In mid-July 2020, a devastating hailstorm hit the city of Gyumri in Armenia, followed by floods that caused substantial damage to housing and infrastructure. In response, the European Union is providing €80,000 in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected people.
This EU funding supports the Red Cross in delivering much needed relief aid, including cash assistance to help the most vulnerable cover their immediate basic needs such as food and hygiene items; vouchers for clothes; and the distribution of mattresses, pillows, blankets and bed linen.
The humanitarian aid will directly benefit 2,670 individuals whose belongings and houses were severely damaged or destroyed by the hailstorm and subsequent floods. 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).
On 13 July 2020, a heavy hailstorm hit Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city. Whilst the country has repeatedly faced hailstorms in the past, the most recent one was unprecedented in its scale and impact on the urban area. About 1,000 households were affected, out of which 600 (2,670 persons) still live in container-housing that was built as ‘temporary shelters’ following a devastating earthquake in 1988. These households are considered critically vulnerable and require immediate humanitarian assistance.
The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all 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 man-made crises.
Through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation 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 delegation 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:
Lisa Hastert, Regional Information officer, at lisa.hastert@echofield
Anahit Azatyan, Press and information Officer, Anahit.Azatyan@eeas.europa.eu