The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of National Societies to respond to disasters.
Summary: CHF 184,012 (USD 157,707 or EUR 121,732) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 25 April 2009 to support the Argentine Red Cross (ARC) in delivering direct assistance to some 120,000 beneficiaries, as well as reaching approximately 1,560,000 people with important health promotion key messages. It is estimated following implementation that more than 1,680,000 people were directly and indirectly reached by this operation. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
Several South American countries have been experiencing a dengue outbreak since the beginning of 2009, and Argentina was no exception.
The Argentine Red Cross drew up a Plan of Action to respond to the dengue outbreak. The operation initially proposed to distribute 3,000 family and 40 community vector control kits. This objective was met and the potential impact of the community kits was increased, due to advice provided to the ARC by government authorities that resulted in the elimination of household insecticide from the family kits and the inclusion of a larvicide in the community kits. This change was made with the aim to maximize the overall effect of the community kits by killing mosquito larvae and eggs, and this was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the BASF company.
The second objective of this Plan of Action was to deliver key messages on awareness and prevention, which was met and surpassed. Almost three times as many people were reached than originally planned, as the ARC staff and volunteers extended their work to reach more schools, communities and health centres than originally planned, as well as delivered radio spots to more radio stations than originally estimated in 13 provinces. For instance, in the province of Salta it was possible to work with 32 communities, rather than the 2 originally planned; in Chaco with a total of 4; in Tucumán with a total of 24 and in Corrientes with a total of 3. The number of schools originally planned for were two per branch (8 in total), but it was possible to work with a total of 54.
Thus, the Argentine Red Cross completed the objectives of providing 120,000 people in four of the most affected provinces with vector control materials, as well as reaching more than 1.6 million people in 13 provinces with key messages on prevention through dissemination materials and tools, including radio spots.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilateral Emergency Fund contributed CHF 90,470 and the Netherlands Red Cross and Netherlands government CHF 30,180 to the DREF in replenishment of the allocation made for this operation. The major donors to the DREF are the Irish, Italian, Netherlands and Norwegian governments and ECHO. Details of all donors can be found on http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/responding/drs/tools/dref/donors.asp