Disaster risk reduction

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21/09/2022 | Speech

Climate adaptation: IFRC Secretary General statement at the UN Early Warning Initiative to Implement Climate Adaptation

Your Excellencies and Colleagues, On behalf of the IFRC, thank you for inviting me to speak here today. Due to time, I kindly acknowledge all protocols to be observed. I welcome the UN Secretary-General’s pledge on Early Warning Systems for All (EW4A). This pledge, rightly put in the hands of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is a very timely and achievable initiative that contributes to keeping people safe across the globe, but especially in the furthest to reach places, where the most at-risk and vulnerable to climate change live. Since the establishment of IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) over 35 years ago, IFRC and our member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have supported governments prepare for, manage, and respond to disasters. Every year, DREF is used ahead of and in response to over 100 small and medium sized disasters and has supported over 200 million people. We know from our long experience that early warnings that lead to early actionssave lives. Excellencies, Over the last decade, some of the most recent - and often predicted -extreme weather events were the most deadly, costly, devastating. Early warnings can only work if they are turned into early actions and response. Here is how: First, improve the decision-making process, data and information to identify triggers and decide when and where to act before a disaster. What and who is likely to be impacted must underpin all our actions. Second, improve early action planning, systems, and local capacities to reduce risks and prepare for an effective early action. Third, and most importantly, create and adapt financing mechanisms, like DREF, that can disburse funds for pre-agreed plans ahead of the disaster to reduce the humanitarian impact. Additional funding is especially needed for early warning communications and dissemination and the ability to translate these warnings into action. In the last decade, humanitarian organizations have invested in enhancing and transforming early warning systems into anticipatory action approaches. Adequate, sustained and coordinated resources are needed to bring these approaches to scale. This requires a systematic shift in funding flows for us to move to scalable action. At the same time, early warning and early action systems need to be seen as development and climate issues, rather than exclusive humanitarian tools. In closing, the IFRC network, along with the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and Anticipation Hub, look to collaborate with WMO and other actors in investing in early warnings that lead to early actions and response. Together, let us ensure that early warnings are clear, tailored, and people-centered, and that they support people in the furthest to reach places. Thank you.

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07/11/2022 | Speech

IFRC Secretary General speech at the Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan launch

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The IFRC welcomes the UN Secretary-General’s pledge on Early Warning Systems for All. Over the last decade, some of the most recent—and often predictable—extreme weather events were the most deadly, costly, and devastating. From our experience, we know that early warnings can only work if they are turned into early anticipatory actions. This message has come through well in the Early Warning for All initiative. The IFRC has been contributing to 3 of the 4 pillars of the executive action plan on this initiative and leading on the ‘preparedness to respond' pillar. We thank everyone involved in the development of the plan of action. Now is the time to put the plan into action. Here is how: First: help create an enabling environment where local communities and organizations like our National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are truly empowered to lead local actions. Their power through their knowledge and ownership can be truly transformative in realising the ambitions of early warning and early action. Be courageous to unleash that power. Second: the key to success is the power of partnership. Let's bring together and use the best of our organizations to implement the plan of action. Third: The Early Warning for All initiative is most effective if we leverage the power of existing coordination and collaboration platforms such as the IFRC hosted Risk-informed Early Action Partnership and Anticipation Hub, as well as the Centre of Excellence. Finally, put in place ambitious financing mechanisms. Change will not come without an investment. The IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund is a good example as it can disburse funds ahead of disasters to reduce their humanitarian impact. Ultimately our collective success should be measured by the lives saved and livelihoods preserved. The IFRC network looks forward to a strong collaboration on the Early Warning for All initiative with the WMO and other partners. Together, let us ensure that early warnings are people-centered, including those in the furthest to reach places. Thank you.

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10/08/2022 | Press release

WFP and IFRC join forces to strengthen response to anticipated climate shocks in MENA

Dubai, 10 August 2022–The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) signed a regional Memorandum of Understanding to support joint advocacy, capacity development, and resource mobilization for the coordinated national-level implementation of anticipatory action in response to climate shocks in the Middle East and North Africa region. The signing took place at the conclusion of an event, “Road to COP27: Anticipatory Action Milestones and Way Forward in MENA”, that was hosted by the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and attended by high-level speakers and representatives from the UAE government, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, WFP, IFRC, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and national societies, regional and international humanitarian organisations including UNDRR, FAO, Start Network, REAP. The event emphasized the ongoing importance of acting early ahead of climate-related disasters, through anticipatory action. Anticipatory action is an effective way of mitigating the worst consequences of predictable climate risks, which are expected to become more frequent and intense because of climate change and conflict in the MENA region. “In a region where climate hazards such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves are increasing humanitarian needs, anticipatory action aims to reduce or mitigate the impact of these hazards on the most vulnerable people,” said Mageed Yahia, WFP Representative to the GCC. “We are grateful for the strong representation from the UAE in this event today, an important ally in the quest to make the humanitarian system as anticipatory as possible,” he added. Over the last few years, WFP and IFRC have been making progress in setting the scene for an anticipatory action (AA) approach in the MENA region for acting earlier ahead of disasters. “Let us not forget that COP27 goals and vision are mitigation, adaptation, finance, and collaboration. Today we are addressing these four main elements, as Anticipatory Action allows for the mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts,” said IFRC MENA Deputy Regional Director, Rania Ahmad. “This collaboration between IFRC and WFP will allow for increased sharing of experiences and financing and make the most vulnerable populations better prepared and enhance their resilience.” During the event, WFP and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) also launched the “Anticipatory Action in the MENA Region: State of Play and Accelerating Action” report, supported by the Swedish government, which highlights the state of anticipatory action in the region, and its potential to help avoid and reduce the impacts of disasters. Regional coordination and collaboration across all stakeholders will be necessary to complement efforts and engagements to scale up the anticipatory actions agenda in the region with tangible results. To support this, IFRC and WFP are establishing the “MENA Anticipatory Action regional community of practice” as a space for technical and advocacy coordination, collaboration, learning exchange, and capacity strengthening on anticipatory action and acting earlier ahead of disasters in the region. The initiative will bring together UN agencies, the Red Cross Red Crescent movement, as well as international organizations, governments, NGOs, the public and private sector, and academia, to coordinate and work together to effectively scale up and deliver anticipatory action programmes as the threat of climate shocks continues to grow. For more information please contact: Malak Atkeh, IFRC/GCC, [email protected],+971 564780874 Zeina Habib, WFP/Gulf, [email protected], +971 52 4724971 Abeer Etefa, WFP/MENA, [email protected], +20 1066634352 Reem Nada, WFP/MENA, [email protected], +20 1066634522

