Building partnerships for effective response to emergencies

Published: 18 January 2017 22:20 CET

Last January 12, in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (FICR) and the Argentine Red Cross signed an agreement Framework of cooperation with the White Helmets Commission (Comisión de los Cascos Blancos).

The White Helmets Commission is the agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Argentine Republic in charge of designing and executing international humanitarian assistance. It develops its activities through a model of work based on cooperation, solidarity and community participation, and its action is based on a body of national and international volunteers. This Commission makes available to the community a body of volunteers trained and previously identified in support of immediate relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development activities. It also promotes the training of local resources, promotes the diffusion and strengthening of its volunteerism and the development of resilience. Under this model, the Commission has deployed humanitarian assistance actions and missions on all five continents.

During the last visit to Argentina of Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the IFRC, the necessary foundations that led to the signing of this agreement, which recognizes the synergies between this Commission and the Argentine Red Cross and the IFRC, were established.

 The three-year Framework Agreement aims at establishing close partnerships and cooperation tending to promote and favor activities related to areas of mutual interest linked to humanitarian assistance (including international migration and refugees), disaster risk reduction and volunteering, promoting activities that strengthen local capacities, comprehensive disaster risk management and community development, within their respective mandates.
The areas of cooperation that will be developed through this agreement are:


- Exchange of experiences and knowledge on humanitarian assistance, international migration, refugees, disaster risk reduction and volunteering.


- The formulation and implementation of programs and projects in the field of the promotion of volunteering, the strengthening of local capacities and the integral disaster risk management.


- The incorporation of new technologies in development and implementation of its initiatives, with special emphasis on the adaptation of new technologies of information management, as well as telecommunications.


- Joint development of national legislation projects on disaster response, which will facilitate the procedures applicable to international disaster relief.

Walter Cotte, Americas Regional Director of the IFRC, stated, "These types of alliances enhance the impact of our humanitarian mandate, in addition to supporting the strengthening of the auxiliary role of the Argentine Red Cross and promoting multi-sectoral cooperation spaces."

"We believe that this alliance with the White Helmets Commission is a great achievement that will enable us to support emergency response work not only in Argentina but throughout the region," said Walter Cotte.