East Africa Crisis: RedR Responds

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RedR is supporting the aid workers responding to the food crisis in East Africa through a comprehensive training programme.

You may have responded to our recent emergency appeal for the crisis in East Africa, where millions of people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. With support from the general public - and funding from Lloyd's Charities Trust, the grant-making charity of the Lloyd's insurance market - RedR is providing vital training for the local aid workers responding to the crisis. Thank you for your support.

"This is a training that all staff should attend"

Khadija Harun is a Security Officer with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab - the world’s largest refugee camp - is currently home to 250,000 people who have fled neighbouring Somalia. NRC provides residents with food security assistance, and water and sanitation support. It’s a stressful and sometimes insecure environment - but managing risk is part of the job.

In June, Khadija attended RedR’s ‘Personal Safety in Emergencies’, designed for humanitarian staff working in hostile settings. Through classroom sessions and an intense day-long simulation exercise, the course aims to help them identify and mitigate threats in their operating environment - keeping them safe, and ensuring they can continue their life-saving work.

I’ll share what I learned with the security team, and with the wider staff. This is a training that all staff should attend, especially those working in a volatile setting like Dadaab.

Khadija Harun

Norwegian Refugee Council, Dadaab, Kenya

Linking learning to practice: Paulo's story

Paulo Samwel Budhok, a Human Resources Manager with Oxfam International in South Sudan, attended the same course a couple of weeks later.

"I came to the training because I wanted to link my theoretical knowledge with practical, on-the-ground challenges," says Paulo. "As a humanitarian worker, it’s vital that we’re aware of personal safety and security in emergencies. I will urge the organisation to send more staff for the training, especially those working in volatile areas. I would also encourage my female national colleagues to attend this training because there is a perception that security training is for men only."

According to data released by the United Nations on World Refugee Day (20th June), South Sudan is currently ranked third in the list of countries that produce the most refugees (after Syria and Afghanistan). Humanitarian agencies operating in the world’s youngest country face extremely difficult and often dangerous conditions. Aid workers - and particularly local staff - are often the target of violent incidents.

Oxfam works in ten field locations in South Sudan, delivering both emergency response and longer-term development projects. Their work benefits displaced populations, and the local communities that host them.

Participants take part in a simulation that prepares them for the worst-case scenario.
Participants take part in a simulation that prepares them for the worst-case scenario.