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20/05/2022 | Speech

Official Statement of the IFRC to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2022

I am honoured to submit this Official Statement on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The GP2022 theme,“From Risk to Resilience: Towards Sustainable Development for All in a COVID-19 Transformed World”could not be more relevant to us as we face growing needs and an uncertain future. COVID-19 has already taken more than 6.2 million lives and has increased vulnerabilities worldwide, particularly among women, children, elders, and persons with disabilities. At the same time, more people are under threat from the climate crisis, conflict, disaster, and disease. The humanitarian needs of 2022 will be, at least, double what they were in 2019. Today we are at a critical juncture. Not only must we recover fully from this pandemic, but we must also review our readiness and change our modus operandi to proactively deal with future risks. We must move from responding to crises, to building individual and community capacities to anticipate, prepare for, reduce the impact, cope with and recover from crises. This must be done without compromising their long-term prospects, in other words, strengthening their resilience to future risks. To achieve this, IFRC calls for collective action in the following areas: First, we must inspire community action that revolutionises positive change. Communities have agency, self-reliance and their own hopes and plans for the future. Our efforts will only benefit them if we centre their priorities, experiences and expertise, and support their actions. We have to support communities to come together to tackle the challenges that they are currently facing, and prepare for those that lie ahead. Funding and partnerships need to support individuals and communities to understand their risks, take action to address them, and participate in official decision-making processes. Local actors such as National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are critical to informing and channeling investments to the right places, to those most in need, where scarce resources can have the greatest impact. They need to be in the driver’s seat of change, and this includes women and youth. Second, trust the science. We must listen to the science and use it to plan for and protect against future risks. Extreme climate and weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense, affecting new places with many hazards striking at the same time. We can’t use what happened in the past to predict the future. We have to trust and act upon the science. This must be our standard way of working. Anticipatory action that puts communities at the centre must be the new normal if we want to reduce humanitarian needs, avert loss and damage caused by climate change. Third, leverage the power of partnerships. We can only become more resilient if we collaborate together but this means working more broadly than the humanitarian, development and climate sectors. We must also look to the private and public sectors, local governments, grassroots communities and further – we are trying to overcome the same challenges but with different means. How can the private sector engage in ways that drive social impact? How can governments lead change with enabling frameworks? How do humanitarian agencies embrace agility in their business models? Together with our partners, we have taken various initiatives, including the Anticipatory Action Task Force, Forecast-based Action by the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF), the Anticipation Hub, the Country Support Platform of the Global Taskforce for Cholera Control, and the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), which we call on our partners to join. Fourth, we must change the way we do business. People-centred partnerships towards achieving the SDGs will require new approaches to programming and donor funding. These must allow the private sector to meaningfully engage and demonstrate the value of structures that can be more sustainable, replicable, and scalable to address growing humanitarian and development needs. Developing countries will need more than USD 2.5 trillion a year to fill the SDG financing gap, but there is only some USD 150 billion of total overseas development assistance available. However, private capital sources alone amount to more than USD 200 trillion. We need to consider smart financing that helps donated resources reach further, by creating multiplier opportunities. At all times, communities must be at the heart of decisions made in investment and programming for inclusive disaster risk reduction, epidemic and pandemic preparedness, and climate change adaptation. The communities most vulnerable to disasters, as well as fragile and conflict affected settings and those displaced or at risk of displacement, must be prioritized. Governments can assist by ensuring that national disaster and climate laws, policies, financial instruments, and plans all include a focus on reducing risks for the most vulnerable people. In responding to theCOVID-19 pandemic, IFRC and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have made good use of the preparedness capacity built over the years. From the outset, we have met the growing health needs and demands of vulnerable communities, building on local solutions and leveraging National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ role asindependent auxiliariesto their governments in the humanitarian arena. In the past two years, the IFRC network supported nearly 1.2 billion people through our COVID-19 programmes. This support has included risk communication, community engagement activities for health and hygiene promotion, water and sanitation, and food and cash assistance. And beyond our emergency response, our National Societies reached 139 million people through pandemic-proof disaster risk reduction programming, using the IFRC’s guide for “Climate-smart disaster risk management programming during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Rest assured we will continue our efforts to create a culture of prevention and resilience by mobilizing our global network of 192 National Societies, 160,000 local branches and 14.9 million community-based volunteers. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Indonesian Government and the Indonesian Red Cross for their great efforts to protect people and their livelihoods from disasters and crises. Thank you, and I wish you a successful Global Platform.

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01/06/2022 | Basic page

Nature for people

The IFRC is partnering with WWF, the world's largest environmental conservation organization, to work with nature and protect people from the climate crisis.

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01/06/2022 | Press release

IFRC, WWF call for global action to protect nature to save lives and address climate crisis

