When earthquakes hit Turkey in August and November 1999, Belgium was, on both occasions, amongst the first countries to provide relief and assistance. Although the assistance from Belgium was highly appreciated, its government has deemed it necessary to set up a structure that could be mobilised at any time. Its objective was to give a quicker and more efficient response to emergency situations.
When lives are at stake, one can never be too efficient. In November 2000, based on the proposal of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Defence, the Federal Council of Ministers authorised the creation of a rapid response structure with a view to sending emergency aid teams to a country or countries affected by a man-made or natural disaster. In 2011 B-FAST became the first ILIAS user in the Humanitarian Aid domain.