The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network.
Our secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 192 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are everywhere.You’ll find them in your street, in your local community, in every corner of the world.You may even be one of them. Every day, our millions of volunteers bring kindness to those who need it—no matter who or where they are. Whether it’s by offering a hot drink or food, Listening to someone and supporting their mental wellbeing, Delivering essential supplies or cash to remote communities, Giving or teaching lifesaving first aid, Offering people on the move a safe space to rest, Or helping communities adapt to climate change. Acts of kindness like these, even if they sometimes feel small, make a huge difference to the lives of people in crisis. Because kindness is powerful.And kindness is contagious—one small act can lead to another, and another, and another. At the IFRC, we believe in our volunteers. We believe in the power of kindness. Humanity, our first Principle, starts with kindness. And we believe we can all #BeHumanKind. On International Volunteer Day, as with every other day of the year, we deeply thank our incredible, unstoppable volunteers. You are appreciated. You are supported. You are valued.
Jakarta / Kuala Lumpur, 22 November 2022: Thousands of families in the west of the island Java were left reeling as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit the area on the afternoon on Monday, 21 November. Thousands of houses, schools, infrastructure, roads and more have been severely damaged as some are seen in a state of rubble. The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure in Indonesia officially reports more than 103 casualties and more than 320 people injured. The numbers are still emerging as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah) are working with authorities to urgently assess ground situation and gather more information. The Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross, Sudirman Said, said: “We are devastated to hear about the lives that have been lost by the earthquake. Indonesian Red Cross relief and emergency teams have been deployed to help with evacuations, providing first aid, distribute clean water, establish emergency kitchens and emergency relief, focusing on most affected areas. We also mobilised 5 units of ambulance, medical personnel and volunteers to help with urgent evacuation and ground assessment. “We are doing all we can to ensure no more lives are lost. We are ensuring that our volunteers and personnel do all they can to help people seek safety and comfort at our emergency shelters where critical relief can be found. We would also urge people to stay calm and to contact authorities for help.” The earthquake hit the district of Cianjur where the livelihoods of the people thrive around small and medium enterprises revolving around local wear and products. While the earthquake did not trigger tsunami warnings, the people of West Java are no stranger to earthquakes and are doing all they can to stay vigilant for aftershocks and dangerous falling debris. Over 13,700 people have been reported displaced while thousands more have lost their homes and are scattered in various emergency shelters. IFRC Head of Delegation, Indonesia, Elkhan Rahimov, said: “We are alongside Indonesian Red Cross to closely assess ground situation and determine the immediate needs of the affected community. Volunteers at the frontline are also prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of themselves as they work around the clock to help people get to safety. “Our first main priority is to serve the affected community by meeting their immediate needs like access to drinking water, shelter and administering first aid. We are focusing our efforts on these while we plan our next phase of longer-term assistance.” Red Cross personnel continue to respond as landslides, electricity and telecommunications cut off are reported. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830, [email protected] In Jakarta: Annisa Marezqa, +62 812-8103-9155, [email protected] Awan Diga Aristo, +62 813-2063-5505, [email protected]
In response to the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, a statement by President Francesco Rocca and Secretary General Jagan Chapagain of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): While leaders have been meeting at COP27 for the past two weeks, families are dealing with the very real impacts of extreme weather—unable to wait for promises to transform into action. Over the past two weeks, the IFRC’s risk watch system put out alerts for some 14 floods in Africa, 18 in the Americas, 35 in Asia Pacific, five in the European Union and two in the MENA region. During this period, four named tropical storms threatened destruction. Wildfires have ripped through communities in ten countries, affecting more than 10,000 hectares. And on Friday, at least three people died as the result of floods in Kigali, Rwanda and 11 in Venezuela. In Ethiopia 185,000 people were displaced. Communities in Africa and Afghanistan continue to grapple with food insecurity, which are alarming compounding crises. Loss and Damage landed on the COP agenda for the first time, and today world leaders have agreed to the establishment of new funding arrangements assisting developing nations, especially those most at-risk of the adverse effects of climate change. We welcome the finance pledges which have been made on Loss and Damage, which are historically important conversations and positive steps forward. These need to be complemented by new and additional finance that reaches the people and communities most at risk – and to be predictable, adequate, and flexible in order to address climate related crisis. We are pleased to see the agreement to operationalize the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage to provide crucial technical assistance to reduce and respond to the impacts