When an earthquake erupts A crisis is called a disaster A number of small and large donors have adopted

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2 When an earthquake erupts or when a tsunami causes death and destruction, when thousands are displaced by war, or when yet another drought leads to acute famine in a developing country Denmark is ready to help. A crisis is called a disaster when a country is subject to such strain, that it cannot ensure that people who need effective and adequate assistance are reached. Denmark has a tradition of helping developing countries in times of trouble. Denmark s humanitarian assistance is targeted at meeting the basic needs of the destitute and help protect those who need assistance. The objective of the humanitarian intervention is, first and foremost, to save lives and minimize human suffering. Denmark s humanitarian assistance contributes to creating tolerable conditions for people who are fleeing from disasters and wars, and assists them in finding protection and security in their region of origin or as close as possible to their homes. Today, Denmark s contribution to humanitarian assistance is among the world s largest per capita. A number of small and large donors have adopted a set of principles for Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD), which aim to ensure professional, swift and flexible donor efforts. The European Commission and a number of EU Member States, including Denmark, follow these principles. It is important to Denmark that efforts made by the EU form an integrated part of the overall international activities, and that the UN s executive, coordinating role is recognised. The overriding principles for humanitarian assistance are neutrality, impartiality, and non-differential treatment. Assistance is granted where it is needed the most.

3 This brochure is about Danish disaster relief for the destitute, in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters in developing countries. Therefore we do not discuss the far greater assistance granted by Denmark to long-term humanitarian crises and conflicts, or our efforts to prevent disasters and conflicts. Neither do we refer to Danish disaster relief given to non-developing countries, for example, in connection with forest fires and floods. This brochure describes the many Danish actors who are ready and able to travel anywhere in the world at a short notice, to make a valuable contribution and difference. It also illustrates the principles and rules for granting Danish disaster relief, as well as the different options we have at our disposal when we strive to provide relief.

4 u In order for disaster relief to be effective, it must be given swiftly. This is particularly the case when a natural disaster such as an earthquake erupts. That is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Armed Forces, the Danish Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross, and Danish Non Govenmental Organisations (NGOs) have a permanent emergency response unit that can provide and deploy personnel and equipment such as vehicles, mobile hospitals, tents, communication equipment etc. at a few hours notice. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a Disaster Fund from which money can be transferred directly to UN agencies, Red Cross and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), among others. u When a disaster strikes, the situation on site is often chaotic. Roads, bridges and all lines of communication are likely broken down. If governments, the UN, the EU, the Red Cross and NGOs from all over the world engage in an un-coordinated way, the chaotic situation may worsen and what was intended as help may become a burden to the afflicted country. In such situations the UN has an overriding coordinating role. Coordination among the many Danish actors as well as among a great number of international actors is key in making efforts effective, thus saving as many human lives as possible, and alleviating the situation for survivors. u Another essential factor is making sure that the correct type of assistance is given. There would be little point in donating twenty mobile hospitals if for instance toilets and clean drinking water were in more urgent demand. Denmark emphasizes that the assistance should be given according to needs, and will quite often hold back very large contributions until the UN has issued a coordinated appeal, after a process of close cooperation between national authorities, the UN, the EU, the Red Cross and NGOs.

5 u The responsibility for helping a disaster-affected population lies first and foremost with the country in question, according to the fundamental provisions of international law adopted by the UN. Denmark provides disaster relief to countries requesting external assistance, when a disaster is so extensive and complicated that the country in question cannot manage to help its own population. u It is self-evident that local authorities and the population of a country know the local conditions best. The most precise, swift and effective emergency support is directed at a local level. The often massive international effort should support and complement local efforts, and should not replace these. This is why international disaster relief is subject to local management. u Danish disaster relief is granted in accordance with international humanitarian and other internationally recognised principles such as Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD). This means, that the assistance is granted irrespective of race, religion, political conviction and nationality of those affected by the disaster. 1

6 Food and clean water, tents and blankets, rescue teams, mobile hospitals and medicine, counselling and logistics. The need all depends on where in the world a disaster strikes and what time of year. There are many needs in the hectic hours after an earthquake or flooding, but also in connection with more long-term disasters like drought, famine, conflict and war, assistance is needed. Denmark assists by sending emergency supplies of food, equipment and qualified personnel to disaster areas all over the world. But financial contributions often prove to be the best way of ensuring a swift and effective effort. A great deal of goods and services can be purchased locally, which at the same time supports and avoids distorting local markets. For this reason a large proportion of the Danish assistance is given in the form of cash disbursements granted to relief organisations. In the aftermath of a disaster it is crucial that international assistance operations proceed as smoothly as possible, which can be achieved through efficient coordination in the hours and days following a disaster. The UN s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is charged with the key executive task of coordination. OCHA is assisted by United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC). On the ground in the disaster area itself UNDAC members ensure that coordination and distribution are undertaken efficiently. OCHA plays an important part in developing UN policies in humanitarian areas through advocacy on humanitarian affairs. OCHA is also involved in planning innovative ways on financing emergency aid and convenes donor conferences when the need arises. 2

