Humanitarian challenges

November 19, 2018

DUE to worsening conflicts and climate change, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, floods and droughts are getting more pronounced not only in the Philippines but elsewhere.

This means that concerned government and private agencies need to double, triple and even quadruple their efforts to enable the people to cope with man-made and natural disasters.

And that’s what the Philippine Red Cross, chaired by Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, is doing, vowing to strengthen PRC’s community engagements to address pressing humanitarian challenges.

This is in response to the so-called “Manila Declaration,” the outcome document of the 10th Asia-Pacific Red Cross and Red Crescent Regional Conference held November 11-14 and co-hosted by PRC.

The “Manila Declaration” calls for an innovative approach to adapt to drastic changes in the humanitarian field, including climate change and worsening conflicts, according to Senator Gordon.

Held in Manila, the regional conference, with the theme “Engaging Local Humanitarian Action in a Fast-Changing World,” was attended by over 300 delegates from 50 countries.

The PRC has been actively promoting local engagements through its community-based efforts, like the “Red Cross 143,” a flagship program that aims to have a pool of 44 volunteers in every barangay.

Mostly youngsters, these volunteers undergo training in emergency and disaster response, safety, health and welfare, blood donor recruitment, international humanitarian law, and communications.

In fact, the declaration also puts emphasis in involving the youth in reaching out to the most vulnerable communities, said Gordon, one of the youngest members of the 1971 Constitutional Convention.

As Gordon, a lawyer and a long-time mayor of Olongapo City, said, the youth gives us confidence that we are on track to build a future with a lot of passion, pride, perseverance and persistence.