The European Union Delegation to Egypt

European Union brings relief to displaced Afghans in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, 14/09/2021 - 13:04, UNIQUE ID: 210914_5
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In response to increased violence in Afghanistan that has triggered a new wave of Afghan refugees fleeing into Tajikistan, the European Union is providing €160,000 in humanitarian aid funding to assist the most vulnerable.

The aid will benefit up to 5,000 displaced Afghans in the provinces of Khatlon and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.

This EU-funding supports the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan (RCST) in delivering essential relief items, including food packages, tents and household items, to meet the most urgent needs of newly-arrived Afghans at seven Tajik border points. Parts of the funding will also contribute to the preposition of RCST’s stocks of relief items in preparation to a potential influx of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Following the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, which shares a 1,357-kilometre border with Afghanistan, has over the past few weeks seen the arrival of a new wave of Afghan refugees. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), up to 50,000 refugees could  be registered in Tajikistan after the total withdrawal of American and NATO troops by the end of 2021.

Background – EU Humanitarian aid

The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and human-made crises.

Through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the European Union helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit ECHO's website.

The European Commission has signed a €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 ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.

For further information, please contact:

 Peter Biro, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): peter.biro@echofield.eu.

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