Stockholm, 2 June 2022 - A new report shows that nature-based solutions could reduce the intensity of climate and weather-related hazards by a staggering 26 per cent, in a world where over 3.3 billion people live in places that are highly vulnerable to climate change. The study from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and WWF highlights how the power of nature to protect people is being overlooked. The report, “Working with Nature to Protect People: How Nature-based Solutions Reduce Climate Change and Weather-Related Disasters” shows how nature-based solutions can reduce the likelihood of climate change and weather-related events occurring. It sets out how lives can be saved by working with nature-based solutions to prevent exposure to these hazards and support vulnerable communities in adapting to and withstanding the dangers of a warming world. For the first time, the analysis from IFRC and WWF shows that these solutions could provide developing countries with valuable protection against the economic cost of climate change, saving at least US$ 104 billion in 2030 and US$ 393 billion in 2050. Communities in every region of the world are already experiencing worsening and increasing impacts of climate change, with vulnerable people in low resource countries the hardest hit, and women and children often the most exposed. From 2010 to 2019 alone, sudden-onset climate change and weather-related disasters killed more than 410,000 people. Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Secretary General said: “The climate crisis is driving multiple humanitarian crises around the world. Its impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people is intensifying. Greening nature; restoring forests, farmlands and wetlands are some of the best and most cost-effective ways to support vulnerable communities to adapt to risks and impacts they already face. Protecting nature will protect people.” Marco Lambertini, Director-General of WWF, said: “Let’s be clear. If we don’t urgently scale up efforts to limit the impacts of a warming world, more lives will be lost, and economies and livelihoods affected. Nature is our greatest ally and also a crucial buffer against climate change. By restoring and protecting it, we can help ecosystems build resilience and continue to provide crucial services to humanity and in particular to the more vulnerable communities. “Nature-based solutions play a key role in addressing climate change, but the potential benefits of these solutions drop as the global temperature rises - which is why every moment and decision matters to cut emissions and give us the best chance to build a safer and more equitable future.” Examples of effective nature-based solutions that address climate change include: Conserving forests to restore degraded land, provide food, guard against droughts and protect communities from strong winds. Restoring healthy floodplains and wetlands to reduce the impact of floods and promote sustainable agriculture to protect against droughts. Restoring mangroves and coral reefs to provide a protective barrier from storms, soak up planet-warming carbon dioxide and provide food for local communities and habitats for marine life. The report kickstarts a partnership between the IFRC and WWF. The report will be launched at Stockholm+50, a UN environmental meeting where leaders will reflect on 50 years of multilateral action. The partnership aims to raise awareness about nature-based solutions and encourage governments, communities, donors, practitioners and the private sector to incorporate nature in their climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction planning. -- Notes for editors: Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges and climate change effectively and adaptively, while providing benefits to human well-being and addressing biodiversity loss. Learn more here. The full report is available for download here. The report will be launched at an event at Stockholm+50 on 3 June at 13:00 CEST. This UN environmental meeting provides leaders with an opportunity to reflect on 50 years of multilateral action to deliver the bold and urgent progress needed to secure a better future on a healthy planet. The report describes the enabling factors that have supported successful nature-based solutions initiatives and the challenges that are preventing the scale-up of these solutions. A series of case studies highlights IFRC and WWF’s work in the space, shows the potential of nature-based solutions, provides key lessons to guide practitioners in future implementation, and presents how supportive legal and policy frameworks are critical for scaling-up nature-based solutions for building climate and disaster resilience. For media queries and interview requests, contact: WWF International Media team: [email protected] IFRC: Melis Figanmese, +41 79 202 2033, [email protected] IFRC: Melissa Winkler, +41 76 240 0324, [email protected]

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25/05/2022 | Press release

ASEAN and the IFRC partner to strengthen community resilience in Southeast Asia

Jakarta, 25 May 2022 -The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have committed to promoting and developing their engagement in disaster management with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASEAN and the IFRC on the Strengthening of Community Resilience in Southeast Asia. The MOU outlines the scope and areas of cooperation between the IFRC and ASEAN to strengthen community resilience at regional, national, and local levels in the ASEAN region, including in areas such as disaster management, disaster risk reduction, disaster law, health in emergencies, disaster relief and emergency response, gender, youth, and climate change. This agreement also marks a significant milestone in ASEAN’s longstanding cooperation with the IFRC which has supported the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and its work programmes. The MOU was signed by the ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi and the IFRC Secretary General, Mr. Jagan Chapagain, at the sidelines of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in Bali, Indonesia, in the presence of the representatives of the ACDM and the representatives of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. At the Signing Ceremony, the two leaders expressed appreciation over the progress of cooperation between ASEAN and the IFRC. Recognizing ASEAN and IFRC’s mutually beneficial roles in strengthening climate adaptation and disaster resilience in vulnerable communities in Southeast Asia, both ASEAN and the IFRC look forward to the implementation of the MOU through collaborative projects in the AADMER Work Programme 2021-2025. In his remarks, Dato Lim emphasized that “in the face of increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters due to climate change, in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions, coupled with an increasingly complex humanitarian landscape, we must build strategic partnerships to enhance our resilience as one ASEAN community.” In Mr. Chapagain’s speech reiterated that “through this partnership our common goal is to put communities in Southeast Asia at the centre by building individual and community capacities that help reduce humanitarian needs and avert loss and damage caused by the climate crisis." ASEAN countries are located in one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world, ranging from earthquakes, floods, landslides and typhoons. The wide geographic stretch of incidences and increasing frequency and intensity of disasters due to climate change require ASEAN to enhance the region’s readiness and emergency response capacity. -- For more information, please email [email protected]

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28/02/2022 | Press release

Scientists confirm climate change already contributes to humanitarian crises across the world

Geneva, 28 February 2022 ­– The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for urgent local action and funding, particularly for those most vulnerable, to combat the devastating humanitarian impacts of the climate crisis confirmed in today’s report by world’s climate scientists. For the first time, the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published today notes that climate change is already contributing to humanitarian crises in vulnerable contexts. In addition, climate and weather extremes are increasingly driving displacement in every region of the world. IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said: “The IPCC report confirms what the IFRC and its network of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have already witnessed for years: Climate change is already disrupting the lives of billions, particularly the world’s poorest who have contributed the least to it.” “The global response to COVID-19 proves that governments can act decisively and drastically in the face of imminent global threats. We need the same energy and action to combat climate change now, and we need it to reach the most climate-vulnerable communities across the world so that they have the tools and funding to anticipate and manage risks.” The report, authored by more than 200 climate experts, reaffirms the key principles that the IFRC network has been calling for to tackle climate change; that local action is key in tackling climate change and that responding to disasters after they happen will never be enough to save lives and combat a crisis of this magnitude. The latest science confirms, with very high confidence, that climate impacts and risks exacerbate vulnerabilities as well as social and economic inequities. These in turn increase acute development challenges, especially in developing regions and particularly exposed sites, such as coastal areas, small islands, deserts, mountains and polar regions. Maarten van Aalst, coordinating lead author of the report and Director for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre said: “This report is a flashing red light, a big alarm for where we are today. It tells us in unequivocal scientific language that the window for concerted global action to secure a liveable future is rapidly closing. It demonstrates that all the risks we were concerned about in the past are now are now coming at us much faster.” “But the report also shows that it is not too late yet. We can still reduce emissions to avoid the worst. Alongside, we’ll have to manage the changes we can no longer prevent. Many of the solutions, such as better early warning systems and social safety nets, have already proven their value. If we raise our ambition to adapt to the rising risks, with priority for the most vulnerable people, we can still avoid the most devastating consequences.” Notes to editors National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies not only respond to disasters when they occur, but also play a critical role in preventing hazards such as floods and heatwaves from becoming disasters. Working at the front lines in communities before, during and after disasters, they know what is needed to respond to climate crises and help communities prevent and adapt to the rising risks of climate change. The IFRC aims to support member National Societies to reach 250 million people each year with climate adaptation and mitigation services to reduce suffering and vulnerability. For more information or to arrange an interview: In Geneva: Caroline Haga, +358 50 598 0500, [email protected] Rights-free b-roll and images related to this press release are available to download and use here.

