French, Spanish and German Red Cross societies support relatives after plane crash

Publié: 26 mars 2015 14:44 CET

Andreea Anca/ IFRC Europe Zone 

More than 50 French Red Cross volunteers were mobilized to partake in the emergency operation set up in the aftermath of the recent plane crash in the area of Digne-les-Bains, in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in southern France.

French Red Cross requested the support of its German and Spanish Red Cross colleagues in providing emotional support to those who have lost their loved ones in the air accident.

Answering the call, Red Cross psychosocial support teams from Germany and Spain travelled to the French Alps region yesterday as France was expecting the arrival of around 800 relatives of the German and Spanish victims in the area of the crash site.

The Germanwings Airbus A320 carrier took off at the El Prat airport in Barcelona on 24 March heading for Düsseldorf with 150 people on board.

The passengers included a class of 16 German high school students and two teachers who were returning from a study program near Barcelona.

PSP high on agenda

“We are shocked about this disaster and will do everything we can to support the affected people” said yesterday the Rudolf Seiters, President of the German Red Cross, as five volunteers of his National Society specialized in providing psychosocial support were on their way to France.

In a recent press release Seiters highlighted that providing psychosocial (PSP) support to the relatives of victims became a priority for the German Red Cross activities in recent years.

A PSP support team of nine from the Catalonian branch of the Spanish Red Cross also travelled to France yesterday.

On the day of the crash, Spanish Red Cross deployed a team of thirty volunteers in support of the distraught relatives on the premises of the Barcelona airport.

The German, Spanish and French Red Cross teams are also involved in advising the emergency health staff and police on how to handle the psychosocial aspects of the crisis they are currently facing. In relation to this latest crisis the German Red Cross has also activated its tracing service.