Strategies, outcomes and achievements
A strategy for success
Support for National Societies is at the core of the IFRC’s mandate, and we focus on three Strategic Aims set out in Strategy 2020:
- Save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises
- Enable healthy and safe living
- Promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace.
In December 2015, the IFRC General Assembly adopted a new Plan & Budget (2016–2020) including four Strategies for Implementation that set out exactly how it will support its members to put these aims into action. These four strategies enable the IFRC to better focus our efforts towards attaining lasting outcomes within eight thematic areas – disaster risk reduction, shelter, livelihoods, health, water and sanitation, culture of non- violence and peace, social inclusion, and migration.
Strategies for implementation include:
1. Strengthening National Society capacities and ensuring sustained and relevant Red Cross and Red Crescent presence in communities:
- Support National Societies to become more accountable and sustainable organizations.
- Strengthen the identity, role and mandate of National Societies.
- Programmatic support to National Societies.
- Knowledge brokering and innovation within the IFRC.
2. Ensuring effective international disaster management, including:
- Coordination of international disaster response
- Movement cooperation and coordination.
3. Influencing others as leading strategic partners in humanitarian action and community resilience, including:
- Research, advocacy and communication
- Strategic and practical partnerships.
4. Ensuring a strong IFRC that is effective, credible and accountable, including:
- A credible and effective IFRC
- Support provided to governance.
Disaster risk reduction
Disaster risk reduction is critical to long-term economic and social development. Over the past 15 years, disasters have affected years of development gains in many vulnerable communities. The annual cost of disasters averages 250–300 billion US dollars per year, which along with social losses, significantly hampered progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Working toward disaster risk reduction locally: The Philippines
Esther Veiron, a 63-year-old Philippine Red Cross community volunteer, has seen many storms affect her close-knit fishing community on the west Samar coast of the Philippines, a country that experiences on average 20 major tropical storms per year. Volunteers such as Veiron work hard to make sure local communities are well prepared. “I tell them that if we work together we can become more resilient,” she says.
For the Philippine Red Cross, preparing is the best way to prevent deaths, injuries and damage. Volunteers help communities conduct emergency drills and first aid training, identify safe evacuation centres, and make sure that sufficient food and medical supplies are stockpiled.
A year of resilience
For the IFRC, 2015 was a transformative year, bringing a far deeper global and local commitment to disaster risk reduction efforts. In March, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction gathered in Sendai, Japan with the goal of updating the Hyogo Framework for Action, a global commitment to disaster preparedness agreed ten years earlier.
IFRC President Tadateru Konoé led a high-level delegation composed of 120 senior participants from 42 National Societies, the IFRC secretariat – including Secretary General Elhadj As Sy – and three IFRC Reference Centres. Consensus was reached on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year strategy for improving national and local preparedness for natural and technological disasters. The IFRC leadership helped to raise awareness of the need for community- based resilience-building efforts to protect vulnerable people and, as a result, National Societies were referred to specifically in the Sendai Framework text as important players in designing national disaster risk reduction plans.
In an effort to bring more attention to the particular vulnerabilities faced by the world’s growing urban population, the global IFRC Partnership for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management launched the Resilient Cities Initiative (2015–2020). Following an international seminar on urban disaster risk reduction held in Tehran, Iran in May 2015, participants agreed to provide resilience building support to 50 cities by the year 2020.
The One Billion Coalition for Resilience
The IFRC launched the One Billion Coalition for Resilience (1BC) at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, an initiative for more efficient partnerships which mobilize the potential of collective networks, share resources and drive investment to local and national responders. The 1BC aims to encourage people and communities around the world to enhance their resilience by 2025. For its part, the IFRC made a commitment
to scale up disaster risk reduction programmes in various ways: enhancing National Societies’ capacity to deliver at scale; strengthening evidence and research; improving accountability and transparency; promoting holistic and risk-informed approaches and demand-driven and people-centred programming; securing predictable, long-term, flexible funding, and expanding partnerships.
Responding to climate change
The IFRC took part in the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Paris in November 2015. Parties adopted the Paris Agreement, which sets clear targets for greenhouse gas emissions and the stabilization of global temperatures. It also adopted several provisions in line with the positions advocated by the delegation of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement participants who attended the conference. These provisions include agreement on strengthening resilience; recognition of the need to avert, minimize and address the losses and damage associated with climate change, and an overall balance in the financing of mitigation versus adaptation.
