Press release for drr practitioners workshop final 11 nov
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
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
thematic areas of work such as
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
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