Emergency Response Fund - Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

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Emergency Response Fund

Join UUSC in supporting our grassroots partners as they confront injustice and oppression.

UUSC’s Emergency Response Fund provides vital assistance to people impacted by natural or human-made disasters yet whose access to aid is most limited.

By contributing to this restricted fund, you can help UUSC and our grassroots partners equitably and effectively respond to a crisis as soon as it occurs—and over the long-term.

Our approach when using these funds is based off of a Disaster Justice framework, which UUSC developed in collaboration with our partners and allies. Like mainstream humanitarian aid agencies, we respond to immediate needs in the wake of a crisis; yet, unlike those organizations, UUSC also focuses on removing barriers that prevent equal access to resources. A disaster justice approach also requires acknowledging that disaster impacts are not evenly distributed; following the lead and expertise of directly affected communities; transforming unjust policies; and enacting proactive disaster plans.

Currently, UUSC is using resources from our Emergency Response Fund to support people who have fled the violence in Ukraine after Russia launched a large-scale invasion in February 2022. UUSC is building upon relationships we have established in Eastern Europe to respond to evolving needs on the ground and to provide funding where it is needed most. The Emergency Response Fund is directly supporting people in migration – especially Black, People of Color, and LGBTQI+ communities – as well as advancing our broader vision of justice and accountability throughout the crisis.

Here are some other examples of how support of the Emergency Response Fund has helped:

In Haiti, where a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in August 2021 has led to more than 2,000 deaths and widespread destruction, UUSC continues to partner with civil society organizations on the ground despite dwindling international media attention. Through the Emergency Response Fund, we are able to pursue advocacy and grantmaking initiatives to not only provide immediate assistance, but also to advance Haiti’s political autonomy, bolster grassroots movements, and center racial justice and decolonization initiatives in their long-term efforts to rebuild the nation.

In Louisiana, UUSC responded to a partner request for support before Hurricane Ida made landfall in September 2021. When our community-based partner, Lowlander Center, preemptively approached us as hurricane season approached, many in their community were still struggling to recover from the prior year’s Category 4 storm, Hurricane Laura. Within a month, Hurricane Ida struck the region. With the tarps, generators, tents, water, and other basic food items that Lowlander Center was able to purchase ahead of time with our funding, recovery efforts were quickly and effectively put into action for those most impacted.

While some disasters receive extensive media coverage and widespread support and generosity, others go largely unnoticed by the national and international community. Our Emergency Response Fund allows UUSC to quickly to respond when our partners are impacted by a crisis and to launch new partnerships with community-led organizations in the wake of disasters.

Make a gift to the Emergency Response Fund today to defend communities facing some of the most pressing injustices of our time!