A new initiative announced on 1 September 2018 will boost the local disaster preparedness and response capacity of nine national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in Asia Pacific.

People in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam will benefit from the two-year, 2 million US dollar (1.7 million Euro) programme to improve the capacity, readiness and resilience of local Red Cross and Red Crescent responders.

Red Ready is the result of a partnership between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the American Red Cross and USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance. It comes at the request of the local disaster responders to boost their capacity.

The initiative will benefit approximately 570,000 staff members and volunteers of nine Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, with the aim of improving the lives of many millions of people affected by disasters every year in their home countries.

Red Ready will deliver tailored support for two core capacity building approaches.

The first is using the organisational capacity and assessment certification (OCAC) tool and certification dynamic, which helps National Societies assess their own development needs and improve their organisation’s sustainability. It enhances core functions including a strong volunteer and youth network, and domestic resource mobilisation. Red Ready will also use the branch organisational capacity assessment (BOCA), a local assessment tool that enables frontline local branches to improve their efficiency, effectiveness and transparency as humanitarian partners of choice collaborating with local authorities and other local actors, including in disaster management.

The second approach is boosting preparedness for effective response (PER), an ongoing and cyclical method for a National Society to systematically assess, measure and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of its response system. The process puts the National Society in the driver’s seat in developing a road-map for improving its response capacity. The approach builds on decades of experience from within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Every year, 38 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies across Asia Pacific reach 10 million people affected by disasters and health emergencies. In 2016, almost 36 million people were supported in disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

Red Ready will enable the network — composed of nine million volunteers and 125,000 local branches — to boost capacity, with the longer-term goal and ultimate benefit of improving their ability to reach communities affected by disasters and respond in a more efficient and effective way, ultimately leading to saved lives and reduced losses before and after disasters.