The European Commission allocates almost 56,000 EUR to bring relief to the victims of the cold wave in Northern Kazakhstan (05/02/2013)

ASTANA – Since 18 December 2012, Northern Kazakhstan has been hit by a cold wave reaching temperatures of minus 40 to minus 46 degrees accompanied by heavy snow fall. This led to cuts in power and hot-water supply. About 5,000 people are particularly badly affected, among them homeless people, street children, single women with children and elderly people living alone are particularly vulnerable.

The European Commission provides 55,800 EUR to bring relief to 2000 among the most vulnerable victims. This aid will be used for distributions of food, warm clothes, blankets and footwear until the end of February to cover the coldest months of the year. The aid is channelled through the Kazakhstan Red Crescent who operates with funding out of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).


The European Commission has signed a EUR 3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and the European Commission enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of EUR 3 million.

For more information please contact Ms Karla Jamankulova, the EU Delegation Press & Information Officer at tel + 7 7172 97-11-48 email

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection: