To be effective in an increasingly complex environment, the International Federation has tailored its approach to disaster management. It seeks to support and build local, community and National Society capacities by:
The International Federation’s approach to disaster management not only involves meeting basic needs in the aftermath of a disaster. For the organization, it is as important to reduce vulnerability upstream of a disaster and, in the event of a disaster, to build on and develop the affected population’s capacities, skills and resources so that they are less vulnerable to and are more able to meet future crises. This requires strengthening the capacities of the local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society, as well as of individuals and the community. The International Federation’s action can be therefore be regarded as continuous and pictured as a cycle, with the strengthening of community capacity and disaster risk reduction at the centre.
The people affected by a disaster are also the first to respond to it. They know what their needs are, have an intimate knowledge of the area and may have experienced similar events in the past. It therefore makes sense that they be consulted and involved in Red Cross Red Crescent relief operations. People should not be seen as passive, helpless recipients of assistance. They need to be included in the assessment, planning and implementation of relief operations. Consultation can take place through community leaders, representatives of women’s or other community associations, beneficiaries and other groups.