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"FACT" Trainees Practice Disaster Scenarios in Al-Khor [EN/AR]

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February 23rd, 2016 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are continuing to conduct the training program for the Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) over the period 14-24 February.

The purpose of the training is to create an international team for intervention in major disasters, by making situation reports and developing intervention plan and budget, in coordination with the host National Society based on the urgent needs.

With theoretical and practical parts, the training mechanism involves identifying the damage in health care, food, shelter, water, and sanitation. The mission of the team is to deploy immediately to the venue within 24-48 of the disaster.

Over seven days at QRCS headquarters in Doha, the theoretical part clarified the roles and responsibilities of the FACT members, in addition to introducing a tabletop scenario that a National Society is facing a disaster and the team is required to support it.

The last three days of the training involve the practical part, which applies the "learning by doing" strategy. In the disaster simulation, Al-Khor City was shaken by an earthquake that affected the infrastructure and left behind some damage, deaths, and injuries. Consequently, the FACT staff was summoned to assess the impact and prepare for later intervention by other relief teams.

Divided into four working groups, the trainees visited several government authorities in Al-Khor, such as the North Security Department, Al-Khor Hospital, Al-Khor Airport, and Al-Ruwais Port, where they met with top officials who contributed largely to the successful exercise. As part of the scenario, security checkpoints were set up on the route of the team, who was surprised by these checkpoints and the requirement of prior security permission.

The trainees were not allowed to proceed, as the security permission was strictly required from the host National Society — i.e., QRCS. This is a key requirement that must be considered by the assessment team while working in real-world disasters. The course will conclude tomorrow, Wednesday, with a presentation of the training outcomes for QRCS's board of directors, to review the achievements and effective response mechanisms. This is the 23rd FACT course, hosted by QRCS for the first time by in the MENA zone, with support from IFRC and the British Red Cross. It is attended by 34 humanitarians from 22 National Societies around the world, in addition to representatives of IFRC. Qatar is represented by three volunteers from QRCS.

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About Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS)

Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian charitable organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.

QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 190 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several Gulf, Arab, and Islamic assemblies, such as: the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Secretariat-General of the Arab Organization of Red Crescent and Red Cross. In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts, a role that distinguishes it from other local charitable or philanthropic organizations.

QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. As a reflection of its long-standing accomplishments and credibility, QRCS's Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Maadheed, is former Vice-President of the IFRC.

Qatar Red Crescent works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. For more information about Qatar Red Crescent, please contact Mr. Fareed Adnan, Head of Media Affairs, Communication Department, Tel.: +974 5583 7338, email: fareed@qrcs.org.qa. Or you can visit our website: www.qrcs.org.qa, or like and follow our social media pages:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/QatarRedCrescent
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