7 In connection with large-scale humanitarian efforts, OCHA sets up operative coordination offices in the field and appoints humanitarian coordinators. OCHA s activities are partly financed by the UN s general budget. This makes the countries voluntary contributions all the more important. In 2010 Denmark s core contribution to OCHA was EURO 2.7 million, thus making Denmark one of the largest contributors at a global level. Where the UN is not present, the EU can establish coordination centres in a similar way. 3

8 4 In 2006, UN member states established a special fund, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). With the CERF the UN system has obtained a solid economic and political foothold which enables the UN to react swiftly when a humanitarian crisis erupts as it provides more and better assistance in connection with natural disasters, crises and conflicts. Operating through the CERF also provides security for funds granted to areas where the need is the greatest. Denmark has worked actively to make funds available, and has made an annual contribution of EURO 6.7 million. The objective is that the CERF should have USD 500 million (approximately EURO 407 million) at its disposal at any given times, which is to be replenished on an ongoing basis as need arises. Two thirds of the fund s money is for fast, coordinated efforts in connection with crises, conflicts and natural disasters, the remaining third is for so called quiet and forgotten crises. Every year Denmark earmarks more than EURO 164 million for the sudden eruption of crises. Three main areas are covered: About EURO 59 million goes to sudden disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. It is evident that the need for immediate disaster relief is difficult to predict and consequently the use of these funds fluctuates from year to year. As an example Denmark granted more than EURO 18 million in extraordinary emergency relief in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in January An annual amount of approximately EURO 8.5 million is used to finance Denmark s International Humanitarian Service (IHB), emergency management and personnel assistance from the Danish Red Cross, Médecins sans Frontières, and the Danish Refugee Council. Furthermore a new emergency pool was established in 2010 granting more than EURO 5.4 million to Danish humanitarian organisations. From 2011, the pool will receive

9 more than EURO 8 million a year, allowing Denmark to react more swiftly in connection with humanitarian efforts. Humanitarian organisations within the UN system receive more than EURO 60 million from Denmark, including contributions to the CERF and to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The permanent contributions are essential in order to ensure that organisations such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) constantly have funds available, not only for minor urgent efforts, but also for more long-term crises around the world. Assistance is also given to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their regions of origin. More than EURO 30 million is earmarked for refugees in their regions of origin, internally displaced persons and to help countries that have received large flows of refugees. Distribution of funding (approximately) Sudden disasters: EURO 74 million The UN system: EURO 60 million Refugees and IDPs: EURO 30 million 5 As mentioned above, the funds are divided into three main focus areas, apart from the contributions to EU. About half of the total budget for humanitarian disasters is typically granted through Danish organizations. The major part is utilised by the Danish NGOs and the Red Cross, while a smaller part goes to governmental actors, amongst which are the Danish Emergency Management Agency and the Armed Forces under the Ministry of Defence.

10 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs attaches great importance to select partners best suited to help in a specific situation by virtue of their mandate and competences. The distribution of funds consequently varies from year to year. The other half of the allocation is channelled to international organisations primarily to UN organisations in the affected areas. In 2010 some of the UN organisations working with humanitarian assistance have received the following contribution from Denmark. The International Committee of the Red Cross is included in the list. l l l l l l The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) EURO 20.8 million. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) EURO 17.5 million. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugee in the Near East (UNRWA) EURO 9.4 million. The United Nations Children s Fund (UNICEF) EURO 20.4 million. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) EURO 2.7 million and The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) EURO 2.6 million. Apart from general contributions, additional funding is often transferred to the different UN organisations according to needs in connection with the individual humanitarian efforts. 6 To this may be added contributions to the EU. Denmark contributes with approximately EURO million a year to the

