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 250,000 (USD 207,641 or EUR 151,515) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 9 August 2007 to respond to the needs of this operation and to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the flood-affected population in India.
The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), with support from the Federation, responded efficiently during the flood seasons in 2007 (May and October). Activities planned under the DREF were carried out within the planned timeframe of the operation, except deliveries of two items of non-food family kits which came in January 2008, thus raising the need to seek an extension on the operational timeframe for a month.
The Federation has been mobilizing DREF for past two years, enabling the national society to "fill the gap" of relief distributions due to availability of pre-positioned stock in its regional warehouses. This practice of pre-positioning disaster preparedness stock in the regional warehouses has time and again proved beneficial, subsequently encouraging them to procure these stocks out of their own funds as well as with the Federation support.
This benefits of disaster preparedness stock has been reaffirmed by the state branches as well. Combined with the IRCS developed tools such as national and state disaster response teams, water and sanitation units and public health in emergency teams, the IRCS capacity to respond in a timely manner to disasters such as the recurrent flood situation in the given years have greatly improved.
The floods in 2007 were mainly due to the south-west monsoon which was active within the Ganga- Brahmaputra-Meghana river basin in the states of Orissa, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The country-wide floods, in coastal and non-coastal areas, caused a massive loss of lives and property. According to the ministry of home affairs, an estimated 3,339 people were killed and approximately 57 million people were affected by the floods 2007.
The DREF amount was raised as the floods reached its peak and existing pre-positioned disaster preparedness stock was being exhausted rapidly. This helped in deciding the amount of stocks procured by the national society.
This DREF allocation was used to both replenish IRCS disaster preparedness stock (non-food family kits) that had been distributed during the emergency as well as provide drinking water support through the stationing of water purification plants in Orissa. A water unit initially despatched to Bihar could not be made operational as it was damaged in transit. Further assistance was provided through DREF to disinfect public water sources - funds were allocated to the Andhra Pradesh state branch for the purchase of bleaching powder in addition to the operational cost to support the delivery of relief supplies to beneficiaries in various states. As reported previously, the original DREF plan was changed according to the needs reflected by the national society based on the IRCS state level feedback from the branches.
In addition, DREF was also used to assist in a review visit to Orissa in the wake of a Cholera epidemic that hit the state as a result of these floods.
How we work
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.
The International Federation's activities are aligned with its 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.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
In India: Indian Red Cross Society, Dr S P Agarwal, Secretary general, phone: 011-23716441; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In India: Federation office: Mohamed Babiker, Head of India office, phone: 91-11-23324203; fax: 91- 11-23324235; email: email@example.com
In India: Federation South Asia regional office: Al Panico, Head of regional office, phone: 91-11- 24111124; Fax: 91-11-24111128; email: firstname.lastname@example.org