The number of skipped-generation households – comprised solely of older people and children – is rising as a result of HIV and AIDS and other shocks. Little is known about how such households cope in emergencies, or how they are assisted by humanitarian responses. Research by ODI, HelpAge International, UNICEF and UNAIDS in Uganda and Zimbabwe aims to cast light on their situation. The research reveals that the limited livelihood opportunities for 'skipped generation' households increases their vulnerability and reduce their ability to cope and recover from crises. It suggests that humanitarian and development agencies assess intergenerational issues and incorporate them into programming at all stages.