Algeria + 2 more

Tunisia: Floods DREF Bulletin no. MDRTN001

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This DREF Bulletin is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 45,000 (USD 37,268 or EUR 27,296) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs in this operation, or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population. This operation is expected to be implemented over two months, and will be completed by 30 June 2007; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by the end of September 2007). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity."

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

Regional context

Since March, and particularly in the last two last weeks of April, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have faced localized flash floods that have caused severe damage to local infrastructure and livelihoods. People living in these areas have seen their houses partially destroyed and have lost many of their personal belongings.

During the first heavy rainfall in northern Algeria, more than 100 mm of rain fell within a few hours in the Djelfa region. Thirty houses were flooded in eastern Algiers when a river burst its banks for the first time in 15 years.

The second flash floods in Algeria left 15 dead and seven missing. Many homes were washed away and roads and several bridges destroyed. Farming was also hit, as crops were left submerged in water and 600 cattle were lost.

The table below provides an overview of the flooding in the region:

(first floods)
(second floods)
Start date 7 March 13 April 21 April 24 April
End date 11 March 15 April 22 April 28 April
Affected regions Northern Algeria:
Djelfa region.
Eastern part
of Algiers city.
M'sila region: Souamma
/Oued Tamsa
North eastern Morocco:
Nador area around
the valley of Amlah
in Ain Zohra, Zaio
Southern Tunisia:
governorates of
Tozeur and Gafsa.
Duration 5 days 3 days 2 days 5 days
Dead 3 15 4
Size and type
of area affected
53,230 sq km: urban 7,100 sq km: rural and urban 9,450 sq km: urban Urban areas

The National Societies in the countries affected demonstrated their capacities to intervene rapidly, mobilizing local resources to respond to the needs and coordinating their support efficiently with the local authorities. The pre-positioning of stocks at central and regional level allowed goods to be rapidly distributed immediately after the disaster struck.

Local or regional intervention teams were deployed and volunteers have been mobilized. Coordination continues to be maintained between the National Societies' headquarters and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (Federation) regional office for North Africa. Need assessments were conducted and resulted in plans of action (PoA) being drawn up, including arrangements for monitoring of the operation and information management.The National Societies have conducted search and rescue missions, provided first aid and transportation for injured people or those who needed to move to a different location. Psychological support and distributing food and non food items has also helped those affected by the flooding.

The Algerian Red Crescent and the Moroccan Red Crescent have kept the Federation's North Africa regional office informed about the flood situation, but have not requested any financial assistance, either humanitarian assistance itself, or for replenishing disaster preparedness stocks.

The annual in-kind donation of clothes from the Nordic Red Cross Societies to the three North African National Societies has proved invaluable.

National context: Tunisia

Since 24 April, torrential rains have affected numerous governorates in southern Tunisia. In some places rain water reached 117 mm. According to the Tunisian National Institute of Meteorology, the south-west of Tunisia registered record levels of rainfall in the governorates of Tozeur and Gafsa. The precise localities were: Deguèche, Tozeur airport, Hézoua, El Hamma, Nefta in Tozeur governorate and Metlaoui, Redayef, Mdhila, Menzel Bouzayene, Zannouche, Essned, Menzel Lahbib, Belkhil in Gafsa governorate. Registered rainfall for April this year is twelve times greater than usually recorded in April.

Hfor El Tine, situated in the city of Tozeur, 400 km from the capital Tunis was one location badly affected. The city is built in a valley and can often be muddy. Following the heavy rains, three hundred families had to be evacuated from their flooded homes. Most of them were accommodated by relatives, but mosques, youth houses and schools also provided refuge. The latest assessment of the situation conducted jointly by the Red Crescent committee, the social affairs and the family planning services shows 300 families are in need of support.

Hfor El Tine, whose name literally translates into English as breach of mud, is a poor district and many of the houses are very old. Other houses for residents in special need have recently been renovated with government support. Hfor El Tine's geographic situation is deemed problematic as it is situated where the Tunisian National Sanitation Utility Department has one of its water purification centres.

The Tunisian army, the Civilian Protection and the Tunisian Red Crescent have been present since the very beginning, delivering emergency assistance to the affected population. Families have been evacuated and the Tunisian Red Crescent complemented this by providing relief food and clothes distribution to the most affected victims.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The regional branch of the Tunisian Red Crescent in Tozeur immediately deployed a local intervention team composed of 30 volunteers to the site to assist the disaster victims, supporting the local authorities in providing first aid and psychological support to affected families.

The Secretary General of Tunisian Red Crescent was quickly informed by the branch of the immediate needs and relief items required. Tunisian Red Crescent volunteers in Tunis were mobilized to prepare the needed items. On 27 April, two trucks were sent to Hfor El Tine with emergency items from the Tunisian Red Crescent's own stock:

- 100 blankets

- 2 tonnes of food (flour and cereals)

- 5 bags of shoes

- 5 small bags of clothes

- 2 big bags of clothes

Local branch volunteers have ensured the distribution of these items, plus large quantities of locally mobilized donations, went smoothly. Thanks to the annual in kind donation by the Finnish Red Cross, clothes could be given to the most affected families immediately.

Current situation

With houses flooded, the inhabitants have lost most of their belonging as well as their food stocks, mattresses and blankets. The rains have stopped but the alert continues. Families are gradually going back to their homes to clean, dry and assess their own particular situation.

A final assessment made by the local branch of the Tunisian Red Crescent, in close cooperation with the Tunisian National Fund for Solidarity, has established a list of beneficiaries and this is the basis for the further assistance that will be provided.

Three hundred families are still in urgent need of:

- blankets

- mattresses

- kitchen utensils and tools

- food parcels (cereals, sugar, salt, milk, canned fish/meat/tomatoes and oil). One food parcel covers two weeks worth of daily meals for a family. Families are considered to consist of five or six members.

Some of the needs have already been covered thanks to government donations and spontaneous assistance from the local population and business communities.

Following the first survey, the Red Crescent local branch acknowledged the insufficient number of mattresses and the blankets in the governorate of Tozeur. Procurement of additional relief items will be made from neighboring governorates and transported to the concerned localities. The disaster management officer of Tunisian Red Crescent is closely following the operation and will be deployed to Tozeur to assist the local branch procure relief items and assist in organizing the distribution, monitoring and the reporting of these items.

The Tunisian Red Crescent has requested financial assistance from the Federation to carry out this humanitarian assistance and to contribute to the local efforts to respond to the disaster. The attached budget has been established in close cooperation with the Tunisian Red Crescent headquarters, the local branch of the Red Crescent in Tozeur and the Federation's regional office for North Africa in Tunis.

Budget Summary - Tunisia Floods 2007

Total Costs (CHF)
600 Blankets
385 Matresses
200 Food Parcels (cereal, sugar, milk, canned goods, oil)
Vehicle Fuel and Maintenance
Incentives for Volunteers
Travel and Administration
General Administration
Program Management Support (6.5%)
Total CHF

Map: North Africa: Floods - Location Map

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Tunisia: Tunisian Red Crescent, Secretary General, Dr. Tahar Cheniti, phone:, fax:

Regional Office for North Africa, Head of Delegation, Anne E. LeClerc, phone:, fax:

In Geneva: MENA Department, Federation Regional Officer, Evgeni Parfenov, phone: + 41 22 730 43 25, fax: +41 22 733 03 95, email:,

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at