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One Billion Coalition initiative 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have launched an initiative to scale-up community and civic action on resilience: the ‘One Billion Coalition for Resilience’.

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The announcement was made by Mr Tadateru Konoé, President of the IFRC and Japanese Red Cross Society, together with Mr Elhadj As Sy, IFRC Secretary General (pictured above), at the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan.

“For many years the Red Cross and Red Crescent have been making a significant contribution to disaster risk reduction efforts and strengthening community resilience,” said Mr Konoé. “We want to take this to the next level. Our goal is to engage at least one person in every household around the world in active steps towards strengthening their resilience by the year 2025. This is the IFRC’s voluntary commitment toward the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development Goals”.

“Our collective experience in implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action has shown that resilience comes from individuals and communities. Reducing risks and vulnerabilities is a process that must be owned, led and carried out by the people themselves to bring about lasting change in their communities.”

The IFRC commits to mobilising its network of 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and 17 million volunteers around the world to scale up different services that link disaster preparedness, emergency response, and longer term recovery needs of local communities. 

“People’s needs vary, this means we need to be flexible in our approach towards achieving this ambitious goal. The ‘One Billion Coalition’ will bring together a wide range of committed individuals and organizations to form new partnerships that enable us to engage with local communities in innovative ways across the globe,” said Mr Sy.

 “We call on all stakeholders – teachers, health workers, local community and government leaders, civil society organisations, the United Nations, the private sector and all those who wish to contribute to this coalition of the willing – to join us in this co-creation process of enabling individuals, households and communities to become stronger and safer from future shocks. This requires our collective responsibility, collective action and collective accountability.”

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms Margareta Wahlstrom, commended the IFRC’s efforts to galvanize actions toward making communities more resilient.

“We need to scale up our collective efforts to make sure that hazards don’t become disasters, and we will only be able to achieve this by building alliances at every level. Only in partnership can we contribute to transforming the lives of the most vulnerable people and support their efforts in building stronger communities,” said Ms Wahlstrom. 

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