Niger: Harsh Weather in Bilma DREF Operation No. MDRNE001 Final Report

The International Federations 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 Federations disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Summary: CHF 48,000 (USD 38,400 or EUR 29,629) was allocated from the Federations Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 8 February 2007 to support the national society in delivering assistance to 600 families displaced by floods and vulnerable to the sudden onset of cold weather.

The living conditions of these families, still living in shelters, were improved through the provision of blankets and mats, to help protect them from the cold. In addition, branch capacity in community-based first aid was strengthened, with 20 new volunteers receiving training. Rehabilitation efforts at community level were reinforced through the provision of building materials.

The situation

In August 2006, the town of Bilma C located in the region of Agadez, some 1,600 km north-east of Niamey, Niger C experienced flooding, following what was reported to be the highest rainfall recorded in the area since 1923. As a result, more than 1,194 homes were destroyed and 4,369 people rendered homeless (of which 1,520 children).

The affected population was housed in temporary emergency shelters. In January 2007, temperatures of less than 10 C were recorded in the area, exacerbating the already difficult conditions of the families rendered homeless by the floods, and still without permanent accommodation.

The Red Cross Society of Niger (RCSN), in collaboration with the Federations Regional Delegation in Dakar and with support from the Irish Red Cross, had provided food, emergency shelter and essential non-food items in the wake of the floods. Despite these earlier interventions, more than 600 households remained in a precarious situation, vulnerable to the extreme temperature variations. This DREF allocation aimed to enable the national society to fulfill immediate needs for blankets and warm clothing C especially for children. Plans also included sensitization activities for preparedness in case of future flooding.

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 Federations 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.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Niger: Aly Bandiar, President, Red Cross Society of Niger, Niamey; email: crniger@intnet.ne; telephone +227.73 30 37, fax 227 73 24 61

In Senegal: Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of West and Central Africa Zone, Dakar; email: alasan.senghore@ifrc.org; telephone +221 33 869 36 41; fax +221 33 820 25 34;

In Geneva: Niels Scott, Federation Operations Coordinator (Africa); email: niels.scott@ifrc.org; telephone +41 22 730 4527; fax + 41 22 733