11 extensive assistance within the area of humanitarian and development efforts that the EU grants all over the world. The amount is granted to Community Assistance, part of which is utilised for humanitarian efforts, inter alia via the European Commission s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). The EU and the EU member states together comprise the biggest humanitarian donor in the world, with more than 50 per cent of global humanitarian funding. The EU s assistance also observes the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship, i.e. that assistance is impartial and neutral, and that those in need are treated on equal terms and provided with help on the basis of need. The EU and the Member States aim at constantly strengthening the EU s ability to respond quickly, efficiently and in a coordinated fashion. In 2007, the EU adopted a common strategy, Humanitarian Consensus, where these principles are stated. 7 In recent years Denmark s increased international military engagement has led to a greater demand for coordination of civilian and military efforts. This is a relatively new area constantly developing, not only in Denmark but also in the EU, the UN and NATO. New experiences have been gained over the last few years of humanitarian assistance in the context of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places. Closer cooperation in these countries between civilian and military efforts has proved not only to be useful but also to be necessary. International principles have been established for the manner in which civil-military cooperation should proceed with due consideration to the different mandates and roles of the respective parties. The primary objective of which is to meet civilian needs where the security situation prevents civilian actors from doing their job. Disasters and crises around the world are proving increasingly complex, which is why it is important to utilise and develop the many different approaches that exist with a view to assistance becoming better coordinated and more effective.

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14 To get the full picture of the Danish contribution to victims of humanitarian disasters around the world, private contributions collected by Danish relief agencies must be added to the millions granted through the Danish government. It is difficult to pinpoint a precise figure for this assistance for several reasons. Red Cross and many NGOs also support development projects, but not all of them specify the allocation of the funds spent on humanitarian disasters, emergency aid and development efforts. Furthermore, the amount of private funds collected fluctuate a great deal from year to year. 10

15 Figures show that Danish citizens privately donate millions of EUROs every year to humanitarian and development assistance: l l l l l In 2009 DanChurchAid raised more than EURO 22.5 million. In 2009 UNICEF raised more than EURO 16.6 million. In 2009 The Danish Red Cross raised EURO 15.8 million. In 2009 Danish Refugee Council raised more than EURO 6.3 million. In addition every year Médecins sans Frontières, ADRA, Mission East, Save the Children Denmark and others raise considerable funds. In cases of sudden humanitarian crises, organizations have traditionally raised extraordinary funds from Danish citizens and companies. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, humanitarian NGOs raised almost EURO 9 million for emergency relief in a national collection in partnership with national Danish media. Furthermore, organizations such as Save the Children Denmark and the Danish Red Cross have raised about EURO 3.5 million each. 11

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23 For concrete projects, the Ministry can request assistance from a number of government actors, first and foremost the Danish Emergency Management Agency under the Ministry of Defence. The Agency can supply camp facilities, logistics, emergency aid hospitals and the like. The Armed Forces can for example provide air transport and ships to address marine pollution. The Police Force under the Ministry of Justice also has a standby roster of people that may be deployed at very short notice. The key private Danish actors that in relation to disaster relief are, among others, the Danish Red Cross, the Danish Refugee Council, DanChurchAid, Save the Children-Denmark, and the Danish branches of Caritas, ADRA, Médecins sans Frontières and Mission East. The relief agencies have different objectives and mandates for their humanitarian work, each of them adding an extra dimension to the Danish emergency aid effort. They have in-depth knowledge and experience of the countries that are most frequently affected by natural and man-made disasters. They are part of international networks and have local partners in the areas in which they work. This helps target their efforts and embed the assistance in the local community. Private enterprises have also played an important role in emergency and relief work over the years. With expertise and concrete competences in areas such as water, environment and mine clearance they contribute to develope Danish humanitarian efforts as such. In recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the capacities and potential of the private sector. 19 Coordination is key to quick and efficient humanitarian interventions. The many Danish and international actors, work closely together to ensure swift, effective assistance, but also to facilitate cohesion between the different phases of the assistance and a

24 smooth transition from disaster and emergency relief to reconstruction activities and a further more long-term, sustainable development. To ensure coordination in Denmark, the state actors meet regularly with key Danish aid agencies in the Humanitarian Contact Group headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Members of the group regularly exchange information concerning large-scale and long-term humanitarian disasters. When a large-scale disaster suddenly occurs, the Humanitarian Contact Group can be summoned to meet at a few hours notice. Cooperation between Danish actors in connection with humanitarian disaster involves much more than planning. Cooperation also takes place in connection with joint transportation of personnel and equipment to a disaster zone, and close cooperation in the affected disaster area. When the actions are more largescale and long-term, the cooperation is formalized and coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to achieve the best use of Danish resources. Danish embassies and consulates in affected countries participate and play an important part in gaining an overview of the scope of the disaster at an early stage. Doctors, nurses, engineers, public servants, judges, lawyers, psychologists, journalists and logistic managers a mixed group of Danes are always ready to respond at short notice. Denmark keeps a roster of many different specialists, meaning that Denmark is able to provide experts for widely different tasks anywhere in the world. And many relevant Danish institutions, organisations and individuals have been able to make a contribution. To this must be added efforts on the part of many Danes working all over the world in international organisations such as the UN and the EU. 20