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12/03/2021 | Basic page

Early warning, early action

Early action, also known as anticipatory action or forecast-based action, means taking steps to protect people before a disaster strikes based on early warning or forecasts. To be effective, it must involve meaningful engagement with at-risk communities. Discover how the IFRC supports effective early warning and early action by Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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12/03/2021 | Basic page

Nature-based solutions

The IFRC is helping communities worldwide take steps to sustainably manage their natural environment to protect themselves from disaster risks. Our aim is for 100 National Societies to be puttingin placenature-based solutions within their communitiesby 2025.

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28/10/2021 | Article

In Comoros, young people are at the heart of climate risk reduction

All over the world, COVID-19 has left a difficult legacy, hampering communities in their livelihood activities and altering their environment. In the Comoros, COVID-19 has had significant impacts on the mangroves, which are home to considerable ecological wealth and are incredibly important for the environmental health of the country. Indeed, with the lockdown measures, there was an increase in the amount of waste produced within households while the waste pick-up systems were also struggling to function. At the same time, the economic hardship which occurs during this period forced some people to find alternative sources of income such as the sale of firewood. Excessive deforestation, the accumulation of household waste and the systematic destruction of mangrove regrowth have all continued rapidly during this period. This situation has been made even worse by the effects of climate change in this Indian Ocean region. Aware of the need to act quickly, Kalathoumi Charif, a representative of the youth section of the Comorian Red Crescent, has developed a project focusing on the sustainable management of the natural environment in the face of climate risks. Its aim is to help communities understand the importance of this ecosystem and to help them put in place effective conservation mechanisms. Thousands of volunteers—primarily youth volunteers—from the Comorian Red Crescent will deliver training and awareness-raising sessions on the conservation of cultivable soils and the protection of mangroves from the effects of climate change. These sessions will take place over one year and cover people on the country’s three major islands: Ngazidja, Anjouan and Mohéli. This is the first time I have had the chance to submit a project like this.I am delighted to be able to put my knowledge into practice. And to participate in the preservation of the mangroves in my country. I would like to tell young people who don't dare to take the plunge yet that there is a first time for everything, so it's time we have confidence in our abilities. Kalathoumi Comorian Red Crescent The IFRC is convinced of the potential of young volunteers and their ability to bring about positive and impactful changes in their communities. Which is why it’s important to support such initiatives, especially those related to climate risk reduction. This project will therefore benefit from technical and financial support from Limitless, the IFRC's Innovation Academy.

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12/03/2021 | Basic page

Climate-smart disaster risk reduction

The IFRC is one of the biggest community-based disaster risk reduction actors in the world. Together with our 192 National Societies, we help communities around the world to reduce their risks, protect themselves and prepare for emergencies.

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30/03/2021 | Press release

Statement on International Treaty on Pandemics “We need bold new solutions – both in international and domestic laws – to avoid the same mistakes"

Geneva, 30 March 2021 In response to a common call for an International Treaty on Pandemics by the WHO and world leaders today, Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, said: “We are encouraged by this commitment from the WHO and world leaders today to develop a new treaty on pandemic prevention and response. The COVID-19 response has been hugely impaired by gaps in global cooperation and inequities affecting some of the most vulnerable of our societies. This treaty is an opportunity to address these for the next time. “We need bold new solutions – both in international and domestic laws – to avoid the same mistakes. These must include a firm commitment to preparedness at all levels of society, including at the community level, and equitable access to testing, vaccines and treatment for all at greatest risk. We must also ensure that health and emergency staff and volunteers are supported to operate safely to provide life-saving aid, and access communities in need. And we must guard against the economic ruin of the poorest and most vulnerable as a result of pandemic responses. “With our experience in supporting states to develop and implement disaster law and policy around the world, IFRC and its members stand ready to provide their expertise and advice to governments and to support such a treaty to not only be powerful on paper but transformative in reality.”

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25/01/2021 | Press release

IFRC announces expansion of disaster fund ahead of major climate summit

Geneva, 25 January 2021 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) announced today a major expansion of one of the world’s only means of channeling international funds directly to frontline disaster responders. The announcement of plans to at least double the size of the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) comes as governments and experts gather virtually for the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands. IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain, said the expansion of DREF was part of broader efforts to adapt Red Cross emergency responses to the increased crisis-caseload caused by climate change. “In the past three decades, the average number of climate and weather-related disasters has increased nearly 35 per cent. Over the past decade alone, 83 per cent of all disasters were caused by extreme weather and climate-related events that killed 410,000 people and affected 1.7 billion. “It is unrealistic and irresponsible to expect that the needs created by these events have been or will be met by international actors. Instead, we need to do better job of supporting the efforts of local responders, including National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “This is one of the strengths of DREF. Its funds go directly to local Red Cross and Red Crescent responders who are already on the ground and supporting people affected by a disaster,” said Chapagain. The DREF has supported more than 200 million people since its inception. In recent years, an average of about 30 million Swiss francs has been channeled through the DREF on an annual basis. The IFRC plans to work with donors to double this in 2021, with a view to growing the fund to an estimated 100 million Swiss francs per year by 2025. In addition to growing DREF, IFRC is also moving forward with expanding its scope by supporting local Red Cross and Red Crescent efforts to anticipate disasters and mitigate their impact. Under this methodology, humanitarian funding is released for pre-agreed early actions based on forecast and risk data to reduce the impact of severe weather events on vulnerable populations. This approach – known as Forecast-based Action – was used six times in 2020 to protect and support at risk communities in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Mongolia and Mozambique - for instance, through early evacuation or efforts to reinforce houses. IFRC’s Jagan Chapagain said: “It’s not just about how much money is directed to local actors, it’s also about how and when that money is used. For years, we have warned that the world’s reactive approach to disaster management was inadequate. We are committed to changing how we respond to disasters. But to do so effectively, we need the support of governments and donors.” For over three decades, IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) has been the quickest, most efficient, and most transparent mechanism for donors to channel global funding directly to local humanitarian actors. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide are embedded within the very communities they serve, and therefore uniquely placed to provide urgent assistance tailored to people’s needs, to save lives, and support longer term recovery.

