Media advisory: Resilience, protracted crises and volunteering top of agenda at major humanitarian summit

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Kuala Lumpur / Manila, 7 November 2018 – Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders from 51 countries across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East will meet in Manila from 11 to 14 November to address some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges in the region.

The 10th Asia Pacific Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, co-hosted by the Philippine Red Cross, brings together 300 leaders from 51 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The theme of the conference is engaging local humanitarian action in a fast-changing world.


Building resilience to disasters

Asia Pacific is by far the most disaster-prone region in the world, home to 80 per cent of all people affected by disasters. Climate change will exacerbate these risks. Yet the 2018 World Disasters Report shows millions of people are excluded from aid.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East – which reach 18 million people a year after disasters – are at the forefront of local disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, disaster response and health in emergencies. At the conference they will discuss building resilience to disasters, expanding innovations such as cash transfers, and responding to unique and often unrecognised vulnerabilities including those of women, older people, people with disabilities, urban populations and people displaced by disasters.

Protracted crises

Tens of millions of people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Yemen face severe or deteriorating humanitarian situations. Many conflict-affected countries also host large numbers of migrants and are regularly hit by disasters.

Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders will explore how they can sustain and expand humanitarian space in order to reach more people in crisis.


Young people and volunteering are the lifeblood of civil society. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies need to continually explore the best ways of engaging with youth, and attracting and retaining volunteers. Participants will address this issue along with the use of new technologies and the changing nature of volunteering as people seek new opportunities outside traditional volunteer-based organisations.

The conference will be preceded by the 3rd Asia Pacific Youth Summit on 10 November.

Read more here.

To set up interviews with Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Elhadj As Sy, IFRC Secretary General, and other leaders, contact:

Rana Sidani Cassou, +961 71 80 2779,

Rosemarie North, +60 12230 845,

Follow @IFRCAsiaPacific and @IFRC_MENA and #Manila18 for updates from the conference.

Representatives will attend from: Afghan Red Crescent Society; Australian Red Cross; Bahrain Red Crescent Society; Bangladesh Red Crescent Society; Bhutan Red Cross Society; Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society; Cambodian Red Cross Society; Red Cross Society of China; Cook Islands Red Cross; Fiji Red Cross Society; Indian Red Cross Society; Indonesian Red Cross Society; Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Iraqi Red Crescent Society; Japanese Red Cross Society; Jordan National Red Crescent Society; Kiribati Red Cross Society; Red Cross Society of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; The Republic of Korea National Red Cross; Kuwait Red Crescent Society; Lao Red Cross; Lebanese Red Cross; Magen David Adom; Malaysian Red Crescent Society; Maldivian Red Crescent; Marshall Islands Red Cross; Micronesia Red Cross; Mongolian Red Cross Society; Myanmar Red Cross Society; Nepal Red Cross Society; New Zealand Red Cross; Pakistan Red Crescent; Palau Red Cross Society; Palestine Red Crescent; Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society; Philippine Red Cross; Qatar Red Crescent Society; Samoa Red Cross Society; Saudi Red Crescent Authority; Singapore Red Cross Society; Syrian Arab Red Crescent; The Solomon Islands Red Cross; The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society; The Thai Red Cross Society; Timor-Leste Red Cross Society; Tonga Red Cross Society; Tuvalu Red Cross Society; Emirates Red Crescent; Vanuatu Red Cross Society; Viet Nam Red Cross Society; and Yemen Red Crescent Society.

Observers include National Societies from Europe, the Americas and North Africa, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, corporations, universities and other major partners.

About the IFRC

IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives and promote dignity around the world.