communities are already facing. However, we must raise our ambition to reduce emissions and this COP did not deliver on that front. Every increment of global warming matters to save lives and livelihoods, and is therefore critical to keep global temperatures below the 1.5C degrees warming limit. We welcome the focus on Early Warning Systems in the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan, which reflects realities at the frontlines of the climate crisis that the IFRC has been bringing to the fore for over two decades. Reducing risk and saving lives, especially in last mile communities, is what our teams around the globe do every single day and it is heartening to see this work being expanded. To be most effective, early warnings must be followed by early action and these systems must be rooted in the communities—including those hardest to reach and families stuck in protracted crises. As the humanitarian impacts of climate change keep growing, so too should the finance for adaptation, ensuring it reaches the most affected and most at-risk. As the legacy of the “implementation COP,” global investment needs to reach the local level. It is time to turn words and commitments into action at the national level, to bring the agreement to life and make a real difference in the lives of people and communities most impacted by the climate crisis. As the IFRC network, we are committed to scaling up local action to respond to the climate crisis, working with communities to build preparedness and resilience in face of rising risks and impacts. Climate and environmental crises are a threat to humanity and we all have a role to play. Now we must look forward with focused determination and hope. Our collective actions can inspire ambition we need to see in the world. Media contacts: In Geneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924, [email protected]
COP27: Negotiations are missing the ambition needed to protect those hardest hit by climate change, warns IFRC
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is raising concern that progress is stalling at COP27 and that there is a risk that the ambition to deliver and build on commitments made in Glasgow is slipping away. With just a few days left for leaders to take decisive action on climate change, commitments to make steep and immediate emission reductions to stay below the 1.5oC warming limit—and thus limit further human suffering—are falling behind. And while negotiators are grappling with issues designed to limit and respond to the rising human impacts of climate change, technical discussions on delivering new and additional finance for loss and damage, as well as adaptation, are progressing too slowly to meet the needs of people. Instead, the IFRC calls on Parties to build on what was agreed in Glasgow and raise ambition and action on mitigation, adaptation and on loss and damage. “Combating the climate crisis and its effects takes bold thinking and even more ambitious action. World leaders cannot afford downgrading, but must raise their level of ambition to tackle the climate crisis, which is already dangerous for communities around the globe,” said Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC. “Letting up on ambitious goals sends a clear signal back to countries that meeting their previous commitments is optional. This is unacceptable. Communities—especially those most impacted by climate change—need promises that deliver with new and additional support to meet the scale of needs,” remarked Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC. This is the critical decade for action. The world cannot afford to stall or backtrack on lifesaving commitments. There is no time to delay. Already at 1.1oC warming, IFRC found that 86% of all disasters in the last decade are linked to climate and weather extremes, affecting 1.7 billion people. This is an increase of almost 35% since the 1990s. Communities are being repeatedly hit by extreme events - such as Kenya, which faced floods then locusts and now a drought triggering food insecurity and leading to malnutrition and death across the horn of Africa. “We must invest in local action. Without it, we will still be saying the same things at COP28,” reiterated Dr. Asha Mohammed, Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross. If we are to ever meet the needs of communities suffering these multiple repeated and overlapping events, it is essential to invest in ambitious mitigation, to scale up locally led adaptation and address losses and damages. Parties must respond to the growing demands for finance to reach the local level, reaching communities at the scale needed. These requests must be heard and translated into meaningful decision text. Recent IFRC research demonstrates that many countries and communities are getting left behind when it comes to investment in climate adaptation. Existing funding is not enough to meet current needs, let alone the increased humanitarian impacts of more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate events. According to Maarten van Aalst, Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, COP27 needs to deliver on three fronts: tangible progress on mobilizing new and additional funding to address loss and damage; more finance for climate adaptation; and increased ambition to implement rapid emission reductions to keep hopes of limiting warming to 1.5C alive. To request an interview or for more information, please contact: In Sharm El-Sheikh:Jenelle Eli, +1 202 603 6803, [email protected] In Washington: Marie Claudet, +1 202 999 8689, [email protected]
IFRC launches Global Climate Resilience Platform to support 500 million people on climate crisis frontlines
