The Guyana Red Cross Society (GRCS) has partnered with CIDA, the Civil Defence Commission and Ministry of Local Government to train 15 communities to manage disaster risks, through its Caribbean Community Resilience to Disaster Risk Project.
In a press release, the Red Cross said the project also promotes the protection of livelihoods as the first five communities are predominantly farming areas. CIDA’s participation is being facilitated by the Canadian Red Cross. Additionally, the Red Cross, in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will be piloting Climate Change Awareness modules in communities. These modules have been developed as part of CDEMA’s CDM Strategy and aims at promoting awareness about the adverse impact of climate change on local communities and what actions can be taken to lessen them. This project is being done through support from the British High Commission.
The charity said it has also been deepening its collaboration with local organisations and corporate partners to make food supplies available monthly for needy persons through its Meals on Wheels Programme, Wellness Clinics and the Children’s Convalescent Home. It noted that these efforts align with humanitarian goals of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) which released its ‘World Disaster Report’ placing emphasis on hunger and malnutrition. The report released on Thursday coincides with the United Nations commemoration of International Day for Risk Reduction with special focus on children and youth.
The Red Cross said one of its challenges is working in both urban and rural communities and addressing issues of increased need for education and information in order to help build resilience; to look at related food security initiatives, to reduce the effects of poverty and to address the need to distribute the country’s wealth more equitably. “Our programmes therefore include those that reduce the degrees of risk faced by the vulnerable in times of natural disasters and economic uncertainty,” GRCS Director General Dorothy Fraser said.