25 Danes who are dispatched to assist in humanitarian disaster efforts are recruited through several different stand-by rosters. More than 1,000 civilian Danes can be deployed at a few hours notice. As part of the International Humanitarian Service (IHB), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established in 1995 a personnel pool that at present consists of approximately 350 generalists and specialists. Personnel from IHB operate in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kosovo, Georgia and Sudan, and they undertake very different kinds of assignments from monitoring to highlevel management. 21

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28 The International Humanitarian Service (IHB) under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is administered by NIRAS, a private consultancy firm. IHB receives and responds to requests from international organisations to send Danes on international assignments all around the world. The IHB also deploys people from the stand-by rosters of three Danish based humanitarian aid organisations. These are administered by the Danish Red Cross, the Danish Refugee Council, and Médecins sans Frontières. Together these rosters muster almost 1,000 specialists with different kinds of expertise who can be deployed at short notice to serve during humanitarian and emergency aid efforts, and most of them also take part in the subsequent reconstruction and stabilisation. Postings can vary from a couple of weeks to as much as a year. For many years the Danish Red Cross has had its own stand-by roster of delegates as part of the organisation s international emergency response unit. The roster primarily consists of healthcare personnel, emergency aid administrators, logistics managers and other professional groups who are needed when emergency aid is to be supplied in crisis situations. These are typically persons with permanent jobs outside the Danish Red Cross. In 2010 the Danish Red Cross received EURO 2.3 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 1991 the Danish Refugee Council has had a standby-roster on the basis of which emergency aid personnel can be swiftly mobilised, in particular for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other UN-led efforts. In 2010 the Danish Refugee Council received more than EURO 11.5 million. 24 In the same way, Médecins sans Frontières can send qualified experts at short notice to war and disaster areas. Médecins sans Frontières received EURO 0.8 million to their roster in 2010.

29 During critical, short-term efforts, the Danish Emergency Management Agency under the Ministry of Defence can draw on its permanent staff from centres in Denmark. For long-term intervention, the Danish Emergency Management Agency has an international emergency response pool with experienced emergency response officers, reserve officers, national servicemen and volunteers. Persons from the pool can also be seconded for shorter or longer periods to private aid agencies, NGOs and international organisations such as the UN and the EU. In addition, the police under the Ministry of Justice has an international emergency response group that can be deployed at short notice. The persons who are on the standby rosters and dispatched are selected on the basis of their professional and personal qualifications. The aim is to regularly update their competences through courses and exercises in Denmark and abroad in cooperation with international actors. The rosters include people from the aid agencies own ranks, public servants and people from the private sector. The Danish Emergency Management Agency is part of the International Humanitarian Partnership, a close, informal partnership consisting of the emergency management authorities in Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and the United Kingdom. The idea is based on modules, manpower/equipment packages, which can be deployed quickly and flexibly to ensure effective humanitarian efforts and civilian protection. The flexible modules concept is developing rapidly and is gaining ground in Europe, the United States and Asia. Through the Danish initiative, the module system has been incorporated into the EU s integrated civil protection partnership. 25

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32 Danish emergency management coordinators 8-10 persons are on constant alert for swift deployment for the UN s UNDAC-teams. Danes are called upon several times a year. In cooperation with the local authorities, the UNDAC experts are the first to be dispatched to disaster areas to clarify the scope of the damage and the immediate needs of the population. Their main task is to assess and coordinate international efforts in cooperation with the emergency management authorities of the country in question, and with the UN. The EU has its own EU humanitarian relief pool with the Civil Response Teams (CRT), which can be deployed when disaster strikes. At present Denmark has 10 experts listed within the EU humanitarian relief pool. To read more about Denmark s efforts in relation to humanitarian crises, you can visit the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: You can also contact the Department for Humanitarian Action, Development Policy and Civil Society ( phone: ). Questions concerning the stand-by rosters and the International Humanitarian Service can be addressed to the Department for Security Policy ( phone: ). More information is also available on the websites of the different organisations and authorities. This brochure is an updated English version of the Danish Når katastrofen rammer og Danmark hjælper from 2007, available via: 28

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