Responding to disasters

Emergency Relief Fund

The Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) was established by the ITTF Foundation as a means to respond to disasters.

The ITTF has a long history of responding to disasters and contributing to relief efforts through table tennis. Following the armed conflicts, in 2006 ITTF was involved in the Mine Risk Education programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina - one of the most mine polluted countries in Europe. In 2010, the ITTF joined the international community in responding to the Haiti earthquake which devastated the country and affected an estimated three million people. The Haiti Recovery project supported displaced persons and promoted psychosocial well-being. In April 2015, Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, killing nearly 9,000 people and causing major destruction of homes, infrastructure and services. The ITTF responded through the Table Tennis for NepALL project which focused on the reconstruction of table tennis centres.


In addition to natural disasters, the ERF has also been used to support Afghan athletes to compete in WTT Star Contender Doha and the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Qatar 2021, as well as to support the Ukrainian table tennis community affected by the Russo-Ukraine war in 2022.

What is a Disaster?

A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, economic or environmental losses that exceed the community or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.

How can table tennis help?

Table tennis is a practical, and cost-effective tool in early recovery post-disaster intervention. Table tennis can contribute to early recovery by:

  • Providing safe spaces
  • Improving psychosocial well-being
  • Fostering social integration, cohesion and peaceful coexistence
  • Supporting economic development and emergency employment
  • Promoting health and education

Sport and play alone, certainly, cannot ensure early recovery, development, create peace or solve complex social problems. However, there is solid and growing evidence of the positive impact sport and play can have if it is applied in a systematic and structured manner and is complemented by other interventions.

Development of the National Table Tennis Association of Haiti was a key objective of the Haiti Recovery project

What is available through ERF?

The maximum project grant available is €20,000.00. The grant can be used in the 1 or more of the following 4 categories:

  • Equipment
  • Finances
  • Human Resources
  • Facility

The Dream Building team will review and critically analyse each proposal through a two-stage application process. Eligibility and level of funding is dependant on 3 key areas: level of disaster, TT community affected and strength of project proposal. If an applicant is successful in stage 1, the ITTF Foundation will nominate the maximum funding available and request a more detailed project proposal.

Stakeholders gather to launch the Table Tennis for NepALL project

Application details

Eligibility - Support is available to National Associations affiliated to the ITTF.

Duration - Projects must be completed within 1 year of the implementation date.  

Application Process - Applicants need to complete Application Form – Part 1 and respond to following criteria:

  • Applicant Details
  • Details of Disaster
  • Type of Support

Submit application and supporting documentation to

If successful, the Dream Building team will invite the applicant to complete Application Form – Part 2.

The Table Tennis for NepALL project ran across 6 locations and reached over 150 regular participants a week

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