ZOA 50 years: Not leaving anyone alone in a disaster
ZOA has been working from relief to recovery in crisis areas for 50 years, since 1973. We are there for people who have lost everything due to conflict or natural disaster. Therefore, our anniversary theme is 'Not alone'. We’d like to take you along in our story, to the places where ZOA has been active over the past 50 years.
THE STORY OF ZOA
50 years in crisis areas
ZOA has been working from relief to recovery in crisis areas for 50 years. Together, we ensure that people struck by disaster are not left alone. Read below: a selection of the situations in which we, together with our supporters, have been able to make a difference in the past 50 years.
How it all began - SOUTHEAST ASIA
1973: Touched by the stories of 800,000 people fleeing Vietnam in rickety boats, three young Dutch students take action. Southeast Asia Foundation (ZOA) is a fact. ZOA provides shelter and medical assistance for the refugees in Thailand. In the years that follow, ZOA starts various self-help projects. ZOA will continue to support refugees in Thailand for thirty years.
FOOD CRISIS - ETHIOPIA
1985: Continuous drought and civil wars cause a famine in Ethiopia. At least three million people lose everything. As early as 1984, ZOA collects money for food aid to Africa. Help is still desperately needed. In addition to structural solutions, ZOA supports people in the Tigray region, that was affected by a heavy conflict from 2020 to 2022.
Genocide - Rwanda
1994: The Tutsi minority rebel group is blamed for the death of the president. As a result, Hutu extremists kill half a million Tutsi. ZOA immediately takes action with emergency aid and continues to work in Rwanda for ten years after the genocide, so that people can rebuild their lives.
BEFORE AND AFTER THE TSUNAMI
1994 - 2004: On December 26, 2004, Sri Lanka is hit by a devastating tsunami. ZOA is already present to support people in the country after the civil war and can provide emergency aid immediately. Within 4 days of the disaster, ZOA feeds 30,000 people. Until 2021, ZOA provides assistance to 25,000 families. Furthermore, ZOA helps to build 2,500 temporary shelters and 5,000 permanent houses.
CIVIL WAR - SUDAN
2003: After a long unsettled period with a lot of violence, another civil war breaks out in 2003 between the Arab and African populations in Sudan. More than 2.8 million people are displaced. ZOA launches an emergency relief campaign and has since been working in the still troubled country on restoring basic facilities, the reception of refugees and building peace.
HOPE IN CRISES - SYRIA
2011-present: The country has been devastated by civil war and 13.6 million people were displaced. In February 2023, a violent earthquake hit the country. ZOA helps victims with shelter and clean water, provides work and education. 22,325 people receive drinking water and soap and 16,850 people receive ready-to-eat meals. 8 schools have reopened, so that 1,800 children have access to education and a safe learning environment. Children receive help with trauma processing.
SUPPORT IN A VIOLENT WAR - UKRAINE
2022 - present: On February 24, 2022, Russia invades Ukraine. 14 million people flee the violence; many buildings are destroyed. ZOA immediately takes action and provides emergency aid. We have now switched to cash transfers and repairing damaged houses. 8,459 displaced Ukrainians have already received an amount of money for their basic needs. 1,833 people live in their restored homes again. ZOA helps with the purchase of building materials.
CLIMATE CHANGE - WORLDWIDE
Future: Due to the food crisis, 47 million more people will suffer from extreme hunger. This is partly due to persistent drought, particularly in the Horn of Africa. The consequences of climate change are strongly felt in crisis areas. Therefore, ZOA is committed to reducing the impact, for example by helping people with climate-resistant crops.