Delegation of the European Union to Syria

European Union brings relief to the earthquake victims in Algeria

Algiers, 14/09/2020 - 18:52, UNIQUE ID: 200914_33
Press releases

In response to the 4.9 magnitude earthquake that hit eastern Algeria on Friday August 07, the European Union is providing EUR 90,000 in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected families.

This EU funding supports the Algerian Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance, including first aid, food and non-food relief items. In addition, tents, camp beds, blankets, mattresses and kitchen sets will be delivered. The support is part of EU's overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The quake, which was followed by a 4.5 aftershock, hit Mila province some 350 km (215 miles) east of the capital Algiers. The earthquake has left severe damages on the structures and infra-structures in different areas of Mila, pushing the residents to flee in panic into the streets. Luckily, there were no casualties reported, only injuries. At least 15,000 people were affected across the province.

This DREF operation considers the risks related to the current COVID-19 pandemic and is aligned with the IFRC global emergency appeal that supports National Societies to deliver assistance and support to communities affected or at risk of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The planned DREF activities will also follow the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization regulations on hygiene and social distancing especially during distribution of household items.

Background

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:

Anouk Delafortrie on Anouk.delafortrie@echofield.eu