The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Land Rover has premiered the first of a series of short films showing how local teams are the future of emergency response efforts.
The first-of-its-kind four-part series, On the ground: Humanitarians in Action, uses GoPro cameras to capture Red Cross volunteers and local teams helping vulnerable communities around the world in a year of huge challenges. IFRC staff and volunteers used Land Rover vehicles to reach people on three continents – the latest example of a long-running humanitarian partnership.
Each film captures life-changing moments of humanity and crisis, from the streets of Italy, where homeless people are more vulnerable than ever, to the communities still rebuilding their lives after the devastating Australian bushfires in 2020. Local teams also teach life-saving skills to people in remote Mexican communities and support those hit hardest by coronavirus in the UK.
The IFRC’s Facebook Live page hosted an exclusive premiere of the films this month, along with a panel discussion titled: ‘The future of crisis response is local: how communities stepped up to the pandemic’.
Coronavirus lockdowns, travel bans and other major disruption created a huge need for rapid, effective help. Local medical personnel, health workers and community volunteers all provided care, treatment and support. Recent findings from the IFRC include:
- Before the pandemic National Societies reached 1 in 79 people globally. This is now 1 in 12
- Almost 14 million local volunteers now support their national Red Cross or Red Crescent society, with hundreds of thousands joining since the start of the pandemic
- 79.5 million people received food and benefited from water and sanitation programmes and other support
- 9.7 million people were tested for Covid-19 and 4 million people in isolation received support
- Red Cross and Red Crescent Society volunteers and staff vaccinated nearly 100,000 people in remote and hard-to-reach places
- Land Rover has enabled the Red Cross to reach isolated and vulnerable communities, with 267 vehicles loaned to national societies
- These vehicles have covered over 500,000 miles (804,672km) to reach people in crisis to help them respond and recover
- Over 12 months Land Rover has supported 13 UK and international emergency responses through the British Red Cross’s Disaster Relief Alliance
Nena Stoiljkovic, IFRC Under Secretary-General for Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalisation, said: “We have seen during this year, like no other, that the future of emergency response is local. Communities have gone above and beyond to support each other and their most vulnerable people.
“However, the capacity to respond locally varies vastly by country and area. International organisations like ours need to work with local communities leveraging our National Societies and put their expertise and resources towards strengthening local capacity and addressing inequality.”
Land Rover and the IFRC network have worked together for more than 66 years in one of the world’s longest-standing corporate/humanitarian relationships. Throughout this time, Land Rover has facilitated the IFRC’s life-saving work through funding, vehicles and expertise.
Finbar McFall, Land Rover Brand Director, said: “This last year has been exceptionally challenging for people all over the world and Land Rover is prouder than ever to work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“These films capture the commitment of the IFRC’s staff and volunteers and the vital importance of going above and beyond to support people at a local level
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.