China: International seminar enhances cooperation on emergency response

28 May 2019

Beijing (ICRC) – More than 80 emergency response experts and professional first responders from China have gathered in Beijing for the 1st International Seminar on Disaster Health from 27 to 31 May.

The seminar, jointly organized by the Ministry of Emergency Management of the People's Republic of China and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), aims to promote experience sharing and greater collaboration in the field of emergency management. Those participating in the five-day event belong to various emergency response sectors or institutions, including the Emergency General Hospital, firefighting teams, forest firefighting department and emergency rescue centres, among others.

During the sessions, the participants will focus on areas related to emergency response, such as setting up and management of a field hospital, decontamination techniques of chemical, biological and radiological risks and management of the dead during disasters and emergencies.

Pierre Dorbes, head of the ICRC's regional delegation for East Asia, said in his opening speech that the ICRC has more than 150 years of experience in humanitarian aid, and together with the other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, it has developed expertise both in emergency response but also in long-term humanitarian programing.

CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Yongtao XIANG

"Under the umbrella of the 'Belt and Road Initiative' China has been more involved and engaged in international rescue missions. Likewise, the ICRC has also significant operations in 40 countries along the B&R and has developed deep understanding of the operational and humanitarian dynamics therein. Beyond emergency response to crisis, which will be the focus of this seminar, ICRC has also developed expertise on long-term sustainable humanitarian response addressing needs of protracted situations." said Mr. Dorbes.

"The seminar is part of efforts to improve our capacity of international humanitarian aid and medical assistance in emergencies," said Mr LIU Weimin, director of the International Cooperation and Rescue Department, Ministry of Emergency Management, at the opening ceremony. "We believe that the two sides will have multiple opportunities to cooperate in emergency response in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in the future."

Specialists from the ICRC and partners of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement would share their experiences and best practices through theoretical sessions and case studies, exchanging ideas with their Chinese counterparts.

"The seminar was designed to meet the participants' needs and to introduce a comprehensive approach of emergency response," said Gwenaelle Ravon, deputy head of the ICRC's Regional Delegation for East Asia. "The elements in a disaster cannot be taken into consideration separately."

She said that after the seminar closes, the organizers will discuss the participants' feedback to improve their further cooperation. "We are absolutely convinced that the ICRC and the Chinese authorities can have mutually beneficial cooperation worldwide."