Disaster response continues to represent the largest portion of the International Federation work, with assistance to around 30 million people annually from refugees to victims of natural disasters. This section includes our emergency response units and issues relating to humanitarian policies as we strive to improve the quality of our immediate response and long-term rehabilitation work. (Note that news and situation reports relating to all our operations are found in the Where we work section.)
The sharp increase in the number of natural disasters worldwide in recent years has prompted the Federation to devote more attention to disaster preparedness activities. These aim to make National Societies and communities more aware of the risks they face, how to reduce their vulnerability, and how to cope when disaster strikes.
Bringing emergency relief to refugees and victims of poverty and disasters has been a key activity of the International Federation and its member National Societies for more than 80 years.
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)
A pool of unearmarked money used to provide immediate funding for emergencies.
Millions of people face climate change related disasters every year.
We can save more lives and reduce more suffering if we can act before a disaster.
Related publication Early warning, early action
Emergency Response Units (ERU)
Pre-trained teams of specialist volunteers and pre-packed sets of standardized equipment ready for immediate use.
Field assessment and coordination teams (FACT)
Teams of experienced Red Cross/Red Crescent disaster managers on standby to support sudden major disasters.
Disaster Management Information System (DMIS)
A web-based tool for Red Cross/Red Crescent personnel including disaster trends, tools and databases.
DMIS site (password protected)
Find out information about IFRC food security activities and guidelines
Disaster Law programme
The Disaster Law programme seeks to reduce human vulnerability by promoting legal preparedness for disasters. Legal issues are often invisible in emergencies, but effective disaster laws underpin the safety of our homes, the efficiency of emergency responders and the success of recovery efforts.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct seeks to maintain the high standards of independence, effectiveness and impact to which disaster response NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aspires.