| Press release
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Recovery efforts continue to be crucial one year after the La Soufrière eruption
Kingston, Jamaica, April 8, 2022 – On April 9, 2021, the explosive eruption of the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the Caribbean, caused more than 13,000 people who live in the nearby red and orange zones to be evacuated. One year later, the impact of the disaster is still evident, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is focusing its efforts on shelter and socio-economic recovery, as the income of families has been affected by the eruption and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past year, the Red Cross has supported over 5,000 people with water, emergency relief supplies, hygiene and cleaning items, dignified housing solutions, risk communication and community engagement, as well as psychosocial and livelihood support.
Bernard Morgan, President of the SVG Red Cross, said:
“The Red Cross, along with our partners, has provided relief, psychosocial support, and access to basic services, however the work is still not done. We continue to focus our efforts on helping people recover, especially those who have lost their jobs or savings, and whose homes were severely damaged. The physical effects of the volcano may not be as visible now, but people are still dealing with the social, economic, and psychological effects of the eruption, especially the estimated 900 people who are still unable to move back to their homes.”
The Red Cross provided multipurpose grants to support approximately 1000 persons as well as supermarket vouchers for over 800 persons. In addition, over 300 small enterprises have received grants to restart farming, fishing and businesses that were interrupted by the eruption.
The Red Cross has supported over 210 highly vulnerable persons (74 families) to leave collective centres and to move into dignified shelter conditions through the provision of rental grants for a period of between 1-6 months depending on needs, with over 400 monthly grants distributed since September 2021.
James Bellamy, IFRC Deputy Operations Manager in the Americas, said:
“One year later, some people still don’t have their homes or usual means of income, as more than 100 homes continue to remain uninhabitable due to damage and increased risks from the eruption. The priority now for the Red Cross is to help communities strengthen and restore their livelihoods and living conditions. We will continue to assist families through our livelihood program, offer training opportunities and work with disadvantaged households to find long-term shelter solutions through both cash and in-kind assistance.”
Children have been at the core of the humanitarian response, with over 500 receiving psychosocial support kits including learning and recreational items. The IFRC collaborated with partners, like UNICEF and the Gender Affairs unit, to ensure child friendly spaces in collective centres.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and dengue outbreak, preventing the spread of the virus and dengue infections was a major part of the response. The Red Cross provided information about staying safe and healthy, and supplied family Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, as well as 400 hand sanitizer wall mounted units to the Ministry of Education for schools reopening for face-to-face learning.
The Red Cross also supported cleanup efforts following the eruption and distributed household cleaning kits to over 3,300 families and hygiene kits and COVID-19 kits to over 2,300 families.
In April 2021, the IFRC launched an appeal for 2,000,000 CHF to assist over 5,000 people in affected communities with shelter, health, clean water and livelihood support.
For more information:
In St. Vincent: Attica Allen +1 (784) 454-1989, [email protected]
In Jamaica: Trevesa DaSilva, +876 818 8575, [email protected]
In Panama: Susana Arroyo Barrantes, +507 6999-3199, [email protected]
| Press release
Launch of ambitious partnership between IFRC and EU: a new model for the humanitarian sector
Brussels/Geneva, 30 March 2022 - An ambitious partnership between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) launched today aims to be a new model for the humanitarian sector.
In response to the increasing number of crises arising worldwide, the pilot Programmatic Partnership “Accelerating Local Action in Humanitarian and Health Crises” aims to support local action in addressing humanitarian and health crises across at least 25 countries with a multi-year EU funding allocation.
The partnership strengthens mutual strategic priorities and is built around five pillars of intervention: disaster preparedness/risk management; epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response; humanitarian assistance and protection to people on the move; cash and voucher assistance; risk communication, community engagement and accountability.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said:
“I welcome with great hope the Pilot Programmatic Partnership with IFRC, a trusted EU partner who shares our vision of implementing efficient and effective humanitarian aid operations worldwide. The funding allocated for this partnership reaffirms the EU commitment to help meet the growing needs of vulnerable people across some 25 countries, in close cooperation with the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies. It also confirms our commitment to strategic partnerships with humanitarian aid organizations.”
IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said:
“Longer-term, strategic partnerships are essential to respond to the escalation of humanitarian crises around the world. We must respond rapidly, we must respond at scale, and we must modernize our approach to make impact. We know that the most effective and sustainable humanitarian support is that which is locally led, puts communities at the heart of the action, and is resourced through flexible, long-term and predictable partnership. The pilot Programmatic Partnership allows exactly that.”
The Programme will begin with an inception phase in several countries in Latin America, West and Central Africa and Yemen. The main objective is to provide essential assistance to those currently affected by humanitarian crises, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related disasters and conflict and to prevent loss of lives and suffering. Investment is also made to ensure communities are better prepared to cope with disasters through the implementation of disaster preparedness and risk reduction components.
Working closely with its National Societies, the IFRC’s global reach combined with local action, its long history of community-driven humanitarian work and its Fundamental Principles, make it the partner of choice for this Pilot Programmatic Partnership with the EU.
Following the first phase of implementation, the Programme aims to expand its reach and include additional countries around the world with the support of more EU National Societies.
The 10 countries of implementation in the inception phase are: Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Yemen, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
The seven National Societies from the EU working to support the implementation of the inception phase are: Belgian Red Cross (FR), Danish Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Italian Red Cross, Luxembourg Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross.
For more information
In Brussels: Federica Cuccia, [email protected]
In Geneva: Anna Tuson, [email protected], +41 79 895 6924
| Press release
Tonga: Aid ramped up after eruption and tsunami
Kuala Lumpur/Suva, 26 January 2022 – Local relief teams are urgently providing supplies to communities across Tonga, hit hard by a volcanic eruption and tsunami that destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands without safe drinking water.
Relief items are being unloaded after the airport was cleared of ash, making it safe for planes to land.
Tonga Red Cross staff and volunteers have been assisting people from the moment the tsunami alert was triggered, and are ramping up the delivery of drinking water, temporary shelters and other critical relief supplies across the country’s many islands.
Sione Taumoefolau, Secretary General of Tonga Red Cross, said:
“This disaster has shaken the people of Tonga like nothing we have seen in our lifetime. The tsunami has wiped out homes and villages, but we are already rebuilding amid the ashes.
“After being cut off from the world, we are very grateful for the relief supplies being delivered to our shores. Our Red Cross teams are using boat and trucks to take these vital items that last mile to communities in need of shelter, water and other basic necessities.
