Under the patronage of HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) opened the Sixth Disaster Management Camp (DMC-6) at the Marine Scout Camp, Al Khor, under the slogan of ‘Effective Preparedness…Better Response.’

Taking place from 31 march to 9 April 2015, the event is held in coordination with many Qatari government and nongovernment organisations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations.

The event was announced open in a press conference held at the Humanitarian Tent, in the presence of Saleh bin Ali Al Mohannadi, QRC Secretary-General, and Rashid bin Saad Al-Mohannadi, the Camp’s Director.

The Camp is attended by 350 volunteers from Qatar and abroad, including 54 participants from 15 MENA National Societies from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Turkey, Mauritania, Niger, Lebanon, Sudan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. It also features 45 trainers from several local and international organizations.

As the only Arabic-speaking specialised training event of such a scale, the purpose of the Camp is to build a well-trained base of volunteers who respond to disasters timely and effectively, enhance coordination with relevant organisations and authorities, minimise casualties and property losses, and help the society recover from any future disasters.

Throughout the year, QRC holds numerous basic and advanced disaster management courses, which, together with the camp, constitute a complete specialized training program to hone the emergency preparedness, rescue, coordination, and leadership skills among volunteers and local community.

Established in 1978, QRC is a humanitarian charitable organisation that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination. QRC is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 189 national societies. QRC is also a member of several Gulf, Arab, and Islamic assemblies, such as: the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Secretariat-General of the Arab Organization of Red Crescent and Red Cross. In this legally recognised capacity, QRC has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts, a role that distinguishes it from other local charitable or philanthropic organisations.

Among the contributors to the QRC’s DMC are the Ministry of Interior, the Permanent Committee for Emergency, Qatar Armed Forces (QAF), Internal Security Force (LEKHWIYA), the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Social and Sport Contribution Fund (DAAM), Al Rayyan TV, Ooredoo, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), Qatar Meteorology Department, Qatar Steel, Qatar Charity, Qatar Scout & Guide Association, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Scientific Club, Qatar Tourism Authority, Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros. Co. WLL (AAB), Almeera Group, Doha Golf Club, Community Policing Department, Al-Sultan Beach Resort, Al-Khor Sports Club, and Al Khor Municipality.

The great success of DMC since 2006 has gained wide attention from Qatari institutions, which reflects the importance attached by the State of Qatar to the management of natural disasters and international cooperation to respond to and reduce their impact. Capacity building is a strategic priority under Qatar National Vision 2030, as it is the only way to create a culture of preparedness and knowledge of the latest disaster response tools around the world.

The agenda of the Camp involves two categories of theoretical and practical training: (1) specialised training in six fields (assessment and field coordination, shelter and registration, water and sanitation, food and distribution, media and communication in emergency, and emergency health care), and (2) general evening training in seven specialties (Sphere standards, disaster management and leadership in humanitarian action, emergency operation management, logistics, psychological support, secure access, and restoring family links).