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Tbilisi. The European Union provides over ? 118,000 to help families affected by flash floods in the Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions of southern and eastern Georgia, the statement of the European Union Delegation to Georgia reads.
On 19 July, several areas in southern and eastern Georgia were severely affected by violent storms bringing heavy rain and hail. More than 20,000 families suffered losses and damage to their property. Roads, communication lines and water supplies were disrupted. Homes and farms were flooded, livestock lost and crops destroyed. According to local people, this is the worst natural disaster in living memory, is said in the statement.
The European Commission is providing 118,590 EUR to assist those most vulnerable and seriously affected. The aid will be channeled through the Georgian Red Cross Society which operates using the funding of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This funding will be used to provide mattresses, blankets, cooking utensils, hygiene kits and tarpaulins to the victims of the disaster.
According to the statement, the European Commission has signed a 3 million EUR humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from DREF are mainly allocated to "small- scale" disasters those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief 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 allocated grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donor. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and the European Commission enables the latter to replenishment the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of 3 million EUR.