Humanitarian groups responding to the crises in Syria, South Sudan, northern Iraq, the Central African Republic and the Ebola-hit countries in West Africa now have a new source of funding to support their relief efforts.
Following last week’s announcement of a new emergency fund for victims of conflict and natural disaster, the Netherlands has allocated 100 million euros ($127.5 million) this year to help alleviate the humanitarian situation in those countries.
The new financing facility, the Relief Fund, was created to help ease the pressure on the Netherlands’ humanitarian budget, which Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen used to reapportion for emergency support. But the proliferation of crises this year had drained the 217.8 million euro humanitarian budget to just 3 million euros. The remaining funds will all be channeled as support for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s work to help Palestinians affected by the most recent escalation of violence in Gaza.
The Relief Fund will provide 570 million euros in emergency humanitarian assistance from 2014 to 2017. It has increased the Dutch emergency aid envelope by 46 percent in 2014 and 76 percent on average for 2015 to 2017 — the regular humanitarian budget for 2015 is 204 million euros.