The critical value of the IFRC network to local communities was demonstrated again in 2020 and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The 192 National Societies and the IFRC acted rapidly to the global crisis while responding to other emergencies, reducing vulnerabilities, and working with communities to live healthier and more dignified lives.
The IFRC works through five regional offices and 50 country or cluster offices to support National Societies to become more efficient, effective, trusted, and accountable so that they can help local communities become more resilient. The IFRC does this through seven areas of focus and four strategies for implementation that are the framework for its 2016–2020 Plan and Budget and its Strategy 2020. Strategies for implementation are critical functions that support National Societies to develop and implement effective programmes. Areas of focus are the agreed areas where the IFRC works with National Societies to deliver results for at-risk communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic also put considerable strain on the IFRC network itself. It could have been a major disruptor to the last year of IFRC’s Strategy 2020. Using the crisis as a catalyst for change, the IFRC adapted and improved. The network demonstrated its ability to adapt and build a solid platform for its Strategy 2030, guiding the IFRC’s objectives for the next decade and leading to systemic change in how the IFRC works to more fully support National Societies.