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30/06/2020 | Press release

Early action to save lives in Bangladesh amid severe flood forecast

Dhaka/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 30 June 2020: Urgent early action is being taken to protect lives in Bangladesh as floods threaten 4.1 million people in large areas across the country that are already grappling with COVID-19.The Global Flood Awareness System (GLOFAS) has issued a flood forecast with a more than 50 per cent probability of a severe 1-in-10-year flood submerging some areas of Bangladesh for at least three days.A 5-day forecast by Bangladesh’s Flood Forecast and Warning Centre (FFWC) has also confirmed the severity of the floods. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society is implementing early actions with forecast-based funds from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to protect the lives, property and livelihoods of more than 16,500 people most at risk in three districts: Kurigram, Gaibandha and Jamalpur.Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Secretary General Feroz Salah Uddin said: “The flood water is rising alarmingly and many areas are already inundated. Our volunteers and staff are on the ground to assist the most vulnerable communities before the water reaches the danger level.“This funding will help us accelerate our early actions when time is running out.”The forecast has triggered the release of more than 230,000 Swiss francs (240,000 US dollars) from IFRC’s designated fund for anticipatory action, Forecast-based Action by the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.This funding will help support Bangladesh Red Crescent in evacuating people in the most at risk communities to safe shelters with their valuable assets and livestock; providing unconditional cash grants to those affected; and giving first aid treatment to those who need it. Precautionary measures are also being taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by pre-positioning facemasks and hand sanitisers for distribution.IFRC Head of Bangladesh Country Office Azmat Ulla said: “As a potentially severe flood continues to threaten millions of people in Bangladesh, we are taking a variety of preparedness measures to save lives and reduce loss. Together with Bangladesh Red Crescent we are reaching out to the communities in need to help them evacuate and to provide them with cash grants that give people in the path of floodwaters the ability to address their most urgent needs.“The compounding effects of COVID-19 and the floods could be devastating and this funding is crucial to reducing the impact as much as possible.”This is the second time in six weeks that IFRC has released forecast-based funds to support early and life-saving action in Bangladesh, after releasing more than 134,000 Swiss francs (138,000 US dollars) ahead of Cyclone Amphan in May.Early actions and forecast thresholds are pre-defined and agreed in BDRCS’ Early Action Protocol for Floods that has been developed with support of German Red Cross and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

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18/10/2019 | Article

Urgent action needed for countries in Southern Africa threatened by drought

By Dr. Michael Charles All countries in the Southern Africa are currently experiencing pockets of dryness. Worryingly for the sub-region, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have declared state of emergencies due to looming drought. The United Nations Climate Action Summit scheduled for 23 September 2019 in New York, United States of America, presents a timely opportunity for urgent global discussions that will hopefully culminate inconcrete, realistic plans to address thedisproportionate impacts of climate change on developing countries. [caption id="attachment_57159" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Teresa, 19, holds her baby son in front of her destroyed home in Dondo, Mozambique. IFRC/Corrie Butler[/caption] Southern Africa is one of the regions most affected by serious impacts of climate-induced natural disasters. This year alone, a succession ofcyclonesandfloodshas already resulted in significant loss of life and assets in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and kept humanitarian organisations busy with emergency responses, as well as recovery and rebuilding efforts. Tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth were different in that they managed to attract global attention because they caused significant devastation during a short period. Climate change-induced natural disasters in Southern Africa are often invisible in the global media, even though they are protracted and threaten the livelihoods of millions. Even lower-level cyclones can cause devastating floods that are quickly followed by debilitating droughts. Many national economies in Southern Africa are agriculturally based and as long as climate change mitigation strategies enshrined in existing globalpoliciesare not wholeheartedly implemented, a significant portion of the 340 million inhabitants of Southern Africa could be food-insecure in the long-term because of famine. The increased mass movement of people from areas affected by climate-induced natural disasters is also more likely. Internal and external migration will necessitate greater coordination among humanitarian organisations to adequately support receiving communities and countries to respond to the added burden introduced by new arrivals. The effects of food insecurity and mass movements are felt most by the vulnerable in our communities, such as the chronically ill and disabled, and women and children. They also place immense pressure on already strained health systems in many countries in the sub-region. With the necessary funds, the Red Cross Movement has the capability and is well placed to address some of the consequences. But urgent action is still needed on the climate change question. [caption id="attachment_57175" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] In Mwanza district, Malawi, Red Cross has helped communities create gardens with smart irrigation to create greater food security, less reliance on rains and can harvest twice per year, at least doubling productivity. IFRC/Juozas Cernius[/caption] Climate change is certain and evident. Its effects are being felt more in less developed nations, especially in southern Africa. Efforts for adaptation are essential not only to decrease the negative consequences but also to increase opportunities for communities to be more resilient in the long-term. Countries in the sub-region are acting to decrease their response times to calamities and improve their communities’ readiness to mitigate impacts of natural disasters. Mozambique is the first country in Africa to have an Early Action Protocol approved; the protocol harnesses the power offorecast-based financingto ensure that humanitarian responses are more responsive and proactive. Malawi’s protocol is under review and Zambia’s is currently in development. The need for humanitarian assistance in Southern Africa in the latter part of 2019 and into 2020 will be greater with the imminent drought. Notwithstanding ongoing local efforts to improve countries’ and communities’ disaster risk management practices and increase their resilience, global stakeholders have a responsibility to definitively act to reduce the need for climate change-induced disaster mitigation efforts in the most affected developing countries. Originally published in the Southern Times Newspaper Dr Michael Charles is the Head of the Southern Africa Cluster of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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04/10/2019 | Press release