What next? The post-2015 agenda
The year 2015 marked the deadline that governments previously set to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which this year transitioned to a broader set of targets called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – 17 goals and 169 targets that span the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, society, and economy.
Along with other organizations, the IFRC was successful in integrating disaster risk reduction into the SDG commitments, and continued to advocate for greater support for and implementation of initiatives to build resilience. In June 2015, the
IFRC and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery issued a joint statement calling for “universal political commitment” to resilience, noting that “these issues do not feature strongly enough in the [post-2015] declaration, weakening the necessary political commitment to resilience.”
Nuclear Emergency Preparedness programme
In 2015, the IFRC continued its efforts to enhance preparedness for Chemical Biological and Radiological and Nuclear events. In September, IFRC and German Red Cross co-hosted a meeting in Berlin, Germany, where Movement participants exchanged experiences and challenges in preparedness and response activities. In addition, the IFRC published its Operational Guidelines on Nuclear Emergencies – Preparedness, Response and Recovery, and launched an e-learning tool for nuclear and radiological emergencies.
The IFRC continued “working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons” (as called for by Resolution I of the 2011 International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent) in a year that marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Japan. IFRC President Tadateru Konoé delivered a joint IFRC-ICRC statement during the commemoration events.
“This commemoration is a reminder of the indiscriminate humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons… It is a reminder that these consequences travel across space and time and “that, once unleashed, they can never be contained.”
Tadateru Konoé, President, IFRC
Global Shelter Cluster
As the co-lead of the inter-agency Global Shelter Cluster, the IFRC plays a key role in coordinating United Nations agencies, international, and national non-governmental organizations and the Movement in preparing for and responding to shelter and settlement needs during international humanitarian operations.
The Shelter Cluster Coordination Team experienced its highest number of deployments in 2015 including concurrent Shelter Clusters in Vanuatu, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, and Myanmar led by the IFRC, all requiring dedicated shelter coordination personnel to deliver on the core cluster functions. These included one of the largest-ever deployments in response to the Nepal earthquakes in April and May. In Nepal alone,
44 Shelter Coordination Team members were employed by the IFRC throughout the response at national and field levels.
The 25 country-level shelter clusters and cluster- like mechanisms coordinated by the IFRC assisted more than 16.4 million people in 2015. These clusters provided coordination services to a total of 545 organizations with an estimated expenditure of 506 million US dollars (source: OCHA Financial Tracking System).
Shelter: The case of Nepal
Like many Nepalese living in remote rural areas, farmer and stonemason Les Bahadur Raut built his two-story stone house in the 1970s. In 2015, his home was destroyed by the April earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 Nepalese. Raut’s mother was killed when the house collapsed.
Following the disaster, Raut took part in IFRC- supported construction training to learn how to rebuild his house to be earthquake-resistant. “They’re teaching us to build long-term houses in our traditional style, using wooden beams, L-shaped panels and locally available stones,” he says.
The 2015 earthquakes in Nepal damaged or destroyed 900,000 houses, making shelter a priority for the Nepal Red Cross Society with support from the
IFRC and other National Societies. In the immediate aftermath, the main task was to distribute tarpaulins and toolkits to provide basic shelter. However, construction training was essential, giving people the means to rebuild in a safe manner.
The IFRC and the Nepal Red Cross Society, together with the Nepalese Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, led the Nepal Shelter Cluster, under which 120 partner agencies were involved in shelter coordination.
The IFRC Global Shelter and Settlements Programme
National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies responded to 82 emergencies requiring shelter assistance in 2015. More than 4.5 million people received assistance in the form of emergency or temporary shelter, and shelter-related relief items. The total value of IFRC shelter-related disaster assistance in 2015 (through DREF and Emergency Appeals) was 83 million Swiss francs.
Shelter technical support was provided during response operations for the earthquakes in Nepal, Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, and after floods in Malawi and Mozambique. Support was also provided to meet the emergency shelter and relief needs of displaced people in Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq.