“There is an urgent need for people to have access to safe water sources in the days and weeks to come. Ash has settled in water tanks- requiring time to settle and careful treatment before use. It has also smothered much of the country, including houses and crops.
“It is critical to clean this ash away, so it doesn’t run into water supplies when the next rain comes.
“Shelter is a top priority for families whose homes have been completely wiped out because of the tsunami. People have lost everything. We need to provide immediate support – then turn our attention to the longer term. It will be a tough time, but we will recover.”
To support the relief efforts of our locally led response, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal of 2.5 million Swiss Francs to provide urgent assistance including safe water, tarpaulins, shelter materials including tool kits to rebuild, household items such as kitchen cooking sets and hygiene kits.
Katie Greenwood, IFRC’s Pacific Head of Delegation, said:
“While the damage to some of the islands is truly devastating, it is heartening to see Red Cross and governments from around the world providing assistance to the hard-hit people of Tonga, enabling much-needed services and relief items.
“A well-coordinated humanitarian response that brings together governments and international organisations to support local agencies like Tonga Red Cross is crucial in the Pacific. These partnerships are critical for effective delivery of immediate relief and longer-term support.”
For more information, contact:
In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected]
Asia Pacific Office: Joe Cropp, +61 491 743 089, [email protected]
Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]
| Press release
Philippines: New data reveals Typhoon Rai wrecked 1.5 million houses
Kuala Lumpur/Manila, 25 January 2022 – New assessments reveal the full extent of Super Typhoon Rai’s devastation when it slammed into the Philippines a little over a month ago, with the storm destroying or damaging a staggering 1.5 million houses, more than any other typhoon in recent decades.
Philippine Red Cross is ramping up its shelter support by transporting table saws, chainsaws and generators to areas hardest hit by the typhoon, including Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Siargao and Dinagat islands.
The equipment is enabling Red Cross carpenters and trained volunteers to transform millions of fallen coconut trees into coco lumber to rebuild safer and stronger homes in the worst-affected areas.
Carpenters are training local people in safer house construction, to provide vital wages for families who lost their livelihoods, including the agricultural and fishing equipment they relied upon to earn an income.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said:
“This is a much bigger disaster than the world realised a month ago. People who relied on farming, fishing and tourism can’t earn an income now. Millions of people don’t have a roof over their heads.
"Red Cross is supporting 30,000 families with roofing materials like corrugated iron sheets and tarpaulins to protect them from the sun and rain, but we need greater international support to meet the enormous need for safer and stronger homes for millions of people.
“The typhoon comes in the middle of a pandemic and a political campaign, which draw attention away from what truly is a catastrophe. This must not become forgotten tomorrow morning.”
IFRC Head of Philippine Country Office Alberto Bocanegra said:
“It’s a little over one month since Typhoon Rai slammed into the Philippines, yet millions of people still urgently need humanitarian support, including homes, clean water supplies and healthcare.
“Assessment data reveals that this Super Typhoon has caused enormous devastation, destroying or damaging more homes than any storm in recent decades.
“Filipinos are tough, and they are rebuilding, with support from Philippine Red Cross and other agencies, but more must be done to help people rebuild their shattered homes.”
Philippine Red Cross has been on the ground since the super typhoon hit and has already reached 36,000 people with emergency shelter support, including toolkits, construction materials and tarpaulins to help people set up temporary shelters and start rebuilding. Emergency teams are providing kitchen sets, sleeping kits, pillows, mattresses, bedsheets, blankets and clothing.
Longer-term support is required to enable families to rebuild their homes safely, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, living on isolated islands and in remote or hard to reach areas.
IFRC co-leads the Shelter Cluster Philippines with the Government of the Philippines to assess the typhoon’s impact on households, coordinating and prioritising emergency shelter work with all partners.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for CHF 20 million to support more than 400,000 people over 24 months. A top priority includes assisting people to rebuild safer shelters, including emergency housing materials and essential items, replacement of destroyed houses, and legal support on housing, land and property issues.
For more information, contact: IFRC Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 845, [email protected]
IFRC Philippine Delegation: Karina Coates, +61 (0) 404 086 006, [email protected]
| Press release
Tonga: Volcanic eruption and tsunami cuts off country from the world
Kuala Lumpur/Suva, 16 January 2022 - The small Pacific Island country of Tonga has been cut off from the rest of the world after an enormous volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami hit the country on Saturday.
All communication lines in the country have been disrupted with no timeframe given on restoration. Responding to one of the worst volcanic eruptions the Pacific has experienced in decades, Red Cross is mobilising its regional network to provide relief.
Katie Greenwood, IFRC’s Pacific Head of Delegation, said:
“From what little updates we have, the scale of the devastation could be immense- especially for outer lying Islands. We are trying hard to establish contact with our colleagues at Tonga Red Cross and establish the scale and specific nature of the support they need.
“Trained Tonga Red Cross teams will be on the ground supporting evacuations in coordination with public authorities, providing first aid if needed, and distributing prepositioned relief supplies.
“Red Cross currently has enough relief supplies in the country to support 1200 households with essential items such as tarpaulins, blankets, kitchen sets, shelter tool kits and hygiene kits.”
There are fears that communities may not have access to safe and clean drinking water as a result of saltwater inundation caused by the tsunami waves and ashfall from the volcanic eruption. Shelter is also a concern, particularly for those communities near the coast line.
“Local Red Cross teams are well placed to respond quickly to emergencies like this. We are determined to provide the extra resources and support they may need in the face of such a devastating disaster.
“With communication channels disrupted one of the priorities for Tonga Red Cross will be to work with our Movement partner, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to restore family links which will help people from all over the world try and find out if their family and friends in Tonga are safe and well.”
Update: On 21 January 2022 the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal for the Tonga volcano and tsunami. Find out more here.
For more information, contact:
In Suva: Soneel Ram, +679 9983 688, [email protected]
Asia Pacific Office: Joe Cropp, +61 491 743 089, [email protected]
Asia Pacific Office: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]
| Press release
“We need to do better” – IFRC report reveals gaps in child protection during climate related disasters
Kingston, Jamaica – November 19, 2021. Adolescents overwhelmingly feel that they do not have the information needed to be safe from potential violence, abuse, and exploitation in climate related disasters. This is one of the main findings of “We Need to Do Better: Climate Related Disasters, Child Protection and Localizing Action in the Caribbean,” a recent study conducted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The report has revealed that even though climate related disasters affect each person in the region, children are particularly at risk. They make up a large portion of the population of the Caribbean and are most vulnerable to encountering violence, abuse, and exploitation in disaster settings, while systems to protect them do not always work. The study also highlights that there are no specific laws in place to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation when disasters happen.
