The two organisations have already worked together in the field of water and sanitation during earthquakes in Iran, Turkey and El Salvador, as well as hosting joint workshops and undertaking joint research projects.
"This MoU is intended to encourage and facilitate cooperation between the Red Cross Red Crescent and Oxfam GB in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene primarily in response to emergencies but also with potential areas of cooperation in developmental activities in the same field," explained Uli Jaspers, head of water and sanitation at the International Federation's Secretariat in Geneva.
"It seeks to build on the recognized competencies of each organization and to establish operational modalities of cooperation, which really add value to the way we serve those in need," he added.
The scope of the MoU includes joint assessments, preparedness planning, rapid response and support to the transition from emergency to development programming. It will also include knowledge-sharing, capacity-building and training and monitoring and evaluation.
Through its network of national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the International Federation coordinates water, sanitation and hygiene activities worldwide through its Geneva Secretariat and four regional offices, in Panama City, Harare, Nairobi and Bangkok. It is currently active in this field in over 40 countries
Oxfam is well known for its effective work in emergency situations, particularly for expertise in providing clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion.