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Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance

Iceland's humanitarian and emergency assistance is dedicated to safeguarding human lives and reducing suffering in crisis situations. Humanitarian and emergency assistance through efficient, responsible and coordinated actions is of great importance in reconstruction and development. Iceland's assistance in this field is, therefore, based on coordinated appeals, and needs assessments, and is channelled through NGOs as well as UN agencies and funds.

International Organisations

The Government of Iceland contributes to emergency response and humanitarian assistance through various UN agencies, the most significant ones being: WFP which operates in the main disaster areas in the world, CERF which enables immediate response in emergency situations and OCHA which coordinates humanitarian actions and actors. Funds have also been allocated to the ISAF Emergency Fund for Afghanistan. In line with Iceland's Stand-by Partnership Agreements, ICRU has seconded experts to WFP, UNHCR, OCHA and UNICEF in emergency and humanitarian situations in Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Sri Lanka, the occupied Palestinian territories and Sudan.


NGOs play a key role in  humanitarian and emergency operations; collaboration with NGOs is subject to specific rules of procedure. In recent years, cooperation between the Government and NGOs in Iceland has been increasing. Twice a year, following an application and assessment process, grants are allocated to projects implemented by NGOs. Specific guidelines for cooperation with NGOs have been revised in order to harmonise guidelines for humanitarian and emergency assistance and for development cooperation projects. They now apply to all cooperation between the government of Iceland and NGOs in the field of development cooperation.

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