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Humanitarian and Emergency Response and Recovery

Working with local partners to close the gender and race gap in humanitarian and emergency response and recovery.


American government disaster recovery is limited, and federal responses are unequal. Survivors make do with only their resources and those from nonprofits. When there is federal response, it is inequitable: Even when the amount of damage and loss are the same, in large disasters, Black survivors see their wealth decrease by $27,000 on average while white survivors see their wealth increase by $126,000 on average. Today, climate-related disasters are increasing and contributing to more unequal outcomes. CARE is prepared to address this inequity in emergency response and recovery through fast, direct cash, food, housing, and job assistance to low-income women of color.

In 2020, CARE launched its domestic emergency response work in response to economic and food insecurity created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with local partners, CARE assisted women and families with access to food, cash, and jobs. This work was made possible by community groups, local government agencies, and gig platform agencies and occurred in Akron, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, and San Francisco. Across these six cities, we delivered 13M+ meals to food-insecure populations and put over $1.8M directly in workers’ pockets.

Today, our emergency response work directly addresses disparities that BIPOC women and young girls experience. Disasters disproportionately affect women and girls of color because of inequities in political, economic, and social resources. In the United States, just as in so many other countries in which CARE works, emergency response often ignores or is unable to reach the most vulnerable residents. Through the CARE Partner Network, CARE works to ensure that women and families can find stability and recover after a life-changing tragedy. The network consists of trusted local partners, many of which are women- and/or BIPOC-led, who understand their communities’ needs.


Today, CARE provides life-saving resources and cash assistance to the most vulnerable women and communities of color and creates job opportunities for people in affected communities. Our work with our CARE Partner Network partners to provide cash assistance, food, and jobs is tailored to reach the overlooked and homebound. This approach has proven capable of addressing multiple challenges that face stakeholders with vulnerable families, job seekers, and neighborhood and grassroots organizations.

A woman wearing an orange CARE t-shirt and matching face mask holds two bags of chips up to a man carrying a cardboard box with a large paper bag stacked on top. Behind them are large stacks of plastic water bottles. A drone shot of a line of cars in a parking lot.
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Vaiden, Mississippi / May 5, 2023

Gabrielle "Gabby" Dirden, Deputy Director of U.S. Programs, aiding cash card recipients in Mississippi that were affected by the Tornadoes.

Where we work

Beyond the COVID-19 crisis, CARE has used its CARE Partner Network to respond to domestic emergencies, particularly those where BIPOC women and young girls are most affected. To date, this has encompassed the Houston ice storm, Hurricanes Ida and Ian, the Midwest tornadoes in Kentucky and Arkansas, and the Mississippi tornadoes.

Currently, much of our focus is on the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico, where there are regular severe weather events and a high number of vulnerable residents.

CARE Partner Network

CARE’s emergency response is built on a network of locally led and national organizations, many of which are BIPOC- and/or women-led. We work to ensure that people in need receive critical resources in emergency response and recovery. The network also works together to share knowledge and build capacity within each partner organization.

CARE’s U.S. programs address a key gap in the American emergency relief: cash assistance targeting low-income households led by women, and particularly those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). By prioritizing cash assistance and additional response activities, CARE is addressing a significant and urgent need. Over the next three years, our ambition is to sustainably reduce the financial impacts of disasters for American families with a specific goal of reaching 10% of low income, BIPOC, women-led households within one week of a crisis event.

The CARE Partner Network includes the following organizations:

Bethel’s Heavenly Hands

Bread of Life

Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi


Feeding Tampa Bay

Fundación de Mujeres en Puerto Rico

HOPE Partnership

Housing NOLA

Houston Food Bank

Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable

One Voice

Coordinadora Paz Para Las Mujeres