In response to a series of flash floods that swept across large parts of Afghanistan in late August, EU Humanitarian Aid is providing €150,000 (around 13.7 million Afghan Afghani) in humanitarian aid funding to assist the most vulnerable communities. The aid will directly benefit 35,000 heavily affected people in some of the hardest hit areas in Kapisa, Maidan Wardak, Paktika, Panjshir and Parwan provinces.
The EU-funding supports the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in delivering much-needed assistance through the distribution of emergency food supplies to those hit by the floods. Given the predominantly patriarchal culture in the Afghan society, the programme ensures a gender-sensitive approach, allowing both women and men equal and safe access to the support. As the COVID-19 outbreak remains a significant threat, personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers are also being provided as part of the mitigation measures.
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).
Last month’s severe floods hit Afghanistan as it continues to struggle with ongoing conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. Incessant downpours on 25 August triggered widespread flash floods that left more than 190 people killed and hundreds of families displaced across 14 provinces in the central and eastern regions. In addition to destroying homes, the floodwaters damaged large swathes of agricultural lands and irrigation systems, adversely affecting the livelihoods and food security of families. More than 60 percent of the deaths were recorded in the worst affected province, Parawan.
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 man-made crises.
Through its 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 EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
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): firstname.lastname@example.org