The Americas region has changed - and so have we
Since the Inter-American Conference (IAC) of Buenos Aires in 2019, there has been a pandemic, a war, numerous and more intense climate-related disasters, a record of transcontinental and intra-continental migration through the Darien, and the largest population movement in recent American history: the exodus of Venezuelans. Neither the region, the National Societies, government policies, nor the humanitarian aid funding ecosystem are the same as before.
You, as Red Cross leaders, are well versed in the challenges of what it took to respond simultaneously to the COVID-19 pandemic all while dealing with multiple surges in migration flows, and periodic disasters throughout these past few years. You have been on the front line, listening to the people most at risk, addressing their needs and doing your best to find ways to care for your staff and your volunteers.
The past three years have tested our ways of planning, working, and funding our humanitarian programmes and responses. They have also tested the effectiveness of your Secretariat's response and funding tools and confirmed the value of our joint action and our global and local reach.
With these lessons and this new context as a starting point, I invite you, as we prepare for the Conference, to commit to innovative, sustainable solutions that put people at the centre and enable us to rise to the humanitarian challenges ahead.
I look forward to this journey together as we gear up for a productive meeting of the minds ahead.