• Pre-Hurricane Conferece

PER and NSD, complementarities and alignment

Strengthening of National Societies is one of the Federation’s and particularly the IFRC Secretariat’s fundamental tasks, as well as Preparedness for Effective Response or PER. Both go hand in hand and are essential for the institutional development of National Societies in the region. William Parra, Regional Coordinator, National Society Development, explains some of the challenges that need to be addressed when developing PER and NSD plans like new city configurations, migration, and aging of the population: Red Cross National Societies must adapt to these changes to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies.

Later in the session, Krystell Santamaria, National Societies Preparedness, Business Continuity for Covid-19, explained that ‘Coordination within the movement, activation of response mechanisms, logistics, etc. are aspects that must be constantly strengthened to give effective responses and strengthen the role that we must give within our auxiliary role.’

In the COVID19 response, PER aspects need to be prioritized to strengthen NSD preparedness and operations can continue and better articulate the responses in other programmes and operations. PER and NSD processes and frameworks support National Societies to grow, with the aim of having more harmonized and more effective operations and responses to support the people who need it most.

Lastly, Panamanian Red Cross, Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, and Honduran Red Cross shared their experiences with their own PER and NSD processes and how it has strengthened their organizations. For example, Honduras shared their experiences during the Hurricane Eta and Iota response with very complex scenarios: the PER and NSD processes that they have gone through were key to respond efficiently and holistically.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the PER process was crucial to respond to the COVID19 pandemic, and showed that preparedness is intrinsically correlated with emergency response.

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross was able to use the elements of the PER process to help them respond effectively and efficiently during the pandemic. For example, after undergoing the PER Self-Assessment in December 2020, the TTRC was able to trace the preparedness activities and gaps related to its COVID-19 Response and other programmes.

Ms. Santamaria left us with this closing remark: ‘Humanitarian needs change so our organizations have to change to better serve our communities.’

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