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About the Danish Emergency Relief Fund (DERF) 2017-2020



The Danish Emergency Relief Fund (DERF) is a humanitarian funding mechanism managed within a partnership between Save the Children Denmark (SCD), Start Network, and CISU, with CISU as the lead organisation. The DERF is funded by the DMFA for a 4 year period (2017-2020) with annual allocations to be approved on the Danish Finance Act.


Save the Children Denmark (SCD), Start Network, and CISU are all represented in the strategic management of the DERF. The three organisations do this based on their competences and experiences to make the DERF a solid humanitarian funding mechanism that put people affected by crisis in the center of the efforts.


  • The Start Network has competence in designing and implementing innovative approaches to humanitarian work reflecting current global trends. Their aim is to deliver effective aid, harnessing the power and knowledge to make faster and better decisions to help people affected by crises.
  • SCD has solid humanitarian operational experience across multiple contexts, and drives humanitarian approaches in national as well as international fora. SCDs position reflects Danish priorities and practices. SCD has access to international and national DK humanitarian networks through SCD’s experience from having a humanitarian partnership agreement with Danida and being a member of the international Save the Children Alliance.
  • CISU has solid experience in transparent and accountable fund and granting management and in documenting and extracting learning from civil society funds. CISU has based on their history and membership an in-depth knowledge of potential applicants to the DERF i.e. Danish CSOs (without a humanitarian partnership agreement with Danida) and their partner organisations.


CISU is in charge of the daily management and monitoring of the fund.


Aim and main objective of the DERF

The overall objective of the DERF is to provide: flexible and rapid humanitarian funding enabling Danish non-HPA NGOs and CSOs within three (3) months of the onset of an acute humanitarian crisis to initiate provision of emergency relief to affected populations to meet urgent needs and prevent further loss of life or escalation of suffering.


DERF seeks to contribute towards realization of the policy objectives of the Danida Strategy, the World 2030 - Denmark’s strategy for development cooperation and humanitarian action, and the Danish Civil Society Policy. The DERF operates within the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (DMFA's) General principles for support to development activities through Danish civil society organisations  and the utilization of  lexible Funds as per the guidelines for Danish organisations with humanitarian partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.