Supporting disaster prevention, relief and long-term recovery.

The Disaster Relief and Recovery portfolio provides fast, flexible funding that assists in disaster prevention, relief, and recovery around the world. We fund at the onset of a disaster, as well as in protracted and forgotten crises. We intend to be both immediate in our response as well as deliberate about the contexts, organizations, and scope of programs we will support.

Our approach focuses on promoting more efficient and effective assistance, and when possible, investing in community-based organizations and networks to build local humanitarian leadership. We strive to sustain institutions, partnerships and emerging technology that strengthen the global community’s ability to respond to disasters.

What We Do:

Guided by the intent of our donors, Conrad N. Hilton and Barron Hilton, the Disaster Relief and Recovery program area maintains a portfolio that supports needs across the globe.

Our giving is local, sustainable, and evidence-based:

  • Local: We aim to allocate at a minimum, 25% of funding directly to national and local organizations as well as to efforts that engage people with lived expertise in the identification of solutions within their communities.
  • Sustainable:  Aligned with the United Nations’ definition of sustainable development, we support improvements in people’s lives that will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  Disasters and their effects are rarely short-lived or isolated; therefore, our grantmaking includes projects that build communities’ resilience and prevent or mitigate the impact of future crises.
  • Evidence-based:  The funding is  used for a wide range of evidence-based programs and interventions, depending on the needs and resources in each context. For example, overwhelming evidence shows that in most disaster settings, cash transfers are more effective and efficient than “in-kind” donations or food assistance; aligned with others in the humanitarian community, we fund cash transfers rather than food or other material support.

Our grantmaking falls into four general categories:

  • Immediate response to the most severe global disasters
    Kahramanmaras earthquake in Türkiye, drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, food insecurity in the Sahel

  • Forgotten crises 
    Ongoing displacement resulting from protracted conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, and Yemen, the humanitarian situation in the Darién Gap

  • US disasters and crises 
    Hurricane Ian in Florida, Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, and the Central Appalachia Floods disaster

  • Other non-crisis-specific interventions 
    Includes climate resilience-building projects, disaster early warning systems, and efforts to promote local humanitarian leadership

News from the Field

Unpacking Localization
International Council of Voluntary Agencies
October 2019

The Schoolteacher and the Genocide
New York Times
August 2019

Meet the Disaster Relief & Recovery Team