The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of National Societies to respond to disasters.
CHF 244,043 (USD 208,782 or EUR 162,122) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Malagasy Red Cross Society (MRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 families.
Two tropical cyclones (Eric and Fanele) hit Madagascar between 19 and 24 January 2009, causing 9 deaths, severe injuries, damage to properties and destroying livelihoods. More than 50,000 people were affected and more than 4,000 were left homeless. The Malagasy Red Cross Society, working with in-country partners made a request for this DREF to finance detailed assessments, to conduct relief distribution and distribute clean water to the affected population.
Soon after cyclone Fanele, Madagascar was plunged into political unrest. The violence caused many deaths and injuries, destruction to property and curbed economic and social activities. This has severely restricted the implementation of an effective relief operation. Many activities had to be reviewed or postponed. Nevertheless, during the operation, the Malagasy Red Cross Society mobilized its volunteers for assessments, internally displaced persons (IDP) camp management, relief distribution, and wells rehabilitation.
The major donors to the DREF are the Irish, Italian, Netherlands and Norwegian governments and ECHO. Details of all donors can be found on:
Tropical storm Eric hit the east coast of the country on 18 January 2009, resulting in heavy rains and winds of up to 95km/h, which affected eight districts. Although the storm itself only caused limited damage, subsequent flooding affected several areas, particularly in Mandritsara District in Sofia Region two days later tropical cyclone Fanele hit the west coast of Madagascar with winds of up to 210km/h and crossed six regions on the island. The worst affected region was Menabe (west coast), with considerable wind and flood damage in the town of Morondava.
The National Society took the lead in the shelter cluster in coordinating the response led by the National Office for Management of Risks and Disasters (BNGRC) and was responsible for the management of IDP camps. The National Society registered 2,128 displaced persons in shelters in Menabe region following the cyclones. After one month, some of the affected populations were able to repair their houses and return to their homes. During the reporting period, the number of IDPs in shelter camps totalled to 1,466 people. Assessments by the Government of Madagascar showed that the storms caused 9 deaths, 33 injuries and over 54,802 people affected and 4,102 people without shelter across three regions of Menabe, Sofia and Analanjirofo.
The cyclone Fanele in Madagascar followed by political unrest severely restricted the capacity of MRCS and other humanitarian agencies to mobilize an effective relief operation.