Egypt – EU and Red Crescent Respond to Help Flood Victims

Torrential rain and floods hit south and eastern parts of Egypt at the beginning of November, killing 29 people and injuring at least 73 more.

The sudden rise in waters severely affected lives and livelihoods of people living in low-lying areas across Red Sea governorates, with Assuit, Qena, Sohag and South Sinai governorates also affected.

Houses were washed away, main roads closed and telephone and power lines cut, especially in Red Sea Governorate. At least 6 500 families – approximately 32,500 people – have been affected by the floods and need emergency shelter, water, sanitation and food.

Red Crescent Responds

The Egyptian Red Crescent responded, sending volunteer teams to provide assistance to people whose homes have been caught in the deluge. Food and non-food relief items, and psychosocial support, particularly to children, have been top priorities for the society, which began its response immediately after the onset of the disaster.

Professor Moamena Kamel, Secretary General of Egyptian Red Crescent Society stated that development of rapid response teams in recent months have made significant difference in their ability to respond effectively.

“We have invested heavily in developing skills among our emergency action teams, and putting supporting systems in place to streamline our response. When our volunteers arrive to crises such as this, they know what to do and provide immediate and appropriate assistance to those who need it most,” she explained.

The Red Crescent has provided mattresses, blankets and other bedding, as well as flashlights and candles, to those who had lost these essential items in the rising floodwaters. Teams also coordinated emergency shelter arrangements and provided medical assistance including first aid and psychosocial support to people in need. At least 6,500 families – some 30,000 people – were assisted by Egyptian Red Crescent Society in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

“This is a collective response by Egyptian Red Crescent Society. Overall, close to 200 staff and volunteers are involved in the response,” explains Hicham Samy, relief coordinator working in Ras Gharib Red Sea governorate

European Union Humanitarian Funding

The European Commission has also responded to the crises, providing humanitarian funding to help the most vulnerable families.

This EU-funding supports the Egyptian Red Crescent in delivering relief assistance to meet the immediate needs of up to 10,000 people affected by the floods. The funding will help refill the stocks of blankets, mattresses, pillows, plastic sheeting and other urgently needed items that had been given out during the first hours of the disaster. EU funding will help finance the first aid response as well as hygiene promotion and kits to reduce the risk of water and sanitation related diseases.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The European Union together with its Member States is 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 man-made crises. The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year.