Significant progress was made on IFRC operational and strategic policy through collaboration with internal and external partners. These issues include the humanitarian challenges of urban areas, promoting built environment resilience, socially inclusive shelter and settlement, cash and shelter programming, and the shelter and settlement component of migration. The IFRC’s Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness continues to be more widely adopted and its university-accredited Masters-level courses in shelter technical and shelter coordination were broadened to include conflict situations, in collaboration with UNHCR.
The IFRC continues to improve shelter-related products such as a new family tent developed in collaboration with the ICRC and UNHCR, as well as a winterized tent for use in extreme cold. This was advanced by the IFRC Shelter Research Unit with support from the British Red Cross, the Turkish
Red Crescent Society and Fosters+Partners, a leading international architectural practice.
Every summer, the Guihua trees’ sweet smell reminds Li Xudong of the days before the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that destroyed his entire village, his house, his two Guihua trees, and his livelihood:a small mushroom-growing business. Thanks toa project from the Red Cross Society of China, Li received a subsidized loan that allowed him to recover and expand his mushroom-growing business following the earthquake.
The Livelihoods Recovery Project in Sichuan, supported by the IFRC, helps people regain employment or restart businesses following disasters. Before closing at the end of 2015, the project provided similar small loans to approximately 800 families that had also lost their livelihoods due to the earthquake.
Sustainable livelihoods are central to community well-being and they are intimately linked to community resilience and disaster risk reduction,
as people with stable incomes will be more likelyto ensure and maintain a healthy life. The IFRC integrates its work on disaster risk reduction, climate change, mitigation, food and nutrition security and livelihoods, and in 2015 those efforts intensified and became further integrated into overall resilience- building and disaster risk reduction efforts.
In November 2015, the IFRC signed a new partnership agreement with the International Labour Organization to promote livelihoods and work opportunities for vulnerable groups in fragile and post-disaster settings.
Throughout 2015, the IFRC also created and/or facilitated a number of training events, built the capacities of National Society staff and volunteers, and promoted the importance of livelihoods support through exhibitions, case studies and cost- benefit analyses.
2015 World Disasters Report
The 2015 edition of the World Disasters Report – the IFRC’s flagship publication – highlighted the importance of local and national humanitarian organizations and responders, and their struggle to attract the funding and support they need to save lives.
Local actors, such as National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, are widely recognized as being highly effective in design- ing and delivering humanitarian operations. However, national and local organizations were the direct recipients of only around 1.6 per cent of the overall funding given to international, regional, national and local NGOs between 2010 and 2014.
The report called on the humanitarian sector to work together to en- sure more efficient financing flows – including at the community level, where humanitarian needs are the greatest – and presented the case for a shift towards the localization of aid and a more balanced and respectful partnership between international and local actors.
Launching the report, IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy said: “International partners still have a critical role to play, including in the provision of specialized resources and expertise, and surge capacity when local resources are overstretched. But such support should be brought with humility, trust and respect, and with a commitment to building local capacity.”
The World Disasters Report is an annual independent publication commissioned by the IFRC, contributing evidence-based research on the challenges, trends and innovations in disaster risk reduction and crisis management. The 2015 publication built on discussions at the 2015 UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Its research makes a direct contribution to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, where the localization of aid is one of the thematic areas of focus.
In Central African Republic, health worker Yves Ngonakpa ensures that health clinics in his remote eastern corner of the country are stocked with life-saving malaria medication. This became a challenging task after the country became engulfed in an internal conflict in December 2013. With malaria, a delay in treatment of one day can be a death sentence for sufferers of the disease.
A mobile phone-based reporting system called RAMP(Rapid Mobile Phone Data Collection) – first pilotedby the IFRC in 2011 and then scaled up in 2015 in Central African Republic with support from the Global Fund – offered a solution. RAMP allows workers such as Ngonakpa to upload comprehensive health data directly to a centralized web platform, to which health ministry officials in Bangui can respond immediately. This is just one example of how the IFRC works with National Societies and external partners to keep people healthy and alive during complex emergencies.
Health in complex settings
Malaria continued to be a major killer in 2015 and the IFRC health team was at the front line providing support for the mass distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs). Such prevention measures prove to reduce malaria incidence by50 per cent and child mortality by 20 per cent.
