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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article31 October 2022Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)1 min read

EU brings relief to earthquake victims in Iran

© European Union

The EU is allocating €100,000 to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by the earthquake that struck Iran in early October. The aid will benefit over 11,000 people in the worst hit areas of West Azerbaijan province in the country’s northwest.

The EU funding supports the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRC) in delivering immediate assistance through the distribution of vital relief items, food parcels and emergency shelter materials, such as tents, blankets and ground mats.

Particular attention will be paid to those most in need, especially people whose homes that were destroyed or severely damaged in the aftermath of the strong tremor.

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).

Over 1,000 people sustained injuries when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Khoy city in West Azerbaijan province. Followed by more than 40 aftershocks, the tremor caused substantial damage to many homes, buildings and infrastructure, affecting more than over 11,000 people in the region.


The EU together with its Member States is one of the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid.

Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need 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 human-made crises.

Through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the EU helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year.

The European Commission has signed a €3 million humanitarian contribution 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.

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 contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.