The Spanish Red Cross (SRC) pledges the highest level assistance to its Vietnamese counterpart’s activities including disaster prevention and response, said Chief Representative of the Hanoi-based SRC office Ignacio Garcia.

The Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) has played a key role in humanitarian activities as well as in disaster prevention and response, Garcia continued at a workshop jointly held by the VRC and the SRC office in Hanoi on May 18.

As Vietnam is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, the VRC needs to include disaster prevention and response activities in its long-term action programmes, he added.

He also suggested the society increase communication, deepen coordination with relevant agencies, and call for support from domestic and foreign organisations.

The workshop drew representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), State agencies, and the disaster-prone provinces of Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai in central Vietnam.

They were provided with information on the IFRC’s international disaster response tools, Vietnam’s Law on natural disaster prevention and control, and the Government’s coordination mechanisms with social organisations in the field.

Participants reviewed ways to promote the efficiency of disaster response coordination between IFRC forces and Vietnamese local authorities and to expand the activities and efficiency of provincial disaster response teams.

Founded in 1946, the VRC is currently a member of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control. It has set up a national disaster response team, 26 provincial and district teams, and 158 others at the communal level.

It implements nearly 30 international projects on community-based disaster risk management every year and has called for some 9 million USD worth of relief for other countries to assist in disaster aftermaths thus far.-VNA