IFRC launches measures to make emergency fund ‘more agile, efficient, localized’

<strong>IFRC launches measures to make emergency fund ‘more agile, efficient, localized’</strong>
28 October 2022

By the Climate Centre

A two-year process of consultation and development intended to make its Disaster Response Emergency Fund* ‘more agile, efficient and localized’ came to fruition at the end of last month, the IFRC announced.

DREF Evolution will play a key role in a world where humanitarian needs are “growing exponentially”, with the nearly 40-year-old fund “evolving to meet those needs to anticipate and respond to bigger and more complex crises,” it added.

The DREF Evolution process involved National Societies, a steering group, and technical teams working on a blueprint that now encompasses “strategic positioning, growth, and accountability,” as well as “operational evolution with more agility, flexibility, and new ceilings.”

From now to 2025, an increased commitment to anticipatory action is reflected in a new One Fund, Two Pillars approach, covering anticipation and response, also unveiled last month.

‘Imminent disaster’

Grants and loans totalling up to 2 million Swiss francs will be available for red emergencies and 1 million Swiss francs for orange (second-order) emergencies, and there will be generally higher ceilings and longer timeframes for slow-onset and drawn-out crises such as droughts and economic collapse.

The application process for a DREF allocation was simplified and digitized, now done online via the IFRC’s well-known GO Platform; the DREF team has also been expanded with the addition of DREF focal-point positions in each regional office.

In financial terms, the DREF ambition is to raise an average total yearly contribution of 100 million Swiss francs by 2025; DREF recently reached 46.5 million Swiss francs so far in 2022 – up from the 2021 total of 42 million.

Since the fund was set up in 1985, it has assisted at least 112 National Societies dealing with the full spectrum of humanitarian emergencies, including the idea of “imminent disaster”, a precursor to today’s anticipatory action, and disbursed a total of half a billion Swiss francs to benefit 120 million people.

*Formerly the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. For more information, please consult the DREF page on the IFRC website.

Nigeria is currently facing its worst floods in a decade, with millions of people affected and many of them displaced. A DREF grant for nearly 140,000 Swiss francs in July for the Nigerian Red Cross (pictured) was followed by a further anticipatory grant of nearly 110,000 CHF in September as the situation worsened. (Photo: Nigerian Red Cross via IFRC)