The purpose of the response preparedness programme in Columbia is for the Netherlands Red Cross and Columbia Red Cross to strengthen the capacity of the Red Cross national society in Columbia through the following objectives: improving the function of national and local mechanisms, enhancing the strategic positioning and logistical support of Columbia Red Cross’ relief stock, strengthening six of Red Cross Columbia’s Southeast branches in Vichada, Vaupés, and Guainia, and improving Columbia Red Cross’ disaster management plan. The provinces of Vichada, Vaupés, and Guainia are mainly populated by indigenous populations, who are one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. These provinces depend heavily on the capital, Bogota, for emergency response and assistance in the event of disasters, which can take weeks. When needed assistance exceeds local capacities, the effects of disaster on local populations are compounded, and these areas do not receive support from other Red Cross partners in Columbia. Red Cross Columbia’s volunteer numbers in these areas are low, and they are also underequipped and undertrained, with little ability to respond to emergencies. This is a national programme that will focus on the Vichada, Vaupés, and Guainia provinces, which are mainly populated by indigenous populations.
The means of providing assistance to Columbia Red Cross entail training disaster response staff in and equipping them with the necessary disaster response tools. Disaster management staff will also be trained. Simulation drills will also be held with relevant stakeholders, and communications equipment provided in-need branches along with development and or updating of all contingency plans. To enhance support of relief stock facilities and aid rapid response, facilities will be renovated or built and transportation purchased in needed branches. The cooperation between provinces, communities, and local disaster teams will be strengthened.
The programme targets Red Cross disaster response team members and management staff.