IFRC, UNICEF and USAID unite efforts to strengthen capacity for emergency preparedness and response in Central Asia

Almaty/Geneva, 4 October 2019– UNICEF’s Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today announced the start of a joint programme, “Strengthening Local and National Capacities for Emergency Preparedness and Response in High Earthquake Risk Countries of Central Asia.” Supported by USAID and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the programme will assist populations at risk of a major earthquake and other disasters in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The results of the joint programme will contribute to the broader UNICEF-IFRC Initiative for Emergency Early Action and Resilience Building in Central Asia. UNICEF said that strengthening the capacities of frontline responders was a critical factor in delivering early action for children and communities during an emergency, including a major earthquake. “This partnership is particularly important when considering that earthquakes become disasters when we are not prepared,” said Philippe Cori, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. The collaboration with IFRC/Red Crescent Societies would contribute to building the resilience of children and their families in Central Asia, the agency added. Central Asia is prone to earthquakes, floods, mudslides, avalanches, droughts and extreme temperatures, all of which can cause loss of life, displacement, family separation, trauma, disruption of education, healthcare, food insecurity, and poverty. An estimated 99.9% of children in Kyrgyzstan and 88.3% in Tajikistan live in areas of high to very high seismic risk. Major urban areas in the region are particularly vulnerable due to high population density and continuing concerns over the seismic safety of buildings and infrastructure. Having national disaster management systems not fully adapted to address children’s vulnerabilities and needs, low capacity of national systems to withstand the disasters, limited nature of cross-sectoral implementation of the disaster risk reduction and mitigation measures, limited DRR knowledge and systematic training, make children more vulnerable to shocks and stresses. Bayarmaa Luntan, Head of the IFRC office for Central Asia, said, “All communities in Central Asia are at risk from disasters that can strike at any time. Helping people to be ready and better able to tackle them is the best way to save lives and reduces losses. That is why this programme is so important.” As part of the activities planned in the project, a sub-regional training for emergency supply and logistics experts will take place in Almaty in November. Staff from National Red Crescent societies, UNICEF Country Offices, and national and local governments will be trained on clear actions, roles and accountabilities in responding to a major earthquake in Central Asia.

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09/08/2019 | Article

Women are the agents of change for climate change in southern Africa

By: Dr Michael Charles Today South Africa marks Women’s Day. Much like the women being commemorated for the march to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, women in southern Africa today may well hold the same flint that lights a “new movement” – climate change. Southern Africa is one of the regions projected to experience the most serious consequences of global warming and the El Niño effect. In 2019, we experienced one of the worst disasters the region has ever seen - Cyclone Idai ravaged communities in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe and continue to rebuild their lives. Urgent action is needed to increase the region’s preparedness for natural disasters. It is only a matter of time until the next disaster strikes. Being female often automatically means that personal susceptibility to sexual and domestic violence, rape and assault in emergency situations is significantly heightened. Women experience additional difficulties because they are typically responsible for sourcing water and preparing food; caring for children, the injured, sick and elderly; and maintaining family and community cohesion. Tackling climate change is, undoubtedly, women’s business. They have a vested interest in avoiding and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is time that humanitarian actors and policy and decision-makers mainstream gender in policy and practice. It is not a “nice to do”; it is crucial to making real and sustainable differences in the lives of affected people. In 1956, 200,000 South African women declared that enough was enough and acted to defend themselves and the unity and integrity of their families from restrictive laws that required them to carry a pass to reside and move freely in urban areas. Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock! was the rallying cry of that day, used to signify the women’s unshakeable and unbreakable resolve in the face of adversity as they marched to the Union Building in Pretoria, and sparked change in the course of South Africa’s history. As countries in southern Africa ramp up their disaster risk management and humanitarian organisations work to strengthen community recovery and resilience, women in southern Africa should not just be considered victims and survivors who need special protection and assistance. They are forces for change who can be relied on to represent themselves within their communities and at the highest decision-making levels. [caption id="attachment_55507" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo: Sonia and other Red Cross volunteers speak to Dr. Michael Charles in Beira, Mozambique[/caption] I am always inspired by the women I meet responding in disasters, most recently in Cyclone Idai. Women like, Sonia, a volunteer who was working long hours to support women in a shelter, displaced by Cyclone Idai or Flora, who was affected herself by flooding but was dedicated to helping her neighbours rebuild their homes and their lives. Happy Women’s Day, South Africa. May the flame that was lit in 1956 and the fire of women’s empowerment and participation that was built over the decades rage on. Dr Michael Charles is the Head of the Southern Africa Cluster of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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28/06/2019 | Article

