Jagan Chapagain | International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc The website of the international Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Tue, 10 Dec 2019 21:11:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.12 New guide to urban resilience launched https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/2017/12/05/new-guide-urban-resilience-launched/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:55:51 +0000 http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/?p=40364 The Red Cross and Red Crescent has published an innovative new guide covering the humanitarian challenges of our increasingly urbanised world.

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The Red Cross and Red Crescent have always been at the forefront of disaster preparedness and response in cities, but rapid urbanization is creating serious challenges for development and humanitarian organisations. This guide – one of the outcomes of the Partnership on Urban Risk Reduction and Management between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran – was developed to respond to the increasing needs of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in urban disaster risk reduction and management, and in building community resilience in cities.

The guide is not an operational manual, but is an analytical and strategic approach to urban resilience that explains the root causes of urban risks and their humanitarian consequences. It analyses the urban context and concepts of community, hazards, risks and resilience in cities and their link with the wider urban development agenda, and it proposes ways in which the Red Cross and Red Crescent can engage effectively in urban risk reduction and management and resilience-building. It connects the urban humanitarian context with the global urban resilience agenda. The content of the guide is aligned with the findings of many city-level projects that were implemented during the partnership.

Community focus

The guide is written first for the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, but will also help other community-based organizations to plan and implement resilience-building actions in cities. UN agencies and inter-governmental organisations can benefit from this guide to better understand the social and community dimensions of urban disaster risk reduction and resilience, and the views and approach of community-based organizations in this area.

Jagan Chapagain, Under Secretary General, Programmes and Operations, IFRC said the report was the result of extensive collaborations across the Movement. “The outcomes of the Partnership including the Guide are the results of extensive joint works with the participation and support of many National Societies and IFRC regional offices as well as IFRC partners from 2013 to 2016,” he said. “Urban risk is one of the key global challenges with severe humanitarian impacts. I hope the outcomes of the partnership and this Guide can contribute to the plans and programmes of National Societies to build and enhance resilience and better respond to humanitarian needs in cities and urban areas.
“On behalf of the IFRC and the National Societies who engaged in this partnership, I sincerely thank the Iranian Red Crescent Society for their important and sincere cooperation in this area.”

Mohammad Sh. Mohammadi Araghi, Under Secretary General, International Affairs and IHL at the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran said: “As National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies we should enhance our capacities and be better prepared for resilience building and responding to humanitarian crises in cities and urban areas. The Iranian Red Crescent is proud of its partnership with the IFRC in this important priority area and of the results achieved so far. The outcome report of this partnership which is being released now is a testimony for the significance of urban resilience and the achievements of this partnership. On behalf of the Iranian Red Crescent, I sincerely thank the IFRC Secretariat for the full support provided and all other National Societies who participated in this partnership and contributed to achieving its objectives.”

Necessary response

Mostafa Mohaghegh, Partnership Manager, Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, IFRC said the guide was a necessary response to increasingly urban populations. “We have always been in forefront of humanitarian action in cities, but the increasing complexity of urban context requires innovative and more effective ways to respond to humanitarian needs,” he said. “The Partnership on Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Management has been an extensive IFRC collective effort to help its member National Societies better understand and analyse urban risks and improve their planning and programming for urban resilience building and risk reduction. Within the framework of this Partnership, over 80 National Societies participated at the regional meetings and consultations and 5 city level projects were implemented in Jakarta, La Paz, Nairobi, Tehran and Yerevan in collaboration with their respective National Societies. We are indeed in the beginning of a long journey to build urban resilience against disasters, but the outcomes of this Partnership and release of its final report may serve the National Societies and IFRC partners to better consider and position urban communities and most vulnerable people in this journey.”

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Grave danger for isolated villages in South Asia floods affecting Nepal, India and Bangladesh https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/grave-danger-isolated-villages-south-asia-flood-waters-pour-nepal-india-bangladesh/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:25:05 +0000 http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/?post_type=press-release&p=36898 Fears are rising for hundreds of villages stranded by flood waters in large areas of Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

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Geneva/Kuala Lumpur, 22 August 2017 — Fears are rising for hundreds of villages stranded by flood waters in large areas of Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

This is the worst flooding that parts of South Asia have seen in decades. Entire communities have been cut off. The only way to get aid to some of these villages is by boat and many are running out of food,” said Jagan Chapagain, Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The situation is going from bad to worse. In Nepal, as waters finally recede, our teams are finding communities that have lost homes, identity documents – everything. In Bangladesh and India, the number of people affected is rising by the hour as waters rush south.”

Overall, more than 24 million people are believed affected by the flooding in the three countries, with more than 700 people thought dead. Over 1,800 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are working alongside local authorities to prevent further deaths and help communities withstand and recover from the floods.

Clean water and sanitation are major priorities in each of the affected countries with increasing incidents of some diseases already being reported.

The floodwaters have become a breeding ground for deadly diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria. We fear that other diseases such as dengue and Japanese encephalitis are also on the rise,” Mr Chapagain said.

In low-lying Bangladesh, the Red Crescent has described the flooding as some of the worst the country has ever seen.

Floodwaters are sweeping from the north of Bangladesh to the centre, submerging whole villages. Many communities are isolated, with no access by land. Millions have been forced to camp on any patch of dry land they can find,” said BMM Mozharul Huq, Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.

We are delivering aid, food, water and other vital supplies but this disaster is one of the biggest we have ever faced. We are appealing for global support,” Mr Mozharul Huq said.

IFRC is supporting Red Cross and Red Crescent operations in each of the affected countries.

In Nepal, IFRC and Nepal Red Cross are launching a global appeal for about 3.5 million Swiss francs to support 81,000 people living in the most seriously affected parts of the country. IFRC has provided a start-up loan of 500,000 Swiss francs to ensure that resources are immediately available.

In Bangladesh, IFRC and the Bangladesh Red Crescent expect to launch a similarly targeted appeal in the coming days.

In India, IFRC released 320,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) at the end of July, with a second allocation expected to follow soon.

People across the region urgently need our help. But their needs are now so immense they will not be met without international support,” said IFRC’s Chapagain.

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World Refugee Day: Digital information platform for refugees and migrants launches in Italy https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/world-refugee-day-digital-information-platform-refugees-migrants-launches-italy/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 04:21:16 +0000 http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/?post_type=press-release&p=35186 A new digital platform launched on World Refugee Day (20 June) in Italy will put critical and relevant information in the hands of vulnerable migrants and refugees.

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Rome/Geneva, 20 June 2017 – A new digital platform launched on World Refugee Day (20 June) in Italy will put critical and relevant information in the hands of vulnerable migrants and refugees.

The “Virtual Volunteer” – a mobile friendly web application developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and IBM – helps people migrating access reliable and practical information and support wherever they are. Virtual Volunteer has already been rolled out in Greece and Sweden where it has been used by 30,000 people.

Virtual Volunteer fills a missing piece in the global response to migration,” said Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations. “People moving are often caught in a fog of poor information. They don’t always know what services are available to them. This is a tool that will help give them a clearer view so that they can make informed decisions.

The platform shows in real time the services provided by the Red Cross and other organizations, including outpatient clinics and maternal health centres, as well as places people can access free legal assistance and psychological support. It uses the geolocation of users to ensure that the information is relevant.

Safe points

It will also alert people to the three Italian Red Cross Safe Points in Catania, Trapani and Cagliari. Safe points are spaces run by volunteers where migrants can find further information and assistance, and access health and legal services.

Users will also find detailed information about Restoring Family Links services that can help them search for and connect with members of their family.

“The use of technology is crucial in humanitarian action,” said Francesco Rocca, President of the Italian Red Cross. “Information saves lives. Ensuring that people can access unbiased, factual information has a big impact.”

Thousands of people continue to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Most of those who reach Europe report having been detained in Libya, with many having experienced or seen beatings, abuse, sexual violence and forced labour.

IFRC urges authorities at all points along migration routes to ensure that vulnerable people are provided with humanitarian assistance and protection throughout their journeys, irrespective of legal status.

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