DREF Council

Our Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) has enabled National Societies to deliver fast and effective humanitarian assistance, in response to and anticipation of crises, for 35 years. As we continue to grow and improve the Fund, the IFRC has set up a DREF Council to advise on its development and make sure it remains relevant to donors and to the people it supports.

What is the DREF Council?

The DREF Council is an independent body comprised of up to 20 high level representatives from major donor governments, their corresponding National Societies and chosen expert advisors. It aims to:

  • Provide a forum for key donors to present strategic insight and advice on the Fund's management and performance
  • Provide guidance to guarantee the Fund’s relevance related to humanitarian trends and challenges, such as localization, innovative financing, politicization of aid, and responding to complex and protracted crises
  • Promote high level peer-to-peer advocacy to profile the importance of the Fund and build strategic partnerships


Membership of the Council is reserved for donors that have contributed CHF 3 million or more to the DREF in a calendar year. Members commit to a two-year tenure and meet twice a year.

Current member organizations and governments on the DREF Council are:

  • Australian Government and Australian Red Cross
  • Belgian Government and Belgian Red Cross
  • Danish Government and Danish Red Cross
  • European Union /European Commission (DG ECHO)
  • French Government and French Red Cross
  • German Government and German Red Cross
  • Saudi Arabia Government and Saudi Red Crescent Authority
  • Swedish Government and Swedish Red Cross
  • Swiss Government and Swiss Red Cross
  • Norwegian Government and Norwegian Red Cross
  • The Netherlands Government and The Netherlands Red Cross
  • UK Government and British Red Cross
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and American Red Cross

The DREF Council is co-hosted by the IFRC's Under Secretary General for Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization and Under Secretary General for National Society Development and Operations Coordination. They will facilitate critical discussions and build consensus between Council members, as well as taking part in high-profile visits to oversee DREF operations.

Community voices: who is the DREF helping?

Get in touch

If you have questions about the DREF Council, or if you are from a donor organization that is interested in becoming a member, please contact:

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