Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Specialist skills in IFRC reference centres: ‘Increasing impact for the communities we serve’

09/03/2021 - by the Climate Centre

The IFRC yesterday released a new video detailing the work of its reference centres, hosted by National Societies worldwide and providing its humanitarian operations with specialist skills, information on best practice, and strategically important knowledge.

It’s part of a general expansion of information materials on the centres to include a new minisite and newsletter later this year.

“Our reference centres help to promote strong, sustainable National Societies,” IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain says in a foreword to the full catalogue on the centres that’s quoted in the video.

“They strengthen our external-facing humanitarian collaboration, and ultimately they enhance our collective humanitarian impact.”

Information hubs

IFRC Under Secreary General for National Society Development and Operations Coordination, Xavier Castellanos, says in the film: “We want to continue this momentum into the future and increase our collaboration with our reference centres and their respective National Societies to increase our collective impact for the communities we serve.”

The centres detailed in the video fall into four general groups: IFRC global reference centres, of which the Climate Centre is one; regional reference centres; Red Cross Red Crescent National Society centres, which work with local networks and are not delegated functions of the IFRC; and other networks such as the information and best-practice hubs on migration, anticipatory action and cash, and the Global Road Safety Partnership.

“The Climate Centre applies scientific forecasts of weather and climate to help predict potential disasters and long‑term climatic changes,” says the IFRC in its commentary.

“This enables humanitarian organizations and vulnerable people to respond sooner, and to prepare for changing risk-patterns to reduce losses of lives and livelihoods…

“Scientists are constantly improving forecasts, and the reduction in losses and suffering produced by early action more than justifies the original investment.”

Shelter and construction skills are among the specialist areas of the IFRC’s global network of reference centre that help to improve humanitarian operations and increase impact for communities. (Video still: IFRC)