Gurvinder Singh, IFRC’s Child Protection Senior Advisor and one of the authors of the report, said:
“While children potentially have great leadership and innovation capabilities, unfortunately, their voices are rarely being sought out or heard. Furthermore, there is a huge deficit in meaningful opportunities for children to be engaged in decisions that affect them. This is especially prominent in the stages of preparing for and responding to disasters. Adolescents believe that even if they do participate, their opinions may not be taken seriously by adults.”
By putting the voices, perspectives, and ideas of children at the forefront, the report seeks to understand the generally unexplored relationships between climate related disasters and children’s concerns around violence, abuse, exploitation, and mental health challenges. It also sends a warning to governments and civic organisations to play a more active role in the promotion of and respect for the rights of the child, especially with regards to the issue of child abuse and the need for urgent effective prevention programmes.
Ariel Kestens, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for the Dutch-and English-speaking Caribbean, said:
“It is critical that governments enhance domestic laws, invest in child protection systems, improve local coordination, train local responders, include protection and climate change in school curriculum, and collect sex-, age- and disability-disaggregated data in disaster responses. The IFRC Network across the Caribbean stands ready to support them to continue striving to meet the best interests of each child affected by more and more frequent, and destructive climate related disasters.”
The report also recommends practical actions for the humanitarian sector, such as designing child-friendly communications, implementing community feedback mechanisms, including child protection in anticipatory action, integrating child protection across preparedness, assessments and planning, and creating spaces for children and adults to engage, support one another and find viable solutions to protection risks.
The study was based on discussions and an online survey with 198 adolescents ages 14-17 years in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; interviews with 30 adults from different disaster and child protection agencies, and background research. It is part of the campaign “We Need to Do Better” by the IFRC to enhance protection of children in climate related disasters.
The full report may be accessed here. The adolescent summary of the report is available here.
For more information, please contact:
In Jamaica: Trevesa DaSilva | +876 818-8575 | [email protected]
In Panama: Susana Arroyo Barrantes | + 506 8416 1771 | [email protected]
| Press release
Communities affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota are threatened by food insecurity, displacement and the climate crisis
Panama City, 11 November, 2021 - One year after Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Central America, affecting more than 7.5 million people, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for urgent action and investment to protect millions of vulnerable people in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua who are facing the combined impact of COVID-19, poverty, and climate-related disasters.
In Honduras alone, over 3 million people are now suffering from food insecurity, and 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, over double the previous estimate issued in early 2020. Other communities in the region are facing the destruction of livelihoods such as fishing and farming has forced the most vulnerable families to choose between selling their assets to ensure their food security or reducing the number of daily meals.
Roger Alonso, IFRC’s Head of the Disaster, Climate and Crises Unit, said:
“In the last 12 months, the Red Cross teams in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have worked tirelessly to address the needs of more than 620,000 people affected by Eta and Iota. We have provided shelter, health care, psychosocial support, access to food, clean water, sanitation, and cash transfer services. However, the disaster is not over. Urgent action is needed now to protect people’s livelihoods, prevent diseases, and ramp up the recovery from the social and economic impact of the hurricanes, which have severely affected women, migrants and displaced people.”
In 2020, at least 1.5 million people were displaced in Central America as a consequence of disasters, including Hurricanes Eta and Iota: 937,000 in Honduras, 339,000 in Guatemala, and 232,000 in Nicaragua.
Eta and Iota have wiped out livestock and destroyed over 700,000 hectares of crops which are a critical source of livelihood and food security for many families already facing social exclusion and economic difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and pre-existent poverty levels. These adverse impacts have contributed to people’s decision to leave their homes or join ‘migrant caravans’ headed towards North America.
Martha Keays, IFRC’s Regional Director in the Americas, said:
“We need to act globally and locally before communities are displaced, and invest in climate adaptation and early action to combat the effect of disasters such as Eta and Iota. Guatemala, Honduras and, Nicaragua are classified as countries in high-risk of facing climate-related threats and, at the same time, are in the group of countries that lack investment to fund preparedness and adaptation measures. Humanitarian organizations, governments, civil society, donors, and climate experts should work together to revert that pattern and promote climate financing measures that save lives and empower communities, particularly those with the highest risks and the lowest capacities.”
In response to hurricanes Eta and Iota in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, the IFRC has launched an emergency appeal for 20 million Swiss francs to save lives, deliver humanitarian aid, and put in place preparedness plans and climate change adaptation measures that build community resilience and minimize the impact of future disasters.
In November 2020, the IFRC also activated its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to deliver fast and effective humanitarian aid for over 26,000 people affected by Eta or Iota in Belice, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.
For more information:
Susana Arroyo Barrantes, [email protected] + 506 8416 1771
María Victoria Langman, [email protected] +507 65501090
Emergency needs assessments
When Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies help people affected by disasters or crises, they start by conducting emergency needs assessments. These assessments help them understand the extent and impact of the damage a disaster or crisis has caused, as well as the ability of the affected population to meet its immediate survival needs.
Donors pledge increased support to the IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF)
Climate-related disasters are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity around the world. But most go unseen—devastating lives, infrastructure and economies without attention, resources or help.
Local and rapid response is what's needed the most. But often the Red Cross or Red Crescent in disaster-hit countries lacks the resources or capacity to respond, especially if they are tackling multiple crises.
That's where the DREF makes all the difference. It’s a central pot of money through which the IFRC channels global funds rapidly and directly to our National Societies for early action and immediate disaster response.
To address the massive humanitarian impacts of climate-related disasters and COVID-19, investment must come at the community level where it has the greatest impact. The DREF brings aid straight into the hands of people in need and builds the capacity of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who are best placed to deliver it.
IFRC Secretary General
Since launching in 1985, the IFRC has supported 200 million people in crisis worldwide through the DREF.
The DREF Pledging Conference, held on 18 October and co-chaired by the IFRC and the European Union, sought to grow this life-saving and innovative fund to CHF 100 million per year as of 2022, and up to CHF 300 million by 2025, to address the alarming rise in disasters and to support millions more people.
