DREF Pledging Conference 2022: Donors united to pledge increased support to local humanitarian action

A Guatemalan Red Cross volunteer carries a young girl through flood water to safety after Hurricane Julia tore through Central America in October 2022, bringing intense rains and flooding.

A Guatemalan Red Cross volunteer carries a young girl through flood water to safety after Hurricane Julia tore through Central America in October 2022, bringing intense rains and flooding.

Photo: Guatemalan Red Cross

Leading donors from around the world gathered on 4 November to pledge new or renewed funding to the IFRC's Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). The fund is the quickest, most efficient and most transparent way of getting global funding directly to local humanitarian actors, both before and immediately after a crisis hits.

Climate-related disasters are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity. But the vast majority do not make international headlines—devastating lives, infrastructure and economies without attention, resources or help for those affected.

At the IFRC, we know that the global-to-local funding model is the most effective and cost-efficient way to get aid to where it’s needed the most, both in anticipation of disasters and immediately after they strike.

This is exactly why we set up our Disaster Response Emergency Fund in 1985: to get funding quickly to local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who can support communities in crisis around the world like no other.

Since its launch, the DREF has funded thousands of emergency responses worldwide and supported more than 210 million people. 

And this year, the DREF has evolved to provide even more agility, flexibility and resources to National Societies.

Watch the following video to learn about some of the lesser-known crises the DREF has supported in 2022.

But donations to this vital fund are not keeping pace with the growing number of climate-induced disasters and increasing humanitarian needs.

"Given the need to respond to compounded and frequent humanitarian crises, our collective ambition should be to grow DREF to be able to address these increasing needs"

Jagan Chapagain

IFRC Secretary General

The DREF Pledging Conference 2022 therefore sought to grow the DREF to 100 million Swiss francs per year to address this funding gap—making sure that silent disasters are met with loud responses.

To support this aim, we were delighted to receive pledges at the conference from the following governments:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Luxembourg
  • People's Republic of China
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

In addition, we also received valuable pledges from the European Union (EU) and, from the private sector, the companies Splunk and White & Case.

This year’s conference also showcased an innovative insurance-based finance mechanism we’ve developed for the DREF in partnership with Aon and the Centre for Disaster Protection (CDP).

The insurance mechanism aims to leverage donor contributions to attract private capital and ultimately increase the fund’s capacity in times of increased need.

Watch the below video and read this recent opinion piece in Fortune magazine to find out more.

Now more than ever, communities on the frontlines of climate change—and in many other emergency settings—need fast and effective local assistance to prepare for, and respond to, crises.

It is urgent that the DREF can keep pace and help Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies be there for communities when they are needed the most.

We are deeply grateful for the involvement of all existing and new donors who participated in the DREF Pledging Conference 2022. 

For more information about the DREF or the 2022 pledging conference:

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