The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) ensures rapid and effective response to emergencies and crises

Every year, small and medium-sized disasters often occur in silence, without the attention of the mainstream media. Without visibility or attention beyond the local region in which they occur, these silent disasters often do not receive the influx of financial support that can follow large-scale emergencies or disasters. To support these smaller emergencies or disasters, or to provide initial funding before emergency appeals are launched for large-scale disasters, the IFRC secretariat allocates grants from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to National Societies to support their operations.

What is the DREF?

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) was established by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 1985 to provide immediate financial support to National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, enabling them to carry out their unique role as first responders after a disaster.

The DREF is available to all 190 member National Societies of the IFRC, and has two main purposes:

  • Start-up funding for the IFRC and National Societies to respond to large-scale disasters – the “loan facility”
  • Funding for National Society responses to small- and medium-scale disasters and health emergencies for which no international appeal will be launched or when support from other actors is not foreseen – the “grant facility”.

All requests for DREF allocations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Money can be authorized and released within 24 hours.

How is the DREF funded?

Funds for DREF are sought through an annual appeal. This allows the IFRC to maintain the necessary balance of funds to meet the requests for support.

If you or your organization is interested in supporting the DREF mechanism of emergency response, please contact us.

News about ongoing DREF operations