Climate change at the centre of new global IFRC strategy

Geneva, 5 December 2019 – Climate related shocks and hazards are amongst the major humanitarian emergencies confronting humanity today, according to a new decade-long strategy adopted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today in Geneva.

Climate change emerged as a growing concern through an exhaustive two-year consultation with the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent network that led to the design of the new Strategy 2030. The process highlighted how climate change is a growing concern for nearly every single one of the 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Speaking at IFRC’s 22nd General Assembly, which is currently underway in Geneva, IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, said:

“The message from our members and from our millions of volunteers couldn’t be clearer: climate change is an existential threat that is already completely altering the work we do, and the lives of the people we support.

“Tackling climate change will be our major priority over the coming decade. This means strengthening the capacity of each and every National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society so that they can effectively respond in their own contexts, as well as investing heavily in methods to help communities adapt.”

Strategy 2030 places ‘climate change and environmental crises’ at the top of a list of five global challenges that must be addressed in the coming decade. The other challenges identified in the strategy are ‘evolving crises and disasters’; ‘growing gaps in health and well-being’; ‘migration and identity’; and ‘values, power and inclusion’.

Climate change a priority for newest Red Cross societies

Geneva, 5 December 2019 – The two newest members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) both consider responding to the humanitarian impacts of climate change as one of their main priorities.

The Bhutan Red Cross Society and the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society were admitted today as 191st and 192nd full members of the IFRC. This was decided unanimously at the 22nd Session of the IFRC General Assembly that is currently underway in Geneva.

IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, said:

“The tiny, mountainous Kingdom of Bhutan and the 29 coral atolls and five low-lying islands that make up the Republic of the Marshall Islands are examples of how the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement unites and brings peace and cooperation among diverse countries.

“They are also examples of how humanity is united in a battle against the climate crisis. In both countries, the humanitarian impacts of climate change are real and represent a clear threat to vulnerable communities.”

Nepali humanitarian announced as new IFRC Secretary General

Geneva, 3 December 2019 – Nepali humanitarian and Red Cross Red Crescent veteran, Jagan Chapagain, has been selected as the new Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Mr Chapagain was selected today during an extraordinary meeting of the IFRC Governing Board. An engineer by training, he brings more than 25 years’ experience within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Most recently, Mr Chapagain has served a series of senior IFRC roles, including as Regional Director for Asia Pacific, as Chief of Staff and as Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations, a role that sees him guide all IFRC relief and development efforts around the world.

Kenya: Red Cross responds to humanitarian emergency following deadly floods

Nairobi/Geneva, 25 November 2019—Thousands of people across Kenya have been hit by deadly floods and mudslides. At the epicentre of the current floods, in West Pokot, panic-stricken survivors have deserted their villages after losing their homes, livestock, crops and their loved ones—in what some local residents have described as their worst disaster in memory.

Dr Asha Mohammed, Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Designate, said:

“We’re most worried about families who have been cut off from life-saving support. They are without food, water and may require medical care. Our teams are doing everything they can to reach these areas, including using boats and treading deep waters to evacuate families in high-risk areas, conducting search and rescue efforts and providing basic health services.”

Syria: Fears for civilian population as key water plant remains out of action

ICRC - News Release No. 19/XX NR's number
08 November 2019

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned for the civilian population in north-east Syria amid an ongoing shutdown of a key regional water pumping station.

The Allouk pumping station, which usually serves more than 400,000 people in and around Hasakeh, has not been functional since October 30. The ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been taking emergency measures to find alternative sources of water for people in the region.

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