A decade of growth -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

A decade of growth

By Kip Scheidler

Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity has supported disaster response initiatives of Habitat entities and partners worldwide.

In just one decade, more than 44,000 housing interventions have been delivered—approximately 15 percent of the 300,000 Habitat houses that have been built worldwide. The tsunami response in 2004 dramatically increased the capacity within the Asia/Pacific area not only to respond to disasters but also to provide mitigation programs.

With the number and severity of disasters increasing around the world, Habitat for Humanity is called upon more and more to respond.

One key to fulfilling our mission of eliminating poverty housing worldwide is to make disaster response and disaster risk reduction strategies a top priority. This is an exciting time to be involved, as we develop our potential to serve more families through disaster response.

Kip Scheidler is senior director of global disaster response for Habitat for Humanity International. His field experience in disaster response includes the coordination of Habitat’s responses to hurricanes Georges and Mitch in 1998; the Venezuelan mudslides in the state of Vargas in 1999, and the earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001.