Kazakhstan: Extreme winter conditions - DREF operation n° MDRKZ006 Operation update n°1

Period covered by this update: 26th December 2012 to 14th January 2013.

Summary: CHF 158,584 was initially allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Kazakhstan Red Crescent in delivering immediate assistance to 2,000 beneficiaries. Due to the continuation of the adverse weather conditions and newly arisen needs, however, the National Society has revised its operational plans with a budget increase of CHF 111,586. The revised budget for this operation amounts to a total of CHF 270,170.

The operation started on December 26th as freezing temperatures reaching minus 40-46 degrees Celsius hit Kazakhstan. As a result of low temperatures and heavy snowfall there were power supply and hot-water supply cuts in various localities of the northern, eastern and central parts of the country. Over 5,000 people – stranded truck drivers, residents, homeless people and street children – were affected by severe frosts and the resulting hot-water pipe and electricity systems breakdowns and heating interruptions in these geographic areas.

In the initial phase of the response operation the Kazakhstan Red Crescent conducted a rapid needs assessment and provided humanitarian aid in the cities of Karaganda, Petropavlovsk and Semey from its own prepositioned stocks. With the DREF funds made available, the three involved Red Crescent branches completed the tendering procedures and identified the suppliers of foodstuff, warm clothes, blankets and footwear to be distributed among the beneficiaries. The Kazakh National Society started, on January 3rd, distributing daily hot meals to 919 homeless people and street children. Since there is a further decrease of temperature forecasted, the National Society plans to prolong the hot meals distribution until 28th February 2013 and requests therefore an additional allocation from the DREF according to the revised budget.