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Belarus: Extreme winter conditions DREF operation (MDRBY002)

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GLIDE n° CW-2013-000010-BLR

CHF 25,631 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Belarus Red Cross Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Freezing weather has already killed four people in Belarus over the past few days, and temperatures are set to drop even further according to weather forecasts.

Frosts will go down to minus 25 degrees Celsius at night in the period between 25th and 28th January. Northern winds of 6 to 7 m/sec will aggravate the severe frosty conditions.

As soon as the harsh winter weather started, Belarus Red Cross immediately mobilised its trained volunteers on the regional branches` level. A total of 172 volunteers have been engaged in the action so far. Belarus Red Cross has already assisted around 850 people during its activities by providing them food rations, hygiene parcels, thermo cover sheets and hot drinks.

The needs in Belarus Red Cross are for the replenishment of the already distributed goods (320 food parcels and 200 hygienic parcels); 2,000 litres of fuel is required for running the Red Cross power generators to heat the Red Cross winter tents and for driving the vehicles in action; Food portions are also needed to assist at least 1,000 homeless, and tea bags and plastic cups will go for the support of another 4,000 people.

This operation is expected to be implemented over two months, and will therefore be completed by 25th March 2013; a Final Report will be made available in three months from the end of the operation, by 25th June 2013.