In 2015, contributions from the USAID President’s Malaria Initiative, the United Nations Foundation,the Norwegian Red Cross and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation allowed the IFRC, in its role as chair of the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP), to provide technical assistance to countries planning and implementing universal coverage LLIN campaigns. In 2015 alone, AMP was able to support a total of 17 countries through 29 in-country missions and distance support. Through these actions, the alliance has contributed to saving more than one million lives over the three- year LLIN lifespan.
The IFRC’s emergency health team provided technical assistance and quality management support to nearly 100 small-scale disaster relief operations funded by DREF, as well as 30 large-scale disaster relief operations funded by Emergency Appeals. Most notably, the team provided surge support to field coordination in three major operations: Nepal earthquake, West Africa Ebola response, and the Europe migration operation.
Perhaps the most significant and challenging health crisis to manage was the 2014–2015 outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in Western Africa. To help stop the epidemic, the Ebola operation employed a five-pillar approach: community engagement and social mobilization; contact tracing and surveillance; psychosocial support; case management; and safe and dignified burials and disinfection. Six Emergency Appeals were launched to respond to and combat Ebola outbreaks.
Community-Based Health and First Aid creates healthy, resilient communities worldwide through a comprehensive approach to primary health
care, first aid and emergency health preparedness. During 2015, the IFRC in Geneva, with support
from partners such as the Norwegian Red Cross, played a critical role in updating the Community- Based Health and First Aid concept and tools. It also further developed and disseminated evidence- based community health policy, guidelines, training tools, research and innovation and it provided coordination, technical support, capacity building, partnership and advocacy.
Healthy lifestyle communities
The online Healthy Lifestyles Community, anIFRC internet platform that helps individuals and communities tackle non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer by promoting good nutrition, exercise, reduced alcohol consumption and the cessation of smoking, registered morethan 5,500 web users and more than 20,000social media users during 2015. The Healthy Lifestyles online community (available at www. healthylifestylecommunity.org) includes social media channels and a free online course with five units to learn about non-communicable diseases, risk factors and the steps leading to behaviour change. In 2015, there were 81,000 visits to the web site and the number of registered users increased 429 per cent (from 1000 to 7,161), with a 73 per cent completion rate in the Spanish version.
HIV: Getting to zero
In line with the World AIDS Campaign’s selection of “Getting to Zero” as the slogan for World AIDS Day on 1 December, IFRC supported and financed a range of actions by members of the European Red Cross Network in the area of HIV and AIDS and HepatitisC prevention. In addition to stopping the HIV and AIDS and the Hepatitis C epidemics, key goals also included raising awareness about preventions and reducing stigma and discrimination.
Reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health
Work in 2015 progressed towards finalizing an effective Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health programme, which has been embraced by 48 National Societies. The IFRC’s role has included guidance to National Societies on incorporating the full Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health framework and its three continua: lifespan, resilience andhealth care. IFRC has been recognized as a global leading partner in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in humanitarian settings.
The IFRC is providing prevention, treatmentand care services for drug users using the harm reduction approach, which alleviates hazards faced by drug users without distinction and judgement. Two initiatives include Project Alternative and Project Youth And Drugs – both implemented and developed by Villa Maraini Foundation (Italy) and funded by the European Union’s Erasmus plus programme. Actions in 2015 included capacity building activities for youth volunteers and National Society workers; peer education activities, development of training tools and materials on substance abuse; and continued advocacy on the need for a harm reduction approach.
IFRC’s tuberculosis (TB) reduction efforts include projects in seven countries focused on early
and increased case detection and treatment in vulnerable and excluded populations, as well as ensuring that TB-affected people are empowered and included in national strategic planning and programming. Grants provided by United Way Worldwide, Eli Lilly and Company and the IFRC for the period 2014–2016 focused on strengthening the capacity of communities affected by TB to diagnose, treat and cure patients.
