The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) provides immediate financial support to Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, enabling them to act as first responders after a disaster. Projects in this programme are funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and provide monetary support for small, silent disasters around the world in 2015. The lack of visibility and media attention in the case of small-scale disasters means that international appeals or funding are not forthcoming to support any response, and few other sources are available to first-responders. DREF makes it possible to assist in case of these silent disaster. In 2015 NLRC contributed to DREF appeals in Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Greece, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kyrgystan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Madagascar, Niger, Palestine, The Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tadjikistan and Ukraine.
Each response supported by DREF may be different, depending on context, scope of needs, accessibility and security of the affected area, and the mandate and capacity of the National Society that is responding. Allocations may be made as start-up loans to meet the costs of responding to small-scale emergency relief operations, or for making preparations in the case of imminent disaster. All requests for DREF allocations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
DREF appeals are initiated by IFRC and are implemented in cooperation with Host National Society. During 2015, twenty-one DREF operations brought assistance to an estimated 800,000 people of whom approximately: -226,000 assisted following natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods -75,000 directly or indirectly reached through response to epidemics -510,000 reached following population movement and civil unrest.