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Following the recent demolition order affecting the informal settlements of Syrian refugees in the Arsal Municipality, the European Commission is providing €200,000 in humanitarian funding for the Lebanese Red Cross to assist the most affected families.
This EU-funding supports the Lebanese Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance, including temporary shelter, food assistance, medical services and sanitation facilities to households facing evacuation risks. The aid will provide shelter and basic needs to the affected refugees before they can safely return to the original sites using new emergency-type shelters.
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).
Lebanon’s Higher Defence Council announced mid-April that informal settlements built by Syrian refugees with material other than timber and plastic sheeting must be dismantled. Following the announcement, the Arsal Municipality, in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces, decided to start demolitions on 10 June, later postponed to 1 July. The planned demolitions will affect around 4,000 Syrian households and as many as 15,000 children will face homelessness as a result. These families will require temporary shelter assistance and provision of their basic needs until they are able to settle safely back in their re-built settlements.
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 its Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department, the European Commission helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
The European Union has signed 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.
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