Media advisory - Habitat III: IFRC calls for scaled-up efforts to strengthen the resilience of urban communities

Published: 17 October 2016

Quito / Geneva, 17 October 2016 – In conjunction with the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls on States, civil society and international organisations to join efforts to address the risk factors of rapid urbanisation and invest in the live-saving role of local volunteers to build more resilient urban communities.

The poorest and most marginalised inhabitants of cities and human settlements – in particular the over one billion people living in slums around the world – are far more exposed and vulnerable to natural disasters and health emergencies.

The IFRC believes that, if empowered and recognised, community volunteers can play a crucial role in saving lives and accompanying urban communities on the road to resilience. Read more here.


The IFRC will be represented at the conference by more than 40 representatives from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the IFRC Secretariat. The following representatives will be available for interviews:

  • Garry Conille, Under Secretary General, Programmes and Operations, IFRC
  • Graham Saunders, Team Leader, Disaster and Crisis Prevention, Response and Recovery, IFRC
  • Victoria Albán, National President, Ecuadorian Red Cross
  • Freddy Carrión Intriago, Secretary General, Ecuadorian Red Cross
  • Aynur Kadahasinoglu, Sr. Urban Advisor, American Red Cross
  • Raimond Duijsens, Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator, Netherlands Red Cross
  • Jason Sanchez Araya, Youth National Coordinator, Costa Rican Red Cross

Side event

On Wednesday 19 October, 11.00-12.00 (GMT-5), The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will hold the side event “The power of youth and volunteers in building resilient urban communities”. The event will take pace in Room R18 of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamín Carrión”, Quito. Media representatives interested to arrange interviews with speakers should get in contact with our spokesperson in Quito, Mr. Diego Castellanos (contact details below).


For more information or to setup interviews please contact:

In Quito:

  • Mr. Diego Castellanos M., Head of Communications, Ecuadorian Red Cross

Mobile: +593 997 809 834 | email:


In Panama:

  • Ms. Diana Medina, communications manager, Americas region, IFRC

Mobile: +507 6780-5395 | email: