Since July 2012, most parts of DPRK were hit by consecutive floods caused by torrential rains. The impact of these floods was exacerbated when Typhoon Bolaven hit on 28 August 2012.
DPRK Red Cross Society (DPRK RCS), with the support from IFRC, has carried out the flood response and relief operation in south Hamgyong, north Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces which were severely affected by typhoon Bolaven with high intensity rainfall within a short period of time as well as strong winds resulting in flash floods.
DREF supported the DPRK RCS in the immediate distribution of disaster relief items for flood-affected families. A total of 2,515 selected vulnerable families received essential items such as quilts, cooking sets, jerry cans and water purification tablets. Alongside the relief activities, the DREF also allowed the DPRK RCS to implement awareness-raising activities such as hygiene promotion to over 12,000 households in 28 affected counties in the three provinces. The entire DPRK RCS operation involved more than 12,300 Red Cross volunteers in community level mobilized in assisting the evacuation, rescue and first aid on the ground, distribution of emergency relief items as well as promoting good hygiene practices amongst the community in the flooding situation. All actions were in close cooperation and coordination with the local authority and other public organizations.
Lessons learnt from this operation were mostly around strengthening disaster preparedness capacities at all levels, including points listed below:
Early warning and evacuation system at community level needs to be strengthened through community-based disaster risk reduction activities. Knowledge of Red Cross staff and volunteers on standard operation procedures needs to be enhanced through disaster response and relief trainings.
Existing disaster response and relief guidelines should be continuously reviewed based on the experience gained from past operations. Guidelines specifiying the roles and responsibilities of Red Cross volunteers in emergencies at community and county levels should also be looked into.
Knowledge of and application of assessment tools, operational guidelines on distribution process, beneficiary selection criteria, shelter etc should be strenghened to ensure a more efficient and timely operation.
Red Cross visibility should be further enhanced in future operations.