02 March 2005
More than 100 representatives from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are gathering in Hong Kong, to set out its long-term plan of action for survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of last December 26. The disaster left more than 286,000 people dead, 7,900 missing and more than 1.6 million displaced in a dozen countries of south Asia and eastern Africa.
The plan will affect some 22,000 volunteers and nearly 300 international staff, from different countries, more than 40 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who are bringing vital assistance -- food, clean water, medical care, shelter, household and hygiene articles as well as psychological counselling -- to some 700,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, the Maldives and other affected countries.
Participants will discuss how to best coordinate and support relief assistance in the affected countries until the end of 2005 as well as implement recovery programmes which will extend to 2010 and beyond. Disaster preparedness programmes, implemented by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the affected countries, will be an important part of the Federation’s plan of action in the region.
The Hong Kong Forum, which will be held from 3 to 5 March, will bring together representatives of some 50 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Federation’s secretariat, United Nations (UN) agencies and other major organizations involved in delivering humanitarian assistance to the survivors. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is one of the largest humanitarian actors in the affected countries.