Natural disasters and man-made catastrophes occur in many places; the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, the Pakistan earthquake of October 2005, the Indonesia earthquake of May 2006, periodic famines in Africa, the ongoing crisis in Darfur, floods in Bangladesh in 2007, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, the Chin famine 2009, cyclone Aila in Bangladesh in 2009. Christian minorities often suffer in greater proportion in areas where they are already sidelined or persecuted, and may miss out on relief aid.
Barnabas Aid works to support local partners to bring rapid assistance, often within 24 hours of an incident. Initial needs are usually for food and clean water, and medical assistance. Then there is often a need for temporary shelter, blankets and basic equipment. Long term the aim can be to rebuild houses and churches, support economic initiatives to restart businesses and allow people to earn an income. On average it costs about £20 per month to provide food/water, vitamins and supplements to enable a family to survive.