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Immediately after any disaster, volunteers - often the members of the local communities - play a crucial role in rescuing the survivors and bringing emergency relief and medical aid to them. As relief and aid arrive from other places, volunteers' responsibilities extend to post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation activities. In this slideshow, we bring you a snapshot of various roles volunteers play in response to disasters.

Read our collection of stories and resources that shows volunteerism to be a key element in providing emergency relief to disaster survivors and in post-disaster reconstruction.

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A Red Crescent volunteer sprays disinfectant around houses in Hafun, Somalia to prevent the spread of disease. Here, he visits 90-year-old Ahmed Suman Ali, whose house was damaged by the tsunami, but who does not want to move to a temporary shelter because he says he belongs to his old house. He moved to the town when he was 18 years old, but he has never seen anything like this tsunami. 
(Photo by Lydia Mirembe/IFRC)A Red Crescent volunteer sprays disinfectant around houses in Hafun, Somalia to prevent the spread of disease. Here, he visits 90-year-old Ahmed Suman Ali, whose house was damaged by the tsunami, but who does not want to move to a temporary shelter because he says he belongs to his old house. He moved to the town when he was 18 years old, but he has never seen anything like this tsunami. (Photo by Lydia Mirembe/IFRC)