DISASTER MANAGEMENT -
When a country is hit hard by a natural disaster or destroyed by an armed conflict, the Red Cross has a duty to intervene in the emergency. But, outside of emergencies, numerous programs for rehabilitation and reconstruction are also carried out.
One of the objectives of the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) is, firstly, to offer to populations affected by the disasters, whether natural or man-made, the security of a temporary shelter and secondly, to plan with them the reconstruction phase.
The French Red Cross (FRC) has also been able to develop its response capacities within these regions where its expertise in the realm of development is recognized. It can also respond effectively to small- or medium-sized disasters which have received little media attention.
Even though having always existed, these interventions, called bilateral, are in development and rely on the expertise of human resources already installed in the countries and/or regions these last several years, by the FRC. The FRC relies on these interventions to ensure the continued existence (and relevance) of the assistance which it can take to populations affected by small- or medium-size disasters. This tendency is due, both to the growing presence of the FRC in the world, and, to the demands of the funders who are more inclined to finance those partners who are already present in the country affected by the disaster.
Four key words characterize the expertise of the FRC in emergencies:
■ FLEXIBILITY: responding in a graduated manner during operations;
■ MUTUALIZATION: incorporating into its own expertise the know-how of each one in the field, in the same way as at HQ;
■ SYNERGY: initiating a real link and interaction across the various thematic components within a dynamic disaster management approach;
■ QUALITY: clear and operational rules and systems which are shared and respected by all.