Geneva, 9 November 2022 – As COP27 gets underway what’s most urgently needed is clear: accelerated investment in communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. At a make-or-break moment, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is launching today its Global Climate Resilience Platform to increase the resilience of communities most vulnerable to the changing climate. The new initiative aims to support 500 million people by raising at least CHF1 billion through a five-year global initiative focusing on early warning and anticipatory action, nature-based solutions, and safety nets and shock responsive social protection. Secretary General of the IFRC, Jagan Chapagain, says: “We've launched the Global Climate Resilience Platform to create transformational change through an immense scale up of investment at the local community level, heeding the call for faster and broader efforts to address the climate crisis. “Real sustainable change can only happen when the people impacted are driving decisions. Funding local climate action without having to go through multiple layers is crucial if we are to be truly successful in building resilience from the ground up.” Through the platform, the IFRC network will support meaningful participation and the active leadership of women, local communities, Indigenous peoples, youth and other marginalised and/or underrepresented groups in the development and implementation of locally led climate action in 100 countries most vulnerable to climate change. President of the IFRC, Francesco Rocca, says: "The critical challenge of this decade is how to support and finance climate resilience initiatives at a global scale. The key is found in the shift of power and resources to local actors.” IFRC’s Making it Count: Smart Climate Financing for the Most Vulnerable People report has found that many highly vulnerable countries are not receiving the climate adaptation support they need and are being left behind. On average, they received less than a quarter of the adaptation funding per person that went to low or very low vulnerability countries. In addition, only an estimated 10% of funding is granted at the local level as donors instead favour large-scale national infrastructure projects that risk missing the mark for local communities. Under Secretary General of the IFRC, Nena Stoiljkovic, said the platform focused on the key areas that had been identified as having the most potential for transformative impact at scale through increased investment and were expected to generate multiple dividends, including—first and foremost—saving lives. She noted that the initiative will link sources of funding across humanitarian, development and climate funds as well as innovative financing mechanisms involving the private sector to meet its ambitious but critical targets. Increased resilience also stimulates sustainable development and innovation and is a more efficient focus in humanitarian response: investing one dollar in climate resilience in communities can save six dollars of investments in disaster response. Media contacts: In Geneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924, [email protected] In Washington: Marie Claudet, +1 202 999 8689, [email protected]
Unprecedented torrential rains in Chad since early August 2022 have caused significant damage to houses, key infrastructure and agricultural land in the capital, N'Djamena, and surrounding provinces. Nearly 750,000 people have been affected by the floods, and communities are at a high risk of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, due to a lack of appropriate hygiene and sanitation in areas of displacement. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Chad Red Cross to provide shelter, livelihoods, health, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection services to affected people.
Nigeria is experiencing the worst flooding in at least a decade. The floods have damaged homes, infrastructure and large areas of farmland across the country. More than 600 people have died and an estimated 2.8 million people have been affected, many of whom have been displaced from their communities.Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Nigeria Red Cross Society to reach 500,000 affected people with multi-purpose cash assistance, health services, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support, and emergency shelter assistance.
Africa: Hunger crisis
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing one of the most alarming food crises in decades—immense in both its severity and geographic scope.Roughly 146 million people are suffering from acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian assistance. The crisis is driven by a range of local and global factors, including insecurity and armed conflict, extreme weather events, climate variability and negative macroeconomic impacts. Through this regional Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting many Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Africa to protect the lives, livelihoods and prospects of millions of people.
Cuba: Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Pinar Del Rio province, Cuba in the early hours of 27 September—battering large swathes of western Cuba and causing heavy damage to infrastructure, housing, agriculture, electricity, and telecommunications services. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Cuban Red Cross to help 5,000 families whose houses were significantly damaged. Humanitarian assistance includes emergency shelter, health and care services, safe water, hygiene supplies, and protection services.
Uganda: Ebola virus disease
The Ugandan Ministry of Health declared a new outbreak of Ebola on 20 September 2022. To prevent the virus from spreading throughout the country, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) is supporting with contact tracing, community-based surveillance, risk communication and community engagement, ambulance services, and safe and dignified burials. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the URCS to scale up its activities, targeting a total of 2.7 million people. We are also working with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in neighbouring countries to help them prepare in case the outbreak spreads.
Global Plan 2023