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The French Red Cross creates the READY Fund: The Readiness and Disaster Response Fund

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To improve its capacity to respond to disasters, especially little-known crises and emergencies, the French Red Cross wishes to forge stronger relationships with its businesses and major donors by creating the READY Fund, so as to engage with them in the sustainable management of humanitarian aid.

While the French Red Cross can count on the rapid mobilization of its donors in the event of high-profile disasters, this support is less forthcoming for ‘silent’ disasters that are usually unknown to the general public and business world, even though they tend to be recurrent. These crises suffer financially from a lack of media coverage, leading to an insufficient response to the needs of the communities involved. This two-speed response to humanitarian needs is inacceptable.

To reduce as much as possible its dependence on the media visibility of a disaster to attract funding, the French Red Cross intends to step up its ongoing partnerships with its business and major donors by creating the READY Fund – a readiness and disaster response fund.

The purpose of this READY Fund is to provide financial assistance at times when the French Red Cross experiences collection difficulties, and enable the association to anticipate and respond effectively to different types of crises. The fund has three major goals:

· better community preparedness for future disasters,

· capacity to respond on the ground to ‘forgotten’ crises · sustainability of operations beyond the limited time-span of humanitarian emergencies.

Corporate partners and philanthropists who wish to join the READY Fund can take out an annual subscription at different financial levels.

In addition, businesses or individual donors who join the READY Fund will be able to benefit from a genuine partnership by pooling their expertise and skills with those of the association. This will enable them to take part in initiating and developing effective innovative actions to further our mission of delivering sustainable humanitarian services.

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation, the Total Foundation and Technip are the first partners who have agreed to support the establishment of the READY.

"This Fund is a novelty in France, extending the initiatives taken by our sister American Red Cross and British Red Cross associations. The Fund enables us to reaffirm the central role that the International Movement of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent plays in disaster response and community readiness on a global scale"