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Red Cross and Red Crescent societies discuss humanitarian cooperation in Southeast Asia

Update: October, 14/2020 - 17:16
Delegates attend the online meeting of the17th SEA Red Cross and Red Crescent Leadership on Wednesday in Hà Nội.  — Photo Viet Nam Red Cross Society

HÀ NỘI — Leaders of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Southeast Asia have shared experience and promoted regional cooperation in the field of humanitarian assistance and the Red Cross movement at an online meeting on October 14.

The online event, entitled the 17th SEA Red Cross and Red Crescent Leadership Meeting, was chaired by the Việt Nam Red Cross Society with 70 participants from 11 national red cross societies in ASEAN and the Asia Pacific Red Cross and Red Crescent committees.

Speaking at the event, Việt Nam Red Cross Society president Nguyễn Thị Xuân Thu said the COVID-19 pandemic impacted socio-economies of countries in the region, so the financial resources available for humanitarian activities have been reduced significantly while demand has increased dramatically.

"The recovery and response to disasters and epidemics are not only the internal work of a country, but also international concerns, so it is necessary to have links and cooperation between countries in the region," said president Thu.

"Therefore, VNRC as well as National Societies in Southeast Asia recognise that it is important to maintain the Southeast Asia Red Cross Red Crescent Meeting as a forum to discuss and build strategy and facilitate action plans in the field of humanitarianism," added Thu.

During the first day of the meeting, delegates spent most of the time assessing and sharing experience in the prevention and response to COVID-19 and impacts of the pandemic on socio-economic factors of countries in the region and national associations. They also discussed the promotion of activities to support pandemic prevention among associations, as well as initiatives and directions for regional cooperation to respond more effectively to pandemics and other disasters.

Also at the meeting, leaders of national red cross societies will discuss and agree on directions for regional cooperation in the future, including cooperation on capacity building of national red cross societies, as well as the cooperation with ASEAN in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delegates will also discuss and map out the way forward to realise the Resolutions of the IFRC General Council, the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and International Red Cross Red Crescent Conference in December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. They will also review cooperation agreements with the ASEAN Secretariat, update the COVID-19 response on regional and national scales as well as to inform several effective models and cooperation mechanisms in disaster risk reduction, healthcare and community safety.

At the event, the Việt Nam Red Cross introduced an initiative on the establishment of "a network of epidemic prevention and emergency situations, with youth as the key factor of change" and strengthening the resource advocacy building network in Southeast Asia as well as sharing experiences in Warning-Based Investment (FbF), Cash Relief Programme and some lessons learnt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS

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