The European Union continues to support the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. It is a concrete example of our commitment to localization. Through this fund, our resources have been channelled to populations with the most pressing needs, in an open and direct manner.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management
The IFRC is grateful to the following partners who pledged new, or renewed, funding to the DREF during the conference:
Government of Australia
Government of Belgium
Government of Canada
Government of Germany
Government of Ireland
Government of Korea
Government of Luxembourg
Government of the Netherlands
Government of Norway
Government of Sweden
Government of Switzerland
Government of the United Kingdom
Japanese Red Cross
White & Case LLP
We also would like to thank the respective National Societies from the above countries for their support to the DREF and for their continued engagement with their governments.
Watch: meet some of the people around the world who we've supported through the DREF
For more information about the DREF or the pledging conference:
Visit this page on our website
Download our DREF Annual Plan 2021 and DREF Strategic Ambition 2021-2025
Contact Florent Del Pinto (Manager, Emergency Operations Centre) [email protected] or Ivana Mrdja (Manager, National Society and Government Partners) [email protected]
Technological and biological hazard preparedness
Technological and biological emergencies, sometimes called 'CBRN' (short for chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear hazards), can have devastating and long lasting impacts on people's lives and livelihoods. The IFRC supports National Societies worldwide to effectively prepare for and respond to technological emergencies using a multi-hazard approach.
| Press release
الصليب الأحمر يمدد مساعداته في لبنان لمواجهة الأزمة الاقتصادية الحادة
بيروت/جنيف، 4 آب/أغسطس 2021 - بعد مرور عام على الانفجار المدمر لميناء بيروت، يستمر عدد الأشخاص المحتاجين إلى المساعدة الإنسانية في لبنان في الارتفاع، بسبب الأزمة الاقتصادية الحادة وانخفاض قيمة العملة المحلية، وسط وباء كوفيد 19المستمر. ويواصل الاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر دعم الصليب الأحمر اللبناني في الأنشطة المنقذة للحياة، التي تصل إلى ملايين الأشخاص في جميع أنحاء البلاد.
بالنسبة لكثير من الناس الذين فقدوا وظائفهم والقدرة على شراء المواد الغذائية الأساسية والسلع المنزلية، أصبح من الصعب للغاية شراء الأدوية والحصول على الرعاية الصحية.
وقال جورج كتانة، الأمين العام للصليب الأحمر اللبناني:
"إن الأزمة الاقتصادية الحادة التي يواجهها بلدنا، حطمت حياة عدد كبير من الناس في لبنان. لا يمكن للأشخاص الذين يعانون من أمراض مزمنة الانتظار حتى تنتهي الأزمة الاقتصادية. إنهم بحاجة إلى أدوية يومية للبقاء على قيد الحياة. إنهم بحاجة إلى مساعدتنا الآن.
ونحن ندعو المانحين إلى مساعدتنا في الحصول على التمويل اللازم لتأمين استدامة خدماتنا العامة الحيوية وتمويل استجابتنا للأزمة الاقتصادية".
ومنذ الانفجار الذي وقع في آب/أغسطس من العام الماضي، قدم الاتحاد الدولي دعما كبيرا إلى الصليب الأحمر اللبناني لتمكين الجمعية الوطنية من تلبية الاحتياجات الإنسانية للمتضررين. وعلى وجه التحديد، صرف الاتحاد الدولي 75000 فرنك سويسري من صندوق الإغاثة الطارئة في حالات الكوارث في الأيام الأولى التي أعقبت الانفجار. وفي وقت لاحق، أطلق الاتحاد الدولي نداء عالميا طارئا لجمع مبلغ 20 مليون فرنك سويسري بهدف مساعدة أكثر من 150000 شخص. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، نشر الاتحاد الدولي موظفين متخصصين لدعم واستكمال جهود الجمعية الوطنية في قطاعات متعددة؛ وقدم الدعم المالي لضمان استمرارية العمليات اليومية للصليب الأحمر اللبناني في تقديم الخدمات الحيوية لكل من يحتاجها.
وأضاف كريستيان كورتيز، ممثل الاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر في لبنان:
"يعمل الاتحاد الدولي والصليب الأحمر اللبناني معا على توسيع خطة الاستجابة المشتركة التي تشمل تقديم المساعدة الصحية والرعاية الصحية الطارئة والأولية، ودعم المرضى المصابين بفيروس كوفيد19، وزيادة خدمات نقل الدم من 42,000 وحدة دم إلى 60,000 سنويا لتلبية الاحتياجات الأساسية للناس في لبنان".
وحتى الآن، جمع الاتحاد الدولي لجمعيات الصليب الأحمر والهلال الأحمر 9.2 مليون فرنك سويسري من خلال مناشدة عالمية. وقد قدم الصليب الاحمر اللبنانى مساعدات نقدية مباشرة الى اكثر من 10800 اسرة ، منها سبع دفعات قيمتها 300 دولار امريكى لكل اسرة ، بمبلغ اجمالى قدره 22.8 مليون دولار امريكى .
وفي الوقت الحالي، تتمثل أولوية الصليب الأحمر اللبناني في إيجاد سبل للحفاظ على خدماته الحيوية في مجال الصحة في حالات الطوارئ وخدمات الإسعاف، التي تقدم مجانا للسكان للاستجابة للزيادة الكبيرة في الطلب المتصلة بجائحة كوفيد19. كما يسعى إلى إيجاد سبل لتخفيف المعاناة الناجمة عن الأزمة الاقتصادية الحادة. ووفقا للبنك الدولي، حتى يونيو/حزيران 2021، يعيش أكثر من 45٪ من السكان اللبنانيين تحت خط الفقر.
نبذة عن الصليب الأحمر اللبناني
1. الصليب الأحمر اللبناني هو الجهة المحلية التي توفر خدمات الإسعاف ونقل الدم في لبنان. وفي كل عام، تقدم الجمعية الوطنية خدمات مجانية لأكثر من 000 180 شخص في جميع أنحاء البلد. في أعقاب انفجار ميناء بيروت وفي سياق الخدمات العامة المتداعية، يسعى الصليب الأحمر اللبناني جاهدا الى الاستمرار في تقديم عمليات الإغاثة و إنقاذ الحياة في جميع أنحاء البلاد.
