OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: A TRUE FEDERATION-WIDE APPROACH
Since January 2020, when we launched the first global emergency appeal, we have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and its wide-reaching impact. Although a single pandemic, it has not been a single story. Our National Societies have been at the frontline, responding in their own communities, while also strongly advocating for equal access to health care for those most vulnerable and those most impacted by the loss of livelihoods. One year later, the pandemic is still being fought, and the world and our lives have profoundly changed.
Our Federation-wide Approach to the COVID-19 operation (the IFRC Secretariat and our 192-member National Societies) reflects both the local and global nature of this operation. The response is primarily a local response, with our National Societies responding to the local needs of those affected by COVID19 in their own countries, based on their domestic Response Plans. At the same time, this is a truly global response, showing the international solidarity of the IFRC’s network of member National Societies, working together with IFRC Secretariat support to mobilize and coordinate global assistance to sister National Societies, provide health guidance, design tailored and innovative solutions to social and economic needs, strengthen National Societies’ capacities and reach, and leverage logistics supply chains, to enable the IFRC to respond to the immense and ever-changing demands of COVID-19. The global IFRC response is also coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to leverage the complementarity of all members of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
As front-line community responders in their local and national context, our trusted National Society staff and 14 million volunteers, including youth volunteers, have been scaling up their response to address the divergent health, socio-economic and National Society development needs.
To reflect the Federation-wide response, revised Emergency Appeals were launched in March and May 2020 to present the global reach and work of the wider IFRC and reflect the global Federation-wide funding requirement, comprising all support and funding channeled to our National Societies. The Appeal also contained the specific ask for funds channeled through the IFRC Secretariat, to assist our National Societies through our offices in Geneva, the regions and at country level.
The Federation-wide Emergency Appeal was based on the domestic response plans of all contributing National Societies. This ensured linkages between all response activities (including bilateral activities and activities funded domestically), helped ensure good coordination, and helped us leverage all members of the Federation in the country to maximise the collective humanitarian impact. A set of common Federation-wide indicators and reporting mechanism was developed to collect data and give visibility to the entirety of the response.
The IFRC National Societies have been and continue to be uniquely placed to support people and their communities to prepare for and respond to this global emergency. With expertise and experience as health and humanitarian workers in their own communities, the global network of staff and volunteers offer a local presence and experience, supported by global expertise and resources.