International Committee of the Red Cross / International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies joint statement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has today launched Voices to Action, a global initiative to gather community solutions to some of today's pressing humanitarian challenges.
Thoughts and ideas generated through a dedicated website – www.voicestoaction.org – and at community events in five countries will be shared with governments at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December – ensuring local voices are represented in the global discussions.
"This is an opportunity for people to help shape how we work with communities to find solutions to the many challenges they face," said Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "We hope that as many people as possible will join us, sharing their thoughts and ideas about how we can better support communities to become more resilient through effective humanitarian action"
"The humanitarian situation that we are witnessing right now is unprecedented," said Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross. "Now more than ever, we must collectively set a strong and focused agenda for future humanitarian action – built on the voices and needs of local communities."
In the coming months, local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Bangladesh, Honduras, Liberia, Lebanon and Vienna will host humanitarian hub events with communities. The first event, to be held in Liberia on 2 and 3 September, will bring together community members and leaders, volunteers, NGOs, government representatives and the Liberia National Red Cross Society to collectively examine their local needs and discuss community-driven solutions.
"The fight against Ebola in Liberia was fought at the grassroot level, starting with the communities themselves," said Fayiah Tamba, Secretary General of the Liberia National Red Cross Society. "Empowering communities is crucial to deliver sustainable humanitarian action. We are pleased to host the first humanitarian hub event for Voices to Action."
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Held every four years, the International Conference provides a non-political forum for governments and Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders to discuss the most pressing humanitarian challenges and needs.