Over the years, the Jordan National Red Crescent Society (JNRCS) has gained wide experience in responding to emergencies as it has unfortunately witnessed numerous natural and manmade disasters. These include the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967, through to Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in August 1990, when hundreds of thousands of migrant workers fled from both countries and the adjoining Gulf States. During these conflicts, and due to Jordan’s geographic position and its willingness to maintain open borders, the majority of refugees poured into Jordan, sometimes at an average rate of 10,000 a day. Millions of people fleeing conflict have passed through the country.
Throughout these experiences, the Jordan National Red Crescent Society has played a significant role in setting up and running programmes to help the unprecedented number of third country nationals needing support, and those needing repatriation to their home countries. In addition, JNRCS has gained vast experience in how to support a government in handling a disaster, and how to manage camps and cooperation with other agencies.
This experience is particularly important within the context of the current Syrian crisis. Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria at the start of 2011, Jordan has received more Syrians fleeing the conflict than any neighbouring country. The JNRCS plays a pivotal role in providing emergency relief services in this emergency.
The JNRCS maintains strong links with the Jordanian Government and other National Societies, especially with those in the Middle East and North Africa, to facilitate exchange of experiences and resources related to disaster management.
JNRCS Disaster Management Policy
The Disaster Management Policy has been created in collaboration with the British Red Cross. This project introduced a systemic, long term Disaster Management programme to expand JNRCS’ activities, and to sustain the practical experiences and trustworthy relations with governments, which the JNRCS has built up throughout the years.
The policy covers themes including Disaster Management, Health, Organizational Development and humanitarian values through adopting a comprehensive programme based on clear organizational structure.
JNRCS is continuously updating and re-defining its level of preparedness by building up its Disaster Management Framework (policies, planning, information, human and material resources).
It also continuously upgrades its human resources through the creation and strengthening of the national intervention teams, developing logistical systems to manage procurement procedures, tax exemption and external donations from various organizations.
JNRCS Disaster Management Unit
The JNRCS Disaster Management Unit (DMU) was established in 2003. The Unit is designed to implement the Jordan National Red Crescent Society Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020, which follows the framework of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Strategy 2020. It is similarly guided by the Disaster Management Policy, which covers many functions of the organisation.
The mission of the DMU is to prepare manpower and resources, and to increase the capacity of the Society by providing and coordinating a Disaster Management (DM) programme.
The duties and responsibilities of the DMU includes training courses in DM programmes, public awareness, developing and maintaining partnerships and coordinating with other organizations. It also defines the needs and implements logistics policies and programmes, as well as ensuring the sustainability and updating of DM programmes.
JNRCS has been designated as a Centre for Disaster Management Diploma Studies by correspondence in co-operation with Wisconsin University in the USA.
A number of JNRCS staff and volunteers have also participated in international training programmes on disaster management, with some of them working as delegates, contributing within the wider International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Society also has close working relations with the UNHCR, especially in areas related to refugee assistance