Disaster assistance

General - What do we do?

We contribute to international disaster response worldwide. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest volunteer movement in the world and, thanks to its branched network of volunteers, often has access to places where no one else has access. Red Cross Flanders supports sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies with financial support, emergency relief supplies and sending out staff and volunteers in disasters.

Financial support

Through the 191 national associations, we are present almost everywhere in the world through the local sister association, its staff and volunteers. Even if Red Cross Flanders does not have its own staff on the ground when a disaster strikes abroad, we make a difference. By financially supporting the local sister society in the first days after a disaster, we enable them to offer the most efficient and appropriate help to disaster victims on the spot. This allows them to determine in-country what help is most needed. The purchase of locally available goods by the national Red Cross Society, e.g. the Moroccan Red Crescent, also supports the local economy, helping recovery in an affected area.

Thanks to the Red Cross-Flanders Emergency Relief Fund, we have funds immediately available to provide rapid support in disasters, including those that do not necessarily receive much media attention. Thanks to the support of many Flemish people, in recent years we have made humanitarian actions possible in Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Sudan, Syria and South Africa.

Sending out specialized staff and volunteers

During major disasters, many Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers from around the world are often needed temporarily to provide additional support to the local Red Cross and Red Crescent Society with their valuable knowledge and experience.

Together with the National Red Cross Societies of the Benelux, we have a so-called "Relief Emergency Response Unit" (Relief ERU). This is a team of trained staff and volunteers ready to be deployed in disaster areas within 48 hours. The main activity of this team is to plan, coordinate and carry out mass distributions of emergency relief items such as, for example, food, tent equipment and household goods. At the request of the local Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, our team is dispatched as needed.

Lid van de Benelux Relief ERU tijdens bedelingen in Haïti.

Emergency Goods

People affected by a disaster sometimes lose their entire possessions, requiring assistance to meet their basic needs. These include food and drinking water, kitchen utensils or simple materials to make an emergency shelter. These basic needs can vary by country and continent and depend on local customs and culture. If the needs match what Red Cross-Flanders can offer, we send the desired emergency relief goods after consultation with the local Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.

Photo: Transport with generators from Flanders to Ukraine to support energy supplies, which were severely disrupted by the ongoing armed conflict.

How can you help?

Become a volunteer

  • Are you 18 years old or older?
  • Are you available for at least 8 weeks a year for at least the next three years?
  • Do you have strong IT skills and can work well with Excel and Smartphone applications?
  • Do you have experience in emergency response situations?
  • Do you speak English fluently?
  • Are you stress resistant and in good health?

Then apply to become a volunteer with our Emergency Response Unit using the contact form below!

If this is not what you are looking for, but you would still like to help and think you have a particular expertise that could be useful, we would also like to hear from you.

Make a donation

Don't have time to volunteer but would still like to give this activity a boost? 

Draag je steentje dan bij via BE53 0000 0000 5353 met de vermelding ‘Noodhulpfonds’.

Thanks to your donation to the Red Cross Emergency Relief Fund, Red Cross Flanders can provide disaster relief where it is needed most, free from external influence and in search of the most vulnerable.

Integrity and professionalism

Red Cross-Flanders requires of its employees and volunteers the necessary professionalism, integrity and team orientation. It is important that each staff member and volunteer behaves in a proper manner in their relationship with others, especially with those in need.

 Read more here

Contact form

Ask us your question about Disaster Relief