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The driving momentum behind community safety and resilience in Southeast Asia
11 November 2013 - Since 2008, the European ...
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Press release for drr practitioners workshop final 11 nov

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Press release for drr practitioners workshop final 11 nov

  1. 1. The driving momentum behind community safety and resilience in Southeast Asia 11 November 2013 - Since 2008, the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has been a driving force behind a fundamental shift among National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies in Southeast Asia. With ECHO’s commitment and support, National Societies in the region have moved from an emphasis on disaster response, to disaster risk reduction and community safety and resilience. And it is making a difference. During Typhoon Wutip in Viet Nam late September 2013, hundreds of communities living along the coastal line were evacuated by the Viet Nam Red Cross with local authorities and other humanitarian partners. The work is continued to this day, as the typhoon season continues and Typhoon Haiyan once again threatens the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities in central Viet Nam. While the work at a community level reflects significant progress, it cannot be sustained without ongoing coordination and support among humanitarian actors. As a result, from the 13-14 November, with support of ECHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is bringing together more than 60 disaster risk reduction practitioners from nearly 30 humanitarian organisations based in Southeast Asia. “One of our key goals is to streamline best methods for disaster risk reduction, and better coordinate our work in the region – first for the benefit of vulnerable communities, and second so we align with future funding opportunities,” explains Hung Ha Nguyen, IFRC Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator who manages the DIPECHO project “Building Safer and More Resilient Communities in Southeast Asia”. Participants will address thematic areas of work such as livelihoods, education, inclusion of disadvantaged groups, school safety, advocacy and accountability; bringing with them their first-hand experience among communities. U Zaw Min Oo, 36-year old Myanmar Red Cross volunteer and community leader, is one of those people. “With the Red Cross, I helped to mobilize and organize members of the community on how to reduce the impact of seasonal disasters and how to prevent health problems,” he explains. He also worked within the community to develop action plans for disaster awareness and first-aid sessions so they are more resilient to face the challenges of natural disasters. “I understand what works well in my community, and I will be interested to learn from others how it works in their country”, states U Zaw Min. “We are all neighbours in Southeast Asia; we face the same challenges and probably have the same solution”, he says. To find out more about the ECHO-funded project, Building Safer and More Resilient Communities in Southeast Asia contact hungha.nguyen@ifrc.org

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