Water, sanitation and hygiene
When El Niño weather patterns brought frost and drought that damaged the livelihoods and water supply of an estimated 2.4 million people in Papua New Guinea in September 2015, the IFRC released money from DREF to support the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society in providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Volunteers engaged community members about safe water handling and household water treatment, and provided pamphlets with information on the topics. They discovered that, due to dwindling water supplies, many of the communities were drinking contaminated water from open rivers, exposing them to the risk of communicable diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
This is just one example of how teams of National Society volunteers and WASH professionals, supported by the IFRC, brought much needed assistance, supplies and information to people in need in 2015. The IFRC’s approach is to develop staff and volunteer expertise to manage these challenges. It is vital in communities with limited access to basic water, hygiene and sanitation systems, or health care facilities.
The greatest numbers of people reached in 2015 were those living though major emergencies including the massive population movements into Greece or Tanzania, where significant WASH operations reached thousands of people every day. WASH surge teams also responded to protracted crises, such as in Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan. In total, IFRC WASH interventions reached an estimated 1.8 million people with emergency WASH in 2015.
Toward safe water and sanitation for all
The IFRC’s Global Water and Sanitation Initiative, which promotes a common but adaptable approach for National Societies to establish large-scale, sustainable water and sanitation programmes, not only surpassed its initial goal of reaching five million people by 2015, but tripled it. Approximately 15 million people have now been reached and supported by the initiative.
This work contributed to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. However, in 2014 an estimated 700 million people worldwide still lacked access to safe water. Access to sanitation remains a more significant challenge for many countries, with an estimated 2.5 billion people still lacking adequate sanitation facilities
in 2014. Illnesses caused by poor sanitation and hygiene place a heavy economic burden upon individuals, families and governments, but because funding for the provision of water has outpaced financing for sanitation and hygiene-related programming, the IFRC and National Societies continued to advocate in 2015 for greater support for sanitation and hygiene development.
In total, 104 National Societies supported and implemented more than 450 water and sanitation projects in 80 countries in 2015.
Social inclusion and promoting a culture of non-violence and peace
The primary cause for social exclusion in many societies is discrimination based on gender and diversity – meaning actual or perceived differences between people, such as ethnicity, language, ability, and beliefs.
Many National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work with groups who may be excluded – intentionally or otherwise – from accessing basic services. This work includes providing language lessons and cultural orientation for newly-arriving migrants or asylum seekers; ensuring that girls and women’s menstrual hygiene needs are provided for; bringing medical care to older people cut off from family or services due to conflict, poverty or both; and ensuring that all ethnic, religious or minority groups have equal access to the services we provide.
For example, in 2015, IFRC, the Rwanda Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross organized a peer- educator training called “(Youth as) Agents of Behavioural Change (YABC)” as part of a livelihoods programme for the Batwa people, a marginalized ethnic minority. The programme provided Rwanda Red Cross staff and volunteers with tools to address the stigmatization and exclusion of ethnic minorities, and to work with local authorities and community leaders to implement an initiative involving marginalized people. In 2015, the number of National Societies engaged in YABC preparation and prevention activities increased by 31 per cent to a total of 127 during the year, with 420 new peer educators trained.
During 2015, a number of initiatives to support IFRC’s work on gender, diversity and inclusion were successfully completed. One major milestone was the publication of the Minimum Standard Commitments to Gender and Diversity in Emergency Programming in April. These were immediately used in IFRC disaster response operations, including those in the Philippines, Nepal and Vanuatu. The guide is supported by a training package “Seven Moves” explaining how to put the commitments into practice in emergency response. During the year, 340 people from National Societies, the IFRC and ICRC were trained in 15 locations.
Promoting a culture of non-violence and peace
The IFRC works across the world in many violent, stressful and fragile contexts. For this reason, a major focus of its work is to promote a culture of non-violence and peace – changing minds as well as saving lives.
In situations of violence or political tension, for example, one must be able to keep calm, maintaining composure while under considerable pressure. For example, during the 2015 elections in Burundi, a sensitization programme on non-violence and peaceful co-existence was designed to provide Burundi Red Cross staff and volunteers, as well as religious and other leaders within the community, with tools to help prevent and mitigate the risks of pre- and post-election violence.
Volunteers at the core of promoting non-violence and peace
The IFRC’s work to strengthen voluntary service is at the heart of building a culture of non-violence and peace, including support to National Society branch development and enhancing volunteer recruitment, motivation and performance. Active and effective management of youth and volunteers, including fostering their competencies to deliver services across all areas of focus, is a critical part of achieving these goals.
