarian professionals to join our emergency roster. The aim of the HIAS roster is to bolster our emergency response capacity and to increase our capacity to effectively respond to humanitarian crises around the world. Humanitarian professionals on the roster should be interested in short-term deployments to respond to global emergencies and crises. Learn about our open roster positions and how to apply here.