2. يدير الصليب الأحمر اللبناني أكثر من 36 مركزا للرعاية الصحية الأولية و 9عيادات متنقلة ومركزي تطعيم ضد كوفيد19 وتقوم الجمعية الوطنية حاليا بتوسيع نطاق تلك الخدمات لتكون قادرة على الاستجابة بشكل أفضل لنقص الأدوية وانخفاض فرص حصول السكان على الرعاية الصحية.
3. وأجرى المتطوعون والموظفون أكثر من 000 35 زيارة ميدانية للتقييم الوضع الإنساني للعائلات التي هي في أمس الحاجة إلى المساعدة. وقد اختيرت الأسر على أساس معايير محددة، مثل الصعوبات في تلبية الاحتياجات الأكثر إلحاحا؛ الأشخاص الذين يعانون من احتياجات الخاصة؛ العائلات التي لديها شقق متضررة أو مدمرة؛ الأشخاص الذين يعانون من إصابات ويواجهون صعوبة في الحصول على الرعاية الصحية و / في شراء الأدوية؛ الأسر التي تديرها امرأة وحدها، ؛ بالإضافة الى اعتبارات العمر.
لمزيد من المعلومات أو لطلب المقابلات، يرجى الاتصال ب:
في بيروت: رنا صيداني كاسو، [email protected]، 0096171802779
في جنيف: ناتالي بيرود، [email protected]، 0041795381471
What is a disaster?
Disasters are serious disruptions to the functioning of a community that exceed its capacity to cope using its own resources.Disasters can be caused by natural, man-made and technological hazards, as well as various factors that influence the exposure and vulnerability of a community.
| Press release
Africa CDC and IFRC ramp up COVID-19 response in Africa
Addis Ababa, 25 August 2021 - The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today launched a new collaboration to strengthen community resilience and response to public health emergencies at community level. The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ramp up pandemic response—including testing support to countries; community mobilization; advocacy and scaling up of contact tracing. In addition to COVID-19, the collaboration includes other areas of public health.
Africa CDC and IFRC will strengthen investments in locally-led action—for prevention and response purposes—while working with governments to ensure they intensify efforts to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, Africa CDC and IFRC will scale up advocacy against vaccine wastage.
This new initiative comes at a time Africa continues to face major vaccine shortages, amid a high level of community transmission in countries such as Botswana, Burundi, Eswatini, Cabo Verde, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director, said: “Africa is facing a double-edged challenge of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with health response gaps, and also trying to ensure that the continent prepares efficiently for future pandemics, using lessons from current challenges”.
Africa CDC has been implementing various public health responses to control COVID-19. These include the engagement of community health workers in risk communication and community sensitization; surveillance activities for early case identification; contact tracing and in facilitating referrals for testing and continuum of care.
Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Secretary General, said: “What the IFRC and its network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies bring to this partnership with Africa CDC is our unparalleled access to local communities. Our community-based volunteers have the access and trust that are needed to address vaccine hesitancy and sensitize communities about adherence to preventive measures”.
The Africa CDC has been working to support African Union Member States to build a wide network of 2 million community health workers (CHWs) in line with the July 2017 African Union Assembly Decision. The collaboration with the IFRC network, which includes 1.2 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers across the continent is expected to strengthen community level interventions and consolidate gains in tackling the spread of the virus, while increasing awareness about vaccine benefits.
National Red Cross Red and Crescent Societies across Africa remain on the frontline of the response to COVID-19. They are providing ambulance services; conducting contact tracing and point of entry screening. They are also tackling stigma and the spread of misinformation and provide emotional comfort and psychological support to people in need.
Supporting local humanitarian action
The IFRC is committed to supporting humanitarian action that is as local as possible, as international as necessary.Our 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are the lead actors in preparing for, responding to and helping communities recover from emergencies. In times of increased need, our global disaster response system effectively supports and coordinates their lifesaving work.
| Press release
Haiti earthquake: Red Cross teams race against time to find survivors before tropical storm hits
Port au Prince, Panama, Geneva, 16 August 2021--With Tropical Storm Grace due to bring heavy rainfall over Haiti on Tuesday, Red Cross teams are racing against time to rescue people buried in the rubble after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on 14 August.
The number of casualties is climbing while the number of people missing remains unclear. Early damage assessments by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) indicate more than 800,000 people are directly affected by the earthquake’s impact.
IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain said: “This is a major disaster that will get worse as Tropical Storm Grace heads to Haiti. Hundreds of our local volunteers, themselves affected by this disaster, have been working around the clock in the hope to find survivors, provide first aid, health care and emergency shelter.”
Hospitals, clinics, roads and bridges have been destroyed and thousands of people have lost their homes. We know that this response will be challenging which is why we are mobilizing our global network to support the Haitian Red Cross as fast as possible.”
The worst-hit areas are extremely hard to access, as roads and bridges have been destroyed, and this makes it extremely difficult to assess the scale of devastation.
To support the Haitian Red Cross and scale up its operation, the IFRC has released funding from its emergency fund (DREF) and launched an emergency appeal for 10 million Swiss francs to deliver assistance to people in need of immediate assistance, including those who have been displaced.
IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain, said: “Our global network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is fully mobilized to support Haiti and its people, who face multiple crises including political instability, gang violence, food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The appeal will allow the IFRC network to provide critical, life-saving support such as emergency shelter and basic household items, emergency health and care, including psychosocial support, livelihoods support, access to water, sanitation and hygiene and restoring family links.
For more information, to arrange interviews with Red Cross staff on the ground or request pictures, please contact:
In Panama: Maria Langman | +507 6550 1090| [email protected]
In Geneva: Ann Vaessen | +4179 405 77 50 | [email protected]
| Press release
IFRC: Urgent life-saving efforts in Haiti underway as preliminary reports confirm earthquake devastation
Port au Prince, Panama, Geneva, 14 August 2021 - On Saturday, 14 August a major 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. According to Haiti's Office for Civil Protection, 227 have died and the figure is sadly expected to increase in the coming hours. Preliminary reports by Haitian Red Cross volunteers and IFRC staff on the ground confirm that the earthquake has caused severe damage to infrastructure, including hospitals, especially in Jérémie and Les Cayes, at the Northern coast of the Southern peninsula of the country.
Hospitals and hotels, as well as ports, bridges and routes are reported to have been damaged in Les Cayes and Jérémie, where churches collapsed while the morning mass was being celebrated. Search and rescue activities are concentrated in that area as there may be people trapped in the rubble.
