Mental health and psychosocial consequences of emergencies – A call for global action

November 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the relevance, appropriateness and necessity of Resolution 2, “Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies”. Adopted unanimously at the 33rd International Conference by States and National Societies, this resolution calls for increased efforts to respond to mental health and psychosocial needs. With the pandemic causing uncertainty, additional stress and anxiety, new light has been shed on mental health and psychosocial needs in the public debate. Now, more than ever, multiple and complex humanitarian needs demonstrate the importance of a holistic and integrated response that addresses the diverse mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies.

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Beyond Rhetoric: The Need to Tackle Racism and Discrimination

October 2020

The global anti-racism protests have caused all of us to collectively reflect on some difficult truths regarding racism and discrimination. The humanitarian sector is not immune to these discussions, with calls for reflections about long-standing problems of systemic racism and ‘de-colonizing’ the aid system. As the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, we must be involved in these difficult conversations and should not shy away from serious reflections. There are no boundaries in terms of where we can go based on our Fundamental Principles, and what we should do as individuals and organisations. This is our moral responsibility.

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A Climate for Change: Towards a Humanitarian Climate and Environment Charter

October 2020

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance due to the climate crisis today has reached an unprecedented level. As more than 51.6 million individuals have been recorded to be directly affected by floods, droughts or storms, it is all the more crucial for the humanitarian sector to react and come up with pressing solutions. In this regard, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has demonstrated the important role it has on the ground in reducing risks and addressing the impacts of climate change. With important events ranging from last year’s 33rd International Conference, to the more recent Climate: Red Summit on 9-10 September, the Red Cross Red Crescent network has demonstrated its preparedness to anticipate climate shocks and hazards before they hit. As “unprecedented” events are becoming the new normal, it is now more crucial than ever to take appropriate climate adaptation action.

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The story of a resolution in the time of COVID-19

September 2020

This story is about the wisdom and courage of adopting a resolution at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IC33), only a few months before the rise of a global pandemic that changed the world. It is about its value and relevance in real-life emergencies, and how it became one of the most important tools to position National Societies at the center of COVID-19 operations, and as allied and supported members of a global movement. It also reflects on how the Movement has had to change, connect, and adapt in the midst of this crisis.

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