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 170,000 (USD 141,078 or EUR 110,924) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 3 December 2008, to support the Brazilian Red Cross (BRC) in delivering immediate assistance to some 2,000 families (approximately 10,000 people).
During the second of week of November 2008, intense rainfall affected the southern state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. Approximately 56,789 people were evacuated and 57 cities were declared in a state of emergency. With this DREF allocation the BRC distributed essential relief items including bed sheets, cleaning kits, hygiene kits and water to 2,000 families.
In addition to this DREF allocation, the BRC was able to provide 2,300 families with 2,300 kitchen stoves, 800 hygiene kits and 300 cleaning kits, thanks to the German Red Cross and the Swiss government. Each family received the same items of the same quality.
On November 2008, intense rainfall affected the state of Santa Catarina, located in the southern region of Brazil. The constant rain caused floods and landslides in several areas directly affecting the lives of the population and the economy of the state of Santa Catarina. Several roads and bridges were damaged as well as water systems. Water treatment plants were seriously affected and the Secretary of Health reported several cases of leptospirosis. Many factories closed down as a result of the emergency. The companies had to offer their employees collective vacations in December 2008 in order for the affected people to repair their damaged houses or re-build their homes. The economy of the state of Santa Catarina is based on the textile industry, port activities, agriculture, cattle farming, fishing and tourism. All of these sectors were affected by the floods, hence increasing prices in basic food items and negatively impacting economic security.