Tropical Storm Grace is on its way and might affect the same areas that have been hit by the earthquake. In response to these compound crises, also taking into consideration the pre-existing vulnerabilities in the country, the IFRC has activated its global network of humanitarian aid specialists and is working on an emergency appeal to be launched within the next 48 hours with an initial allocation of up to 1 million Swiss francs from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).
Roger Alonso, IFRC’s Disaster, Crises and Climate Unit, said:
“Life-saving efforts are the priority at this stage of the emergency. Providing support in search and rescue, first aid, emergency health care and shelter is a priority for the Red Cross.
“Together with the Haitian Red Cross, the IFRC is already working on the assessment of damages and needs in the affected areas, where services might have collapsed and homes have either been heavily damaged or fully destroyed, as well as roads and infrastructure in general. It is very likely that inhabitants have been forced to seek shelter.”
Providing psychological support is urgent as well, as many affected people went through the trauma of the 2010 earthquake. Preventing and controlling the transmission of COVID-19 and guaranteeing access to water, hygiene and sanitation, is also essential.
A humanitarian corridor in the Dominican Republic has been activated and prepositioned non-food items (NFIs) are ready for at leat 4,500 people. In addition, emergency items are prepositioned and available in Panama and the Caribbean.
Red Cross emergency specialists are currently being deployed to Haiti to support the assessment and immediate response in support of those affected, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as women, children, elderly and people with disabilities.
For more information, or to arrange interviews with Red Cross staff on the ground, please contact:
In Panama - Susana Arroyo Barrantes: +50769993199 [email protected]
In Geneva – Ann Vaessen: +41762164878 [email protected]
Amman Humanitarian Declaration: Concerted efforts to help as many people as possible in Iraq, Jordan and Egypt
Amman: August 12, 2021
The Iraqi, Jordanian and Egyptian Red Crescent societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have agreed on the "Amman Declaration," during a tripartite meeting that took place in Amman, Jordan on 11-12 August 2021. The declaration develops a model of cooperation that is consistent with local strategic orientation and with IFRC’s strategy 2030.
The partners agreed to work on a joint plan of action that addresses common challenges such as climate change, food security, livelihoods, particularly in light of the global consequences of the Covid19 pandemic on people's lives.
Dr. Hossam Elsharkawi, Regional Director of IFRC MENA, said: "As partners, we are determined to adopt the best ways and mechanisms that translate our strategic visions into concrete actions on the ground. Particularly, in the fields of disaster preparedness and response, climate change, volunteer management, livelihoods and food security. We agreed to share our experiences notably in regard to working with refugees and displaced people with technical support from IFRC.”
Donor fatigue and the need to find new ways of funding was one of the topics discussed. Partners agreed to develop a joint plan of action to attract resources locally and regionally. They decided as well to form a capacity strengthening task force that will develop a training roadmap to strengthen the skills of the Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers.
For more information:
Rana Sidani Cassou: Mobile: +96171802779
| Press release
Red Cross extends aid to Lebanon to respond to the severe economic crisis
Beirut/Geneva, 4 August 2021 - One year on from the devastating Beirut port explosion, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Lebanon continues to rise, due to the severe economic crisis and the devaluation of the local currency, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to support the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) with life-saving activities, reaching millions of people throughout the country.
For many people who have lost their jobs and the ability to buy basic food and household goods, it has become extremely difficult to buy medicines and to access healthcare.
George Kettaneh, Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, said:
“The severe economic crisis that our country is facing is shattering the lives of many people in Lebanon. People suffering from chronic diseases can’t wait until the economic crisis is over. They need our help now to secure basic necessities, such as food and medicine."
“We are calling on the generosity of donors to help us sustain our vital public services and to fund our response to the economic crisis."
Since the blast in August last year, IFRC has closely supported LRC in meeting the humanitarian needs of those affected. Specifically, IFRC has supported LRC by mobilizing resources for the emergency response and released 750,000 Swiss francs of its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in the initial days following the explosion. Later, IFRC launched a 20 million Swiss francs global emergency appeal with the aim to assist more than 105,000 people. In addition, IFRC deployed specialized staff, supporting and complementing LRC’s efforts in multiple sectors; and provided financial support to ensure the continuity of LRC’s daily operations in delivering vital services to vulnerable people.
Cristhian Cortez, IFRC Representative in Lebanon, said:
“The IFRC and the Lebanese Red Cross are working together to extend their operations, which include emergency and primary health care, COVID-19 support, and scaling up of blood transfusion services from 42,000 to 60,000 units per year to meet the basic needs of people in Lebanon”.
To date, the IFRC has raised 9.2 million Swiss francs through its global appeal. The Lebanese Red Cross has supported more than 10,800 families with direct cash assistance – comprising seven payments of 300 US dollars each per household – for a total amount of 22.8 million US dollars.
Right now, the priority of the Lebanese Red Cross is to sustain its vital emergency health and ambulances services, which are provided for free to the population and to respond to the surge in demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also seeks to find ways to alleviate the suffering resulting from the severe economic crisis. According to the World Bank, as of June 2021, more than 45% of the Lebanese population is now living under the poverty line.
About Lebanese Red Cross
Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) is the main national provider of ambulance and blood transfusion services in Lebanon. Every year, LRC provides free services to more than 180,000 people across the country. Following the Beirut port explosion and in a context of crumbling public services, LRC has been striving to maintain life-saving operations throughout the country.
LRC operates a network of 36 primary health centers, 9 mobile clinics and 2 COVID-19 vaccination centres in Lebanon and is currently scaling up those services to be able to better respond to the shortage of medicines and decreased access of the population to healthcare.
Volunteers and staff from LRC conducted more than 35,000 assessments to identify the households that were most in need of assistance. The families were selected based on specific vulnerability criteria, such as difficulties in meeting the most urgent needs; special needs; families with damaged or destroyed apartments; people with injuries and problems in accessing healthcare and/or buy medicines; single female-headed households; and age considerations.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
In Beirut: Rana Sidani Cassou, [email protected], +961 71 802 779
In Geneva: Nathalie Perroud, [email protected], +41 79 538 14 71
| Press release
As COVID-19 cases surge in Africa, Red Cross warns that insufficient funding is impeding the response
Nairobi/Geneva, 2 July 2021 – Halting an increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in Africa will require additional funding. This was announced by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), amid a worrying surge of cases in Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa.
National Red Cross teams in these seven countries are stepping up surveillance, testing, healthcare and hygiene activities. They have also scaled up their COVID-19 awareness campaigns in public places such as markets and border points.
