Emergency and Recovery Funding

We work with trusted non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, with whom we have a longstanding and proven partnership, so that support can quickly reach those in need of our assistance. National and international NGOs represent a key group within the humanitarian community, particularly in implementing relief operations on the ground. As a result, almost 25% of Irish Aid emergency funding went through NGOs in 2011.  

Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Fund (EHAF)

What is EHAF funding?

Our Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Fund (EHAF) gives funding support through a number of Irish and international NGOs in order to save and protect lives in acute crisis situations.

Our support has a strong focus on meeting the most urgent needs and delivering results for poor households and communities experiencing humanitarian crisis. 

EHAF funding can be used to finance activities that provide protection for civilians, the delivery of clean safe water, sanitation services, food, shelter, healthcare, or other forms of assistance necessary to keep people alive.

Support through EHAF also recognises the importance of engaging with longer-term development processes for sustainable change.

Why we provide EHAF funding?

EHAF funding is about reaching those in acute crisis situations arising from sudden on-set emergencies like floods or earthquakes as well as from protracted crises which build over time and in many cases can last for months or even years.  In both cases, activities funded by EHAF are primarily focused on life-saving interventions.

How we realise policy objectives through EHAF funding?

EHAF enables us to realise our policy objectives under the White Paper and our Humanitarian Relief Policy 2009 (PDF, 543kb), to provide flexible and timely funding to local, Irish and international organisations that demonstrate a clear capacity to provide effective humanitarian assistance in a manner that is responsive to local needs and adheres to humanitarian principles.

Emergency Preparedness and Post-Emergency Recovery Fund (EPPR)

What is EPPR funding?

The Emergency Preparedness and Post-Emergency Recovery Fund (EPPR) supports interventions that are designed to assist vulnerable people to re-establish their lives and livelihoods after an emergency.

Typically, EPPR-funded programmes require medium to long-term engagement on the ground and may include activities such as food production, community capacity building, permanent housing, infrastructure reconstruction, or social protection.

The EPPR fund is also designed to support distinct disaster risk prevention, mitigation or reduction activities to make communities more resilient to future disasters where these cannot be incorporated into longer-term development programmes.

Why we provide EPPR funding?

The number and frequency of disasters such as floods, drought, landslides and earthquakes is growing and will continue to increase as climate change and global warming generate more severe weather-related events. 

Through EPPR assistance, we support communities to improve the ability of at-risk regions to prepare for and withstand natural disasters. 

Emergency and Recovery Section support to disaster risk reduction is guided by the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action, which provides the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction efforts.

How we realise policy objectives through EPPR funding?

A fundamental aim of our commitment to poverty reduction is to tackle the underlying vulnerabilities that make people poor in the first place.

In order to maximise effectiveness, value for money and build resilience to crises, conscious efforts are needed to understand the linkages between humanitarian and development work.

Linking relief and longer-term development is based on the understanding that better development can reduce the need for emergency relief and that better relief can contribute to sustainable development.

We are therefore working hard to improve the quality and effectiveness of both humanitarian relief and development assistance. This work is guided by the Good Humanitarian Principle which states that we should ‘provide humanitarian assistance in ways that are supportive of recovery and long-term development, striving to ensure support, where appropriate, to the maintenance and return of sustainable livelihoods and transitions from humanitarian relief to recovery and development activities.’

Emergency Response Fund Scheme (ERFS)

What is ERFS funding?

In 2007, Irish Aid established the innovative Emergency Response Fund Scheme (ERFS) to enable key selected NGO partners to respond quickly and appropriately to humanitarian crises. 

The scheme, which draws on the EHAF fund, is particularly geared towards the initial weeks after the onset of an emergency when the bulk of the expenses for the immediate response phase for the agency are incurred. 

Agencies must have an established funding relationship with Irish Aid for humanitarian sudden-onset response.

In addition, applicant agencies must demonstrate:

  • experience and a successful track record in the effective and efficient delivery of emergency assistance
  • that assistance will be allocated impartially and on the basis of need
  • that they have the legal authority necessary to operate in the country concerned.

There are currently eight agencies who participate in the ERFS scheme: Concern, Goal, MSF, Trócaire, Christian Aid Ireland, Plan Ireland World Vision Ireland and Oxfam Ireland.

Why we provide ERFS funding?

ERFS has been put in place to reach those in immediate need. When a sudden crisis hits, every hour is crucial.

The scheme pre-positions a defined amount of funds with participating NGOs. This enables them to react immediately to a sudden onset crisis through access to these standby funds.

It also allows time for the rapid assessment of need (including in collaboration with other partners) and the speedy and appropriate response to identified need.

And it gives time for the consideration of next steps, such as whether to develop a full-scale and longer-term programme of response and/or a more substantive application for funding from Irish Aid or other donors.

How we realise policy objectives through ERFS funding?

The Emergency Response Fund Scheme was established as part of our ongoing efforts to put the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) into practice.

It reaffirms our commitments under the White Paper on Irish Aid to provide flexible and timely funding to local, Irish and international organisations that demonstrate a clear capacity to provide effective humanitarian assistance in a manner that is responsive to local needs and adheres to humanitarian principles.

Our NGO partners

Through our EHAF and EPPR funds, as well as with the Emergency Response Fund Scheme, Irish Aid reaches those in desperate need of humanitarian assistance effectively and quickly. In 2012 we worked with the following NGO partners:

EHAF 2012



Christian Aid Ireland




Médecins Sans Frontières


Oxfam Ireland


Plan Ireland





EPPR 2012



Assessment Capacities Project (Norwegian Refugee Council)




Concern Universal


Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies


Emergency Nutrition Network


Feinstein International Center


Halo Trust




Humanitarian Accountability Partnership


Humanitarian Policy Group


People in Aid


Plan Ireland


Soul of Haiti


The Sphere Project


World Vision



ERFS 2012





Plan Ireland




World Vision