Uganda has had enough triggers to provoke disaster risk management legislation

By Agnes Ndaaba The rainy season in Uganda brings mixed feelings and reactions. To some, it is welcome while to others, it spells doom and awakens very bad memories. In April, Buyende District was at the receiving end of Mother Nature following heavy rain and the resultant floods led to many people losing their lives and several properties destroyed. But perhaps the most affected area by heavy rain is Bududa District in eastern Uganda. In 2010, it was reported that about 100 people lost their lives following a mudslide resulting from heavy rain. In 2018 again in Bududa District, it was reported that a number of people were killed in a mudslide after heavy rain. Then early this month, Bududa was back in the news again for the same reason. I visited Bududa in April and spoke to a number of residents. Children and adults expressed similar concerns - fearing that the rainy season was about to start and they were most likely to witness another mudslide. Memories of their friends, family and property that were lost to the mudslides in Bukalasi were still fresh in their mind. I saw very large boulders, some seemingly still firmly grounded, but hanging so dangerously; coffee and banana plantations on the steep slopes and not so strong buildings belonging to residents. It even started raining when I was still there and I couldn’t stop imagining the boulders and everything else tumbling down, and it was a scary thought. I was curious to know why these people, very aware of the dangers they co-habit with, would not relocate to safer areas during rainy seasons and return later. Among the responses they gave was that Bukalasi is extremely fertile for crop growing, and evidently so. Besides, these people have ancestral and cultural attachments from which they do not want to be divorced. A more fascinating disclosure was that a number of them that get resettled eventually return to their homes. This makes the resettlement efforts by the Office of the Prime Minister quite ineffective. While I have dwelt much on mudslides and landslides, Uganda faces other disasters, including, but not limited to refugee influx, civil strife, famine as a result of drought specially in the north-eastern parts of the country. Others are earthquakes, armed conflict, disease epidemics, and terrorism, all of which increase vulnerability of Ugandans by the day. Currently, Uganda is grappling with a possible Ebola outbreak with a few reported positive cases at the border with the DR Congo. One would rightly argue that Uganda has had more than enough triggers to provoke an expedited development of a comprehensive legislative framework on disaster risk management. One that among others assigns authorities and responsibilities to individuals and/or institutions, but sadly, there is none. The closest there is being the National Policy on Disaster Preparedness and Management (2011), whose goal is to “establish institutions and mechanisms that will reduce the vulnerability of people, plants and wildlife to disasters in Uganda.” However, policies are not binding and we, therefore, see continued reliance on several sectoral laws, which however, are lacking in a number of aspects. The problems that usually arise out of disaster are very complex and require a comprehensive and coordinated management policy and legislation, and the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) notes that “without a comprehensive and binding legal directive that obliges actors and agencies to take action, the natural inertia of bureaucracies means that non-specified essential tasks are unlikely to be undertaken.” A cursory look at the four priority areas of the Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030) under which Uganda operates reveals that Uganda has made significant progress on the four priorities of the framework, having put in place National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, functional Disaster Management Committees at district level, and a functional National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC), but there is need for a legislation, to further strengthen the established institutions and to increase accountability. The checklist for Disaster Risk Reduction legislation developed jointly by the International Federation of the Red Cross and the UNDP calls for a legislation that prioritises risk reduction; establishes clear roles and responsibilities related to risk reduction for all relevant institutions from national to local level; and ensures that sufficient resources are budgeted for disaster risk reduction. Also establishes clear procedures and responsibilities for risk assessments; establishes clear procedures and responsibilities for early warning; requires education, training and awareness-raising to promote a ‘whole of society approach’ to DRR; ensures the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in risk reduction decisions and activities; addresses gender concerns and the special needs of particularly vulnerable categories of persons; and puts in place adequate mechanisms to ensure that responsibilities are fulfilled and rights are protected. It goes without saying that the lack of a disaster risk management legislation by the government fails Ugandans on all the foregoing fronts. Three years down the road, the Office of the Prime Minister is still in the process of formulating a national disaster management Bill. It is about time probably that a motion to introduce a Private Members Bill on DRR was brought to and debated in Parliament. Ms Ndaaba is a Disaster Law Project manager/In-House Legal Counsel, Uganda Red Cross Society. [email protected]

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02/05/2019 | Article

Cyclone Fani: Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers help communities prepare for landfall

Red Cross volunteers in the Indian state of Odisha are ramping up efforts to warn 20 million people of the imminent and potentially deadly arrival of Cyclone Fani. Fani is predicted to make landfall on India’s east coast on 3 May. It is expected to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds which could lead to loss of life and injuries, as well as damaging houses, infrastructure and crops. An estimated 1,500 Indian Red Cross volunteers are working within communities to warn people at risk. The Indian Red Cross is packing emergency kits (with instant rice, tea, sugar, biscuits, candles, matches and water) ready to distribute to people who will seek refuge in the state’s cyclone shelters. Clothing, hygiene kits, buckets, kitchen sets, mosquito nets and plastic sheeting are also being prepared. In the event of a disaster, Red Cross will prioritize support for displaced families, older people, women-headed families, breast-feeding mothers and people living with a disability. In Bangladesh, an estimated 12.8 million people are at risk given Fani’s current predicted path which takes it across four inland districts on its journey east. Volunteers of the joint Bangladesh Red Crescent/Bangladesh government cyclone preparedness programme are alerting communities about the potential impact of the storm and the possible need to evacuate using megaphones and loudspeakers as well as social media. In Cox’s Bazar – where an estimated 700,000 people who have fled violence in Rakhine are living in camps – Red Crescent volunteers are going household-to-household to warn people of the risk potentially posed by Fani.

