Under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) is planning to hold its Sixth Disaster Management Camp (DMC-6) from 31 March to 9 April 2015 at the Al Khor Marine Scout Camp.

QRC Secretary-General, Saleh bin Ali Al-Mohannadi, stated:

The Disaster Management Camp is an event that distinguishes QRC not only inside Qatar, but also across the region. Awaited by many local and international government and non-government organisations, it is the only Arabic-speaking specialised training of such a scale.’

Involving 300 trainees from inside and outside of Qatar, the camp will be organised in coordination with several Qatari institutions, in addition to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations, and the General Secretariat of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.

Among the partners that will contribute to the event are the Permanent Committee for Emergency, Qatar Scouts and Guide Association, and many other government and non-government organisations.

This widespread recognition of the camp is a reflection of great importance attached by the State of Qatar to dealing with natural disasters and international cooperation to face them and reduce their impact. Capacity building is a national priority under Qatar National Vision 2030 and the only way to create a culture of preparedness and promote important disaster response tools in the world.

The next camp has been in the process of preparation since October 2014. Many public and private-sector bodies and companies were invited to participate in the event, to attract a new genre of volunteers from those institutions to receive training in how to get prepared for dealing with disasters.

This year, trainees from over 20 Red Crescent societies will attend the camp, in addition to specialised disaster management trainers and experts.

Director of the camp, Rashid bin Saad Al Mohannadi, urged the Qatari society to be more aware of the importance of disaster preparedness and mobilise resources to establish a family and society where the culture of preparedness is a general behavior, not mere information.

The programme involves theoretical and hands-on training. The theoretical part introduces extensive training in disaster management, to educate the trainees on international standards and concepts, such as Sphere standards, psychological support, the international humanitarian law (IHL), secure access, and resorting family links (RFL).

The practical part involves dividing participants into field teams, including teams for field assessment and coordination; health care; water and sanitation; food and distribution; sheltering, registration, and logistics; and media. Those teams will actually manage and run the camp throughout the training duration. On the last day, all