On International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2015, the Global Review on Volunteering was released, the largest study ever undertaken on volunteering within the IFRC network. Based on the findings, the IFRC and member National Societies then designed the Volunteering Learning and Engagement Plan to apply innovative strategies to facilitate peer connection, learning, and coaching in strengthening volunteer engagement. This has resulted in 30,000 people joining a Facebook discussion group, and more than 1,000 people from 80 countries engaged in individual discussions to share good practices, initiatives and issues related to volunteerism.
In addition, the IFRC worked with a range of international partners to involve volunteers in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and crafted a resolution on “The Safety and Security of Humanitarian Volunteers”, which was adopted at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December 2015.
Tackling sexual and gender-based violence
The IFRC has taken numerous steps towards the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) during and after emergencies. In 2015, a study was commissioned to examine gender-based violence in nine disaster-affected countries called “Unseen, Unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters”, which was launched at the 32nd International Conference in December. This provided the basis for National Societies to increase their advocacy and services to tackle SGBV.
The 2015 Council of Delegates passed a Resolution calling for more action to protect people from sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict, disasters and other emergencies. The Resolution identifies local initiatives and encourages local and national organizations to take immediate measures to prevent and respond to SGBV in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
Preventing and mitigating violence (including child protection)
In 2015, the mid-term review of the IFRC’s strategy on violence prevention showed a 200 per cent increase in the number of National Societies addressing violence compared to 2011.
The IFRC also adopted a five-year plan to improve child protection. In emergency response operations, the IFRC increased visits to monitor the implementation of child-friendly spaces and other child protection standard measures. Its internal human resources systems were also improved to ensure rigorous standards of child protection, including screening processes.
Together with the UN Office for Drugs and Crime, IFRC developed and launched a global study on violence against migrants. IFRC also increased its presence at inter-agency meetings and networks on child protection and other aspects of violence prevention, including the Child Protection Working Group for Emergencies.
More than 3,500 people are estimated to have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, including Afghanis, Syrians, and Iraqis or others fleeing conflict or countries suffering from chronic instability, poverty or persecution.
National Societies have offered impartial humanitarian aid to migrants for many decades, and the Movement had already called for greater international action on migration in Resolutions passed at its International Conferences in 2007 and
2011. In Europe, most National Societies belong to the Platform for European Red Cross Co-operation on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants due to their long-time work on this critical, cross-border issue. In Asia, National Societies are also organized and work together in the Asia Pacific Migration Network.
The scale of the 2015 crisis in Europe, along with rising migrant death rates in the Americas, the Gulf of Aden and the Bay of Bengal, spurred the IFRC to increase its migration response and to coordinate and support the actions of member National Societies.
In 2015, the IFRC launched 11 Emergency Appeals calling for more than 46 million Swiss francs to help more than two million people on the move
in Europe and Africa due to conflict and other crises. In addition, the IFRC released more than 2.8 million Swiss francs from DREF in 2015 to assist approximately 420,000 displaced people across 15 countries in the Americas, Europe and Africa.
With this support, National Societies were able to offer an even wider range of services to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers along migration trails around
the world in 2015, including immediate post-rescue and arrival assistance, emergency shelter, nutrition and health services, protection services including counselling and referral services, support to migrants in detention, help with finding lost family members, language lessons, and other means of social inclusion.
In September 2015, the IFRC launched a global campaign called Protect humanity. Stop indifference. to foster solidarity and empathy for vulnerable migrants, and to call for their protection. National Societies from 15 countries in all regions continued to lead and coordinate the implementation of a 45-month project, “Rights of migrants in action”, co-funded by the European Union and the IFRC.
The project promotes the rights of migrants along migratory routes around the world through globally coordinated civil society action, focusing on migrant domestic workers and victims of human trafficking. National Societies have worked in partnership with 43 civil society organizations and have helped approximately 400,000 vulnerable people.
To better coordinate our combined actions, the IFRC also mobilized a Migration Coordination Cell to develop a new response plan, with the contribution of the ICRC, to better assist and protect migrants and promote public awareness and non- discrimination. In November 2015, a new Migration Task Force, composed of National Society and IFRC representatives, was formed to expand the scope of the response plan, recognizing that migration is a global issue in which National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies play a critical role.