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Help in disasters, crises and conflicts overseas

Photo: IFRC

It could be a cyclone. An earthquake or a fire. A disease outbreak or even a war.

Whatever the crisis, wherever it happens, a Red Cross or Red Crescent team will be on the scene to help.

And that’s because of people like you.

How does my donation help?

Your donation to the International Disaster Fund means Australian Red Cross and our partners can be there to help people overseas. It means we can:

  • help people overseas prepare for a crisis and reduce their risk before it happens
  • have emergency response teams in places hit hard by disasters and conflict
  • support people affected by crises to recover safely and with dignity 

You’re contributing to aid driven by local people, based on what works in their communities. It’s faster, smarter and more effective. It can help stop disasters and conflicts from becoming humanitarian crises.

International Disaster Fund

Your donation means Red Cross can be there for people in disasters, crises and conflicts overseas.

Regular Donation

Giving a regular donation is our recommended option. Your donation every four weeks will help Red Cross support the most vulnerable people in our local communities, here in Australia and across the Asia Pacific.

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Questions and answers

Donations to the International Disaster Fund between 22 December and 4 January helped provide emergency relief supplies for the Tropical Cyclone Yasa relief effort. Fiji Red Cross led the response, reaching over 5,000 people with emergency supplies such as tarpaulins and tools for shelter, hygiene items to protect health and dignity, and kitchen items so people could put food on the table.  Read more >> 

The International Disaster Fund enables Australian Red Cross to support the lifesaving work of Red Cross and Red Crescent partners in countries affected by disasters, crises and conflict. This may include disaster preparedness, risk mitigation, emergency response and recovery activities.

From time to time, we may use the fund to response to a specific disaster event for a set period of time. All donations made during that period will be directed to Red Cross’ work on that event.

Donations over $2 to the International Disaster Fund are tax-deductible in Australia. You will get a receipt in your name in an email when you donate online.

When the fund is used for a specific event, your donation is also tax deductible because it supports our work with countries classified as ‘developing countries’ for the purposes of the Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme.

When the International Disaster Fund is used for a specific event, at least 90c in the dollar goes to our humanitarian programs. Not more than 10c is used for indirect administrative costs like receipting donations, IT costs and other overheads.

Any interest earned on donations goes back into the fund to support our humanitarian work.

We really appreciate the generosity but we’re unable to distribute donated goods, especially overseas. There are several good reasons for this. Every item has to be checked, cleaned, sorted, packed, transported, stored and distributed, which hugely increases the cost of the relief effort and diverts from work that may be needed on the ground. 

When we provide relief supplies, they are carefully selected, packed for quick distribution and customs clearance, and checked to ensure they are what people really need.

Unwanted boxes of donated goods can clog ports and post offices and actually prevent the delivery of essential items like medicines and relief supplies.

The website DonateResponsibly.org has a great explanation of what can go wrong.

But if you have good-quality clothes or household items, our Red Cross Shops would gratefully accept them, to on-sell in Australia and raise funds for our vital work. Find your nearest Red Cross shop.

Because it ensures sound risk mitigation strategies and well-trained local response teams are in place well before a disaster strikes. The impact of the disaster on lives and homes can be reduced, and relief supplies can get to people much faster. Aid doesn’t have to be shipped in; it’s local and ready to go.