Record-breaking CHF 64 Million pledged at IFRC-DREF conference, surpassing previous year's contributions

With support from DREF, Nepal Red Cross volunteers provide technical support to build transitional shelters in the Doti district, Nepal, following an earthquake.

With support from IFRC-DREF, Nepal Red Cross volunteers provide technical support to build transitional shelters in the Doti district, Nepal, following an earthquake.

Photo: Keshab Raj Thoker/IFRC

Geneva, 23 November 2023: On 17 November 2023, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) held its annual IFRC-DREF pledging conference with the aim of coming one step closer to its strategic funding ambition – growing the IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (IFRC-DREF) to CHF 100 million by 2025.  

Collectively, global cross-sector partners including governments and private sector companies pledged over CHF 64 million in support of IFRC-DREF for 2023, beating last year’s total and previous record of CHF 43 million.   

This year’s pledging conference demonstrated purposeful commitments to help IFRC-DREF expand its capacity to respond quickly to humanitarian needs, particularly in the face of increasing demand, and increasingly complicated, climate-related disasters.   

Secretary General at IFRC Jagan Chapagain commented: 

“This year has been unprecedented for IFRC-DREF, marked by an unparalleled scale and complexities of operations. In an increasingly climate-change-shaped world, the IFRC-DREF is uniquely positioned to respond immediately and effectively to those in need.  It ensures aid is efficient, effective, and empowers local actors best positioned to understand and meet community needs. This underscores the critical need for strengthening tools like the IFRC-DREF to intensify our humanitarian efforts.” 

IFRC-DREF 2023 milestones 

Every year, small and medium-sized disasters occur in silence. Without media attention or international visibility, they can struggle to attract funding. Despite this, IFRC-DREF has reached over 220 million people affected by disasters since it was launched in 1979. 

IFRC-DREF stands out for its commitment to channel support directly to local actors: 82% of allocations go directly to National Societies, enabling Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to deliver fast and effective local humanitarian action. Globally, the average figure stands at a mere 1.2%.   

In 2023, the IFRC reinforced the fund’s capacity to respond quickly, effectively and transparently. In partnership with Aon, Lloyd’s Disaster Risk Facility and the Centre for Disaster Protection, it launched IFRC-DREF Insurance – an insurance policy developed to provide a backstop for the IFRC-DREF in extreme years, a first for humanitarian risk transfers. 

By leveraging public aid budgets to mobilise private resources and make donor contributions go further, IFRC-DREF Insurance aims to assist up to six million more people annually by providing contingency funding of up to 20 million Swiss Francs 

Pledging conference 2023 results 

This year saw the return of long-standing global partners and supporters of IFRC-DREF, as well as new donors. The conference was attended by over 70 participants representing 35 governments and the private sector. In total, 23 pledging statements were made during the conference. The IFRC highly appreciates the introduction of several new donors to the IFRC-DREF, namely the Saudi Red Crescent Authority and their government, the multi-year commitment by the government of the Republic of Korea, the first-time Lithuanian government contribution and the contribution from Nestle.   

The IFRC extends deep gratitude to all existing and new donors, appreciating both their participation and public announcement of contributions at the IFRC-DREF pledging conference this year. 

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