DRC Europe Regional Meeting
The Regional Meeting in the Europe Region was held at the Danish Red Cross Headquarters 2-3 May. The meeting included general reflections on humanitarian challenges, partnerships and progress in Europe as well as experience sharing on good practices and challenges on collaboration between the DRC Europe Region and the DRC National Departments. The meeting was concluded with a First Aid Refresher Training.
Humanitarian challenges in Europe
While Europe is not conventionally considered a region with many humanitarian emergencies, the meeting confirmed that the humanitarian challenges in Europe are currently numerous, including the consequences of refugee crisis and the protection needs of migrants stuck in Greece, Italy and Turkey; the millions of people affected by the conflict in Ukraine; tensions between countries and ethnic groups in South Caucasus as well as more cross-regional challenges related to social exclusion, discrimination, poverty and unemployment. Extreme weather in Eastern, Central and Southern Europe as well as NCDs were also highlighted.
The meeting confirmed that DRC is well-positioned, agile and on track in Europe. However limited capacities of Red Cross partners and a competitive funding environment was stressed as some of the main barriers to meet our own ambitions and vision of being a relevant, trusted and preferred humanitarian partner in Europe.
When asked spontaneously about the biggest impact that the DRC is having in Europe, delegates mentioned; local community development and active citizenship in Belarus; ensuring safe spaces and psychosocial support to victims of gender based violence and vulnerable children in Central Europe; improved social cohesion in selected conflict affected communities in Ukraine; strengthened capacity of partners to cultivate communication and cooperation with their donors and beneficiaries in South Caucasus and protection of migrants in Greece.
Cooperation with National Departments
The Europe region has in the recent years developed a number of joint projects with the DRC National Department. The purpose of the cooperation has been to raise the quality, impact and relevance of our humanitarian interventions in Europe by linking our national expertise and priorities to the international work in Europe.
The meeting in Copenhagen was an opportunity to discuss modalities, good practices and challenges in the cross-departmental collaboration with colleagues from the Asylum Department, Danish Red Cross Youth, Q-Net, Local Branch Development and the National Preparedness Unit. It was concluded that the mobilization of expertise and exportation of effective project models from the National Department has been very successful and greatly benefitted partners and beneficiaries in Europe and/or has inspired, and internationalized the perspectives of our volunteer work in Denmark with a European component. However sustainable cooperation modalities needs to be further developed to ensure that all parties benefit from the collaboration.