HomeFAQ and Support

Please find here the FAQ for the DERF, which will be updated on a continous basis.


Should you need technical backstopping or support, please fill out the formular at the left and your request will be assessed by the DERF team.


About DERF

The Danish Emergency Relief Fund (DERF) is a humanitarian funding mechanism launched in May 2017 by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Since its inception and until end 2020, the DERF was managed by a consortium of CISU (Civil Society in Development), Save the Children Denmark and the Start Network on behalf of the MFA.

The DERF provides flexible and rapid funding to save lives and prevent further escalation of suffering in humanitarian crisis situations.

It supports humanitarian interventions by Danish CSOs, that have existing presence and capacity in crisis areas, primarily through local partners.

CSOs that receive humanitarian funding through a Strategic Partnership Agreement with MFA are not eligible to receive funds from the DERF.

In June 2021, after the tender process by the DMFA, a consortium partnership between Save the Children Denmark (SCD), and CISU, with CISU as the lead organisation, won the management contract for the second DERF, from summer 2021-end 2024.

Save the Children Denmark (SCD) and CISU are both represented in the strategic management of the DERF, and will use 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 consortium partners will ensure that the DERF is managed in accordance with the humanitarian principles, the MFA strategies, the principle of “Leaving No one Behind” and realization of the Grand Bargain commitments including localisation of humanitarian action.


Aim, objective and support

The aim and objective of the DERF is that it responds rapidly, effectively, and relevant with integrity and flexibility to acute humanitarian crisis situations with a focus on providing emergency relief to affected populations to meet urgent needs and prevent further loss of life or escalation of suffering. DERF supports life-saving interventions through localized humanitarian response and assists particularly vulnerable groups of people, hereunder refugees, IDPs and host communities.

The objective is fulfilled through supporting the humanitarian interventions of Danish CSOs (without strategic humanitarian partnership with the MFA) who have relevant access, capacities, and expertise, either through local or national partner CSOs and/or within their own organisation enabling them to respond to the humanitarian needs of people affected by crisis.

The DERF can only provide funds to address humanitarian crisis situations in countries included in OECD/DAC-list of countries eligible to receive support.

The interventions financed by DERF must be implemented in a flexible, rapid, and efficient manner in accordance with DERF Guidelines, common humanitarian standards & principles, and the contracts between Danish CSOs and local partners.



No. The Anticipatory Action can be applied any time. The DERF funding guidelines describe in chapter 3.2 more about how to apply.


No. Participation is mandatory as per your grant agreement with the DERF. For each grant received you will need to participate in an experience sharing workshop.

We strongly recommend the implementing partner to participate, if this is possible because the learning experience becomes much more relevant by this.  


Any Danish CSO can alert the DERF about a particular crisis. You can do this through our online portal Vores CISU. You need to attach an Alert Note, which can be find on the DERF website about Guidelines and Formats.  Please read the DERF Funding guidelines chapter 4.2 for details about how to alert the DERF. 

Yes. Any DERF grant can be extended if this is needed to ensure proper completion.  The total timespan of a DERF intervention may not exceed 9 months, which means that a 6-months intervention may be extended with max 3 months. The DERF must approve an extension. The format for applying for extension can be found on the DERF website under guidelines and formats and must be submitted through Vores CISU.

No, it is not possible to apply for more funds to the same grant. Interventions have to be completed with the funds granted according to grant agreement.

No. It must be the Danish CSO who applies. Only Danish CSOs without a strategic humanitarian partnership with the MFA can apply the DERF.


You may not change modalities or send a Rapid Response application with an open call for applications. However, your Anticipatory Action intervention may adjust to changing needs of your target group, this has to be done within the Anticipatory Action modality, even though the proposed changes may be similar to those of typical rapid response interventions. 
You may also choose to alert the DERF and wait for a call for applications. 

We are not talking about a deadline, but a period, where applications can be submitted. With the humanitarian imperative and the argument of saving lives, we have created a rapid funding mechanism, where applications are assessed when and in the order they are received. When the call-window closes, the first applications may already be approved, and the life-saving activities started.


No. All DERF interventions must focus on lifesaving, either in anticipation of or responding to a humanitarian crisis. If your intervention focuses on nexus between humanitarian, development, and/ or peace, please refer to the CISU Civil Society Fund for interventions in fragile contexts.