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03/01/2019 | Article

Double disaster prompts better preparedness in DPR Korea

By Maude Froberg, IFRC The sound of digging echoes over the mountain slope in the early morning. It is a slow arduous digging, as the soil is becoming more frozen by the day. Choe Gwang Chol, volunteer from the Red Cross, leans against his spade and pauses. “There is still a lot of mud in the gardens and next to the houses,” he says. It has now been months since the double disasters of floods and a landslide hit North and South Hwanghae province in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In Kumchon county the traces are still visible. The landslide, caused by heavy rains, has left a scar where when it came crashing down, ripping houses and families apart. Sha­­rds of what were homes are still scattered in the mud: pieces of clothes, part of a roof, a broken teacup. “The volunteers dug out the trapped residents from their houses and helped move household items from the debris. When the first landslide happened, 12 people were buried under the mud and the rescuers searched also for them,” recalls Choe Gwang Chol. Tested by the response Choe Hwa Sok, DPRK Red Cross Branch Leader, is dressed in a warm black jacket and extends a welcome by apologising for the temporary location of the organization. It is chilly inside and rays of sun find their way through the dusty window. The previous training room of the Red Cross was washed away in the floods that struck this community in the end of August. This was not the first time floods have happened in this area, but people were not prepared for a second danger “On the day of the disaster, people evacuated from the flood-affected area, which was according to plan. After all, we are situated downstream. Meanwhile, people at the foot of the hill thought they were safe. Then the landslide came crashing down. It has never happened before,” she says. It started raining on 28 August, but the rain did not seem heavy, Choe Hwa Sok recalls. Then came the downpour in the morning of the following day. In just a few hours, 678 mm rain fell. She led some 250 volunteers in performing early warning, while helping some 10,000 people to evacuate. The volunteers also carried out search and rescue, and transported injured people to hospitals. People here had experienced floods, but never landslides. In all, 242,000 people were displaced, 42 were killed and 31 went still missing in Kumchon County. In response, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released 383,123 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support the DPRK Red Cross with distribution of emergency supplies such as cooking sets, blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene sets and water containers. Daniel Wallinder, IFRC Disaster Risk Management Delegate, says, “The floods are part of a general and worrying trend in the past years of extreme and highly volatile weather that need further improvements in early warning systems and greater community training. Although geographically dispersed, the damage to land and to infrastructure often happens in areas that we could predict would be high-risk.” This time, the response was not without challenges. “The Red Cross volunteers had to walk 16 kilometres to reach people in the flood-affected area of Ryanghap-ri. What normally takes four hours to walk took eight hours. It was a rocky road, partly closed,” he says. This action was noted by the authorities. Yu Sun Hong, Vice Chairperson of County People’s Committee says. “We are very grateful to the Red Cross. I saw many volunteers engaged and I also got to know about the IFRC. In the past we have seen the Red Cross do good things, but during the disaster the organization performed lots of relief activities. Red Cross volunteers carried medicines and emergency relief items to six affected rural communities. They also distributed water to people living in temporary shelters.” The inhabitants of Kumchon county are now stepping up preparedness and awareness about the new danger. They are mapping disaster risks, ensuring people are aware of early warning systems and running evacuation drills. The double disaster has brought home the importance of preparing for the unexpected. Learning to heed to early warnings The small white house with a thatched roof is located on a side street. One by one, children in colourful jackets pass by on their way home from school. This is the temporary home of Ho Song Ran, a single mother of three. A bed with warm quilts covers almost the entire living room. “The house is not big, but I am happy about it,” she says in a soft but confident voice. In the morning, the heavy downpour started and the children were just about to go to school. “I had received an early warning about heavy rain the night before. Even though I had noted it, I didn’t think of going to a shelter, because I had never experienced anything like this before,” she says. “Then I saw people evacuating and being swept away by the torrential rain. Quilts, pillows and debris were being washed away from the houses and it was only then that I felt terrified. The upper parts of my house were torn off. The first thought that came to my mind was that the kids would die in the house if we stayed there,” she says. The family then moved into a tent, then to a middle school. The DPRK Red Cross with the support of IFRC has provided her with household items such as cooking utensils, quilts and a hygiene kit. The only thing she is missing is a chopping board. With winter just around the corner people like Ho Song Ran and her children remain highly vulnerable, but the community has come closer. Many people affected by the double disaster moved in with neighbours and for this single mother to pay back is essential. “Today I am a victim without a house, but with shelter. In the future I will remember all the experiences and urge others to follow the early warnings so that people can evacuate at the right time.”

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16/01/2017 | Press release

Joint Press Release: Leaving no one behind: New INCEIF-IFRC partnership paves way to stronger humanitarian action

Kuala Lumpur, 16 Jan 2017—The Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to leverage Islamic Social Finance opportunities and develop strategies and fundraising tools in support of Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian aid programmes. The MoU was signed today at INCEIF’s Kuala Lumpur campus by INCEIF President and CEO Daud Vicary Abdullah and IFRC’s Under Secretary General for Partnerships, Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood. The partnership aims to explore and expand ways Islamic Social Finance can be used as a tool to help National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies respond to disasters and other crises, reduce vulnerabilities, support healthy and safe living and foster a culture of peace in at-risk communities. As part of the agreement, INCEIF will undertake research in innovative financial instruments that could assist Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian and development initiatives, including the design and development of Sukuk social impact bonds, Waqf and Zakat endowment funds and other mechanisms that make use of obligatory and voluntary faith-based donations. Pilot projects will launch soon in select countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, including Malaysia. INCEIF will also provide guidance on ways to tap Islamic Social Finance, connect its alumni network in 80 countries with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and advocate for the direct funding of programmes that alleviate suffering, build resilience and promote human dignity. In addition, the MoU includes the development of an IFRC internship programme for INCEIF students. “At INCEIF, we realise that it is a winning strategy to promote the development of Islamic Finance by establishing effective collaborative partnerships around the globe,” says Mr. Daud. “INCEIF is proud to add IFRC to our list of partners, which includes the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Financial Services Board. It is an honour for INCEIF to share our expertise and knowledge in Islamic Finance to better society through the Duty of Care, which is the true spirit of Islam." Dr. Mahmood says Islamic Social Financing has the potential to help address significant financial challenges in meeting the needs of millions of people caught in crises and poverty. “We are keen to explore innovative ways the Islamic finance sector can work with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and demonstrate solidarity and principled action to save lives and promote dignity,” Dr. Mahmood adds. “We will be eager to see Islamic Social Finance contribute to strengthening communities and realizing the IFRC’s commitment of leaving no one behind.’” Islamic Social Finance was featured prominently at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit as an important tool for humanitarian aid financing and championed by HRH Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Malaysia, the co-chair for the United Nations High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing. About INCEIF INCEIF was set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2005 to develop human capital and knowledge leadership for the global Islamic finance industry. Apart from its academic programmes, which are Masters of Islamic Finance Practice, MSc in Islamic Finance and PhD in Islamic Finance, INCEIF also offers customized executive training programmes and industry-focused applied research in line with its vision to be the knowledge and thought leader in Islamic finance. Since 2015, INCEIF’s research has been ranked 1st in Malaysia among the higher education institutions in the Research Papers in Economics (RePec) rankings. We are also the only institution to have the research of five professors recognized by RePec, among the top 30 academics in Malaysia. We are ranked 40th in Asia as a university. Within the Financial Economics & Finance Department category, defined by REPEC, we are ranked 30th in the world. INCEIF’s curriculum, developed from its research and with practical subject expertise from industry players, is used and adopted worldwide by various academic institutions. INCEIF faculty members, who are globally respected among the Islamic finance academia and industry, have a combined wealth of experience and diversity. For more information, please visit www.inceif.org About IFRC The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 190 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. The IFRC headquarters is based in Geneva and its Asia Pacific regional office is based in Kuala Lumpur. For more information, visit www.ifrc.org.

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