However, efforts like these ones, aimed at containing the spread of the virus, have been strained by insufficient funding. With a third wave looming large, there are increasing concerns that the impact will be more devastating, especially if the shortage of funds persists.
MohammedMukhier, IFRC’s Regional Director for Africa said:
“Since the outset of this pandemic, not enough attention has been paid to the evolution of this virus on the African continent. Lower levels of transmission data have created the perception that this region has not been so affected by the pandemic. The upward trend in the number of infections that we are now seeing, is partly as a result of insufficient funding to address several gaps in the response. These include weak surveillance mechanisms; weak testing capacity; insufficient protective gear and medical equipment including hospital beds, oxygen and ambulance services. If these gaps are not addressed, cases will continue tosoar,followed bya peak in fatality rates, which is already being observed.”
IFRC Africa has so far only received about half of the funds it requires to support 48 countries in their response to COVID-19. Crucially, these funds are almost depleted.
Red Cross Red Crescent teams across Africa have been on the frontline of the response to COVID-19 since the outset. They are providing ambulance services, conducting contact tracing, promoting, and ensuring adherence to public health measures to prevent the spread of the virus and supporting in Infection Prevention and Control measures at treatment and isolation facilities and point of entry screening. They are also tackling stigma and the spread of misinformation by providing educational materials, running radio campaigns and informational hotlines for the community and providing psychosocial support to people in need. To address the secondary impacts of COVID-19, Red Cross Red Crescent teams have been providing cash to vulnerable families. Many of these vital prevention programmes are at risk, if more funding is not urgently secured.
Mukhier said: “Without adequate funding, we are unable to respond to the needs of the communities we serve or address the gaps and challenges of this response. The gains that have been made over the last year are at serious risk of being lost, if funding is not made available to help us continue to reach the most vulnerable and affected communities in Africa.”
The average number of new daily infections reported in Namibia and Zambia has reached a new high with 1,600 and 2,719 daily cases, respectively. This is by far the highest rate of infection (over 100 per cent increase) observed in these countries. Mozambique is recording 400 daily cases, a 10-fold increase in comparison with previous months, Uganda is now detecting over 900 daily infections, and South Africa close to 18,000 daily cases.
In addition to lack of funding, there is the challenge of availability and access to COVID-19 vaccines: just over 1 per cent of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated. Most of the countries experiencing increasing trends have reported less than 5 per cent of their population receiving at least one vaccine dose.
Furthermore, the response to COVID-19 in Africa is complicated by the existence of other parallel and mutually exacerbating emergency situations.
Rui Alberto Oliveira, IFRC’s Operations Manager for Africa said:
“Responding to COVID-19 in countries facing multiple crises, such as DR Congo, Sahel, Lake Chad, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Sudan or Somalia, is extremely challenging, meaning the disease may continue to circulate unchecked.
“We cannot wait for the situation to deteriorate further before taking action. We must ensure that enough resources are made available, now, to halt the progress of the imminent, and potentially catastrophic, third wave of COVID-19 in Africa.”
IFRC GOis our emergency operations platform for capturing, analyzing and sharing real-time data during a crisis. It helps our networkbetter meet the needs of affected communities.
| Press release
Indonesia-Timor Leste: Race to contain COVID-19 after deadly floods
Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta/Dili, 13 April 2021 –Urgent measures are needed to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, while providing relief to thousands of people hit by record floods and mudslides that have claimed more than 200 lives, according to authorities in eastern Indonesia and Timor Leste.
Timor Leste is in the grip of a new wave of COVID-19 infections after a year of keeping the virus under control. The official number of cases has surged ten-fold from just over 100 to almost 1,000 in the past month, threatening the country’s fragile health system.
More than 33,000 people have been directly affected by floods and landslides described by authorities as the worst to hit Timor Leste and parts of eastern Indonesia in more than 40 years.
President of Timor-Leste Red Cross, Madalena da Costa Hanjan Soares, said:
“It’s heartbreaking to see people making a choice between having a safe shelter, adequate food and water, or trying to avoid the spread of this deadly COVID-19 virus.
“Our Timor Leste Red Cross volunteers have been specially trained and they’re doing everything possible to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. This is a race against time. The longer people have to stay in these temporary shelters, the higher the risk of a mass outbreak.”
Red Cross rescue teams in Timor Leste and Indonesia have been searching for survivors, evacuating people to safety, and distributing relief including food, blankets, tarpaulins, clothing and hygiene supplies. Efforts have been ramped up to provide safe water for drinking and hygiene, to help prevent disease outbreaks.
Indonesia is the second-worst affected country in Asia, with more than 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 recorded and more than 4,000 new infections a day.
The Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross, Sudirman Said, said:
“The loss of life has been tragic and comes as a brutal blow to families already exhausted and overwhelmed by this COVID-19 pandemic. Our teams are working all hours to search for survivors, providing critical food, water and other relief while keeping people safe.”
Jan Gelfand, Head of the Indonesia and Timor Leste Delegation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:
“COVID-19 is stretching the health systems in Indonesia and Timor Leste to breaking point. Further COVID-19 outbreaks or other deadly diseases, such as cholera, dysentery and dengue fever, could push them over the edge.
“In many parts of the world, clean water, soap and face masks may seem like small things but if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that they save many lives. Every effort must be made to race these essentials to people so they can be protected after surviving these deadly floods.”
| 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.
| Press release
Devastation feared as Eloise approaches Mozambique
Maputo/Nairobi/Geneva, 22 January 2021 — With Tropical Storm Eloise expected to make landfall in Central Mozambique early tomorrow (23 January), the Red Cross is warning of the potential for major damage and displacement.
Tropical Storm Eloise is predicted to make landfall in Sofala Province, about 20km north of the city of Beira that bore the brunt of Cyclone Idai in March 2019. The Red Cross has activated teams of volunteers to support evacuation and preparation efforts.
Gorkhmaz Huseynov, IFRC’s head of country office in Mozambique, said:
“We are worried about the safety of over 1 million people in high-risk areas. Mozambique Red Cross teams are on high alert and have already prepositioned emergency relief items in the landfall area. They are already providing water, sanitation, hygiene and health services to families in temporary accommodation centres.”
Tropical Storm Eloise is predicted to turn into a category one cyclone with winds between 110km per hour and 185km per hour.
Heavy rains will be felt on the coast of Zambezia, Sofala and Inhambane provinces from this evening (22 of January).
