Cultural Emergency Response

An emergency grant mechanism that provides quick and flexible support in immediate response to disaster or conflict for the rescue, stabilization or evacuation of heritage under threat to prevent further damage.

Applications for Cultural Emergency Response grants may be submitted at any time. We welcome to apply heritage and cultural practitioners who live and work in our eligible countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. The list of countries is predetermined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

How to apply

Eligibility criteria
  • Urgent – the action responds to an acute threat to the affected heritage, which means that without immediate intervention there is a high risk of loss
  • First aid activities – as an ambulance organisation, we are only able to support actions geared towards stabilizing the affected heritage and preventing further damage. Examples of such actions include damage assessment missions, basic repairs, stabilization efforts, evacuations, salvage missions and emergency documentation
  • Locally led – the individuals and/or organisation coordinating and implementing the rescue effort must be based in the region they are applying from, and projects need to respect local contexts, priorities and traditions
  • Living heritage – CER seeks to support cultural continuity following an interruption. As such, we are only able to help if the affected heritage is still in use by, and of significance and relevant to, its primary heritage community
  • We prioritize – vulnerable countries and communities in disaster and conflict-prone areas. Please visit the 2024 Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list to confirm eligibility
  • Inclusive – projects are directly or indirectly linked to the aim of contributing to the creation of more just, peaceful and inclusive societies and insulating people against marginalisation, oppression, division and threat
Step 1: Send us your Statement of Need via the Emergency Form

This short form allows you to provide some basic information about your project, such as who you are, the nature of the crisis you are responding to, what has been affected, how you plan to respond and how much you think it will cost. This information allows us to confirm that your project meets our basic criteria for support.

If the project meets the above criteria, we will send an application form for further details.

Step 2: Apply with a full application

This form allows you to provide further details of the nature and scope of your project. We understand that these forms are typically completed in situations of emergency, so we ask for as little information as is necessary for the evaluation of your request.

We see the application process as a two-way conversation, which means we encourage potential applicants to ask us anything that occurs to them when filling out the form, just as we will ask for clarification if something isn’t clear to us.

Step 3: Develop your first aid action with us

After receiving your full application, we continue the conversation to see how we can help you make sure the project responds to your identified needs in the best way possible. We also try to support you in navigating the crisis situation and can connect you with the international experts and cultural first aiders in our network if needed.

The CER team will do everything to respond to your request as fast as possible.


For any questions, please contact the CER team at

How do we work?

  • Quickly: we can respond within days to provide first aid if disaster strikes. CER acts both proactively and upon request. We evacuate, stabilize, rescue and secure sites, among others are museums, monuments, archives, libraries and collections.
  • With a 24/7 scouting and response team: besides the applications we receive, our team is always on the lookout and researching potential projects to support. We monitor conflicts and disasters and map vulnerable heritage sites. Partners can apply at any time.
  • With a global network of experts: we’re in constant communication with partners in more than 82 countries around the world, all of whom are ready to scout and sound the alarm in emergencies and provide advice at a moment’s notice.
  • With flexibility: we offer small and flexible grants, usually ranging between €15.000 to €35.000, and can grant more when the urgency, scope and relevance of the situation justify it. Application and reporting requirements are light and context sensitive.

CER’s response mechanism relies on an active network of trusted partners in vulnerable regions around the world. This network allows it to monitor crisis situations on an ongoing basis and prepare to pro-actively respond in the event of disaster- or conflict-related treats to cultural heritage. This response includes the provision of quick and flexible emergency grants to local actors to help safeguard the endangered sites, collections or buildings. The local actors determine the priorities and approach to be taken for stabilizing the situation, preventing further damage and implementing basic repairs to prevent (further) damage. CER is always stand-by to provide technical support and advice, and to connect expertise wherever possible or required.