Red Cross proposes local preparedness, prevention and optimization of resources for possible new pandemics

Red Cross during Covid-19 pandemic – CRUZ ROJA

The Red Cross has warned this Monday that the world is not prepared for a new health pandemic like the one experienced with the COVID-19 and proposes to institutions and society a local preparation, prevention and use and optimization of resources to avoid a situation similar to that of 2020.

The organization is making this appeal following the publication of two reports by the International Federation’s network – the World Disasters Report and the Everyone Counts Report – that provide information on the successes and challenges of the past three years and make recommendations on how leaders can mitigate tragedies of this magnitude in the future.

The coordinator of the Spanish Red Cross, Toni Bruel, said that the most valuable lesson learned from the pandemic is that «you can do many things, more than you think you are capable of, that you help others in a simple way and by being present everywhere».

He therefore urged local preparedness, prevention, the use and optimization of resources, common protection against socio-economic impacts, the strengthening of global solidarity mechanisms to guarantee responses to all needs, and the continuous analysis of the situation to re-evaluate at all times whether it is necessary to modify aid, and to take measures.

ANTICIPATING THE PANDEMIC Spanish Red Cross already put some of these practices into practice, he explained, with its anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic through its ongoing contact with the Chinese Red Cross. «We bought protection material, and we designed a structured plan,» Bruel has indicated in relation to the ‘Cruz Roja Responde’ initiative.

As he indicated, this measure worked with different hypothetical situations that later materialized with the arrival of Covid-19 and allowed the organization to adapt its capabilities to the pandemic situation «bringing help to homes, delivering electronic devices so that families were not disconnected at work or school, and working remotely on psychosocial care or training and employment thanks to the latest tools».

«In this way, it was possible to mitigate, as far as possible, the adverse effects of the pandemic,» insisted the coordinator of the Spanish Red Cross.

Bruel also stressed the importance of the country being prepared for multiple and simultaneous needs. «We have already seen how a health crisis has affected not only health, but also employment and the economy, so we have to offer cross-cutting and effective responses to avoid generating or increasing vulnerability,» he said.

For his part, the IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain, pointed out that «the COVID-19 pandemic should be a wake-up call for the global community to prepare now for the next health crisis».

In this regard, he has recommended that world leaders focus on «building trust, addressing inequality, and harnessing local actors and communities to do life-saving work.» «The next pandemic could be just around the corner. If the COVID-19 experience won’t accelerate our steps towards preparedness, what will?» he concluded.