European Union supports relief efforts to assist victims of flooding in Rwanda

On 1 June 2023 at 06:13

The European Commission has provided EUR 200 000 (Approx. RWF 242,000,000) in emergency humanitarian funding to assist the most vulnerable families affected by floods and landslides in the Western, Northern and Southern provinces of Rwanda in early May 2023.

From 1 to 3 May, some 60,000 people, mostly women and children, were affected by torrential downpours resulting in several landslides. The government registered 131 killed, 77 injured and 5 missing.

The Rwanda Red Cross Society deployed initial resources in coordination with movement partners and Government and launched a swift response in the hardest-hit districts, to address immediate needs and mitigate further impact, especially considering the expected continuation of the rainfall.

As per statement released today, the EU funds will support the Rwandan Red Cross Society (RRCS) in responding to the needs of the displaced households, including through WASH, health, livelihood and shelter assistance.

Modalities to combine cash and in-kind items will support early recovery of communities and ensure the dignity of beneficiaries. There will be an initial distribution of non-food items (NFIs) to 2,200 households, who will receive vital items such as jerry cans, kitchen sets, blankets, and plastic mats, to improve their living conditions in the aftermath of the disaster.

Additional cash assistance will be provided to 1,500 households to address their immediate food needs. Some 2,200 households will also receive WASH kits with soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and pads. 30 women associations will be supported with cash-for-work, indirectly benefitting 1,550 households and giving a push to the local economy. To address the psychological impact of the disaster, trained volunteers will offer support to the victims, assisting them in coping with the trauma they have experienced.

This project will run for four months, until late September 2023, and some 50,000 people will be reached with the direct assistance planned in the affected regions.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid.

Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world.

It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.

About the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund

The Disaster Response Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The delegation agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit within its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €8 million.

One of houses destroyed during disasters that struck Rwanda in early May 2023.