The cyclone is forecast to cross central Mozambique with considerable strength and potential for widespread floods. It is expected to decrease in intensity as it crosses southern Zimbabwe and South Africa.
IFRC’s Huseynov said:
“Ahead of the landfall, Mozambique Red Cross staff and volunteers—in collaboration with partners—have shared early warning messages to communities in the path of the cyclone in order to minimise the impact of the cyclone. As a result, many families moved to safer areas, where they are receiving support from our teams.”
Mozambique is prone to cyclones and tropical storms which can lead to flash flooding, hundreds of deaths, and massive destruction of property and crops. Eloise is expected to strike areas that have been devastated by previous cyclones, including Cyclone Idai.
| Press release
Red Cross provides relief ahead of extreme winter season in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar/Kuala Lumpur, 12 January 2021 –Forecasts of one of the most extreme winters on record in Mongolia have triggered the release of pre-emptive emergency funds in a bid to protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable herders, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) announced today.
Mongolia’s National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring has warned that more than 60 per cent of the country is at risk of an extreme winter, with temperatures forecast to plummet to extreme lows of -50C for days on end.
These extreme winters – known asdzud– threaten the health and livelihoods of thousands of Mongolian herders living in the country’s remote central and southern provinces.Dzudis caused by the double impact of drought in the summer followed by harsh winter conditions. Without summer rain, grass does not grow and millions of farm animals cannot put on enough weight to survive the winter and farmers are unable to grow sufficient harvests.
Mongolian Red Cross Society Secretary GeneralBolormaa Nordovsaid:
“Dzuds are devastating for the herder families who rely on their animals for almost everything, whether it’s meat and milk for food, or the cashmere and skins they sell to buy supplies or pay school fees. Losing their animals mean they can quickly fall into poverty.”
“Without support, extreme winter brings misery, hunger and hardship for thousands of families forcing many to move to squatter settlements outside Ulaanbaatar, our capital. This anticipatory action allows us to help some of the most at-risk people before the harsh winter sets in.”
The unwelcome news of the coming dzudhas triggered the release of nearly 290,000 Swiss francs (about 314,000 US dollars) from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. This will allow the Mongolian Red Cross to support 2,000 herder families in a bid to prevent major stock and economic loss through the distribution of cash grants and animal care kits.
The release of these funds come as part of the IFRC’s Forecast-based Financing approach. Under this approach, IFRC works with scientific partners to combine weather forecasts and risk analyses to develop pre-agreed thresholds that trigger the release of emergency funding with a view to limiting or even outright preventing the adverse consequences of climate hazards like the dzud.This early action is conducted in partnership with other humanitarian actors including the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
IFRC’s Regional Forecast-Based Financing Coordinator, Raymond Zingg, said:
“The goal of Forecast-based Financing is to anticipate disasters, prevent their impact as best as possible to reduce human suffering and losses. The key element is to agree in advance to release financial resources if a specific forecast threshold is triggered.
“Simply waiting for disasters to strike is no longer an option. Climate change is bringing more frequent and severe disasters and our anticipatory action approach is helping communities move from reacting after extreme weather events to preparing before these emergencies.”
In 2010, the dzudkilled more than 11 million animals and thousands of herder families were forced off the land. Mongolia’s Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment has predicted that severe dzuds like the 2010 event will become more frequent, occurring every four to five years instead of every 10.
| Press release
Red Cross officially activates anticipatory actions ahead of Cyclone Chalane in Mozambique
Maputo/Geneva, 28 December 2020 – In anticipation of Cyclone Chalane’s potential landfall on Wednesday in Mozambique, the Mozambique Red Cross, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and German Red Cross has activated its recently approved Early Action Protocol for Cyclones, with a series of preparedness actions to minimise the cyclone’s impact on communities.
Forecast-based Action is a new form of Red Cross readiness and preparedness actions. It is governed by an ‘Early Action Protocol’, consisting of a preparedness phase with the strategic prepositioning of materials that are tailored to reduce the impact of disasters, and a readiness phase consisting of a tranche of funding that is disbursed up to 72 hours prior to an impending disaster when a cyclone reaches a “trigger” level. In doing so it allows humanitarian actors who are on high alert to kick into action before the event takes place.
Jurg Wilbrink, Forecast-based Action Project Manager IFRC Southern Africa, said:
“Our emphasis at this stage is on anticipation and not reaction. Instead of waiting for the cyclone to hit, we are preparing for its impact. By Wednesday, if the cyclone makes landfall, Red Cross staff and volunteers will have launched early warnings and supported reinforcing houses and public structures, as well as strategic stock in place to limit the potential damage caused to people and infrastructure in targeted vulnerable communities.”
Early actions will include the delivery of shelter kits and other emergency supplies like items for increased hygiene and sanitation, as well as COVID-19 hygiene kits, quick efforts to fortify houses and the distribution of non-food items to buffer the impacts of Chalane. Red Cross volunteers will also be active in sharing potentially life-saving information, including the position of safe areas, medical help and key actions to take before landfall in the area.
Mozambique is a country prone to cyclones and tropical storms which can lead to flash flooding, hundreds of deaths, and massive destruction of property and crops.
Chalane is expected to strike the districts of Buzi, Beira, Dondo and Muanza in Central Mozambique - areas that were devastated by Cyclone Idai in March 2019, and was again hit by severe flooding in February this year, with thousands displaced from their homes and many left clinging to trees to avoid being swept away by the rising river. Cyclone Chalane is expected to reach windspeeds of up to 125km per hour. Recent Red Cross analysis suggests that, even if it makes landfall with windspeeds of 72km per hour, 30 per cent of vulnerable housing structures could be destroyed.
Jânio Dambo, Forecast-based Financing Project Manager at the Mozambique Red Cross (CVM) said that early action will roll out over the next three days ahead of Wednesday evening’s predicted landfall:
“We were busy finalising the details of the early-action protocol in Mozambique when Cyclone Idai hit. At the time, what needed to happen was being put down on paper. This time around, we are putting everything into action. Early action.” Less than a month ago, over 1,000 individual actors participated in a large-scale simulation exercise, testing the workings of the protocol in Moma, Nampula. The lessons learnt during that exercise have already proved invaluable for how decision-makers are approaching Mozambique’s potential cyclone.
For photos and videos of the ‘Early Action Protocol’ simulation exercise in Moma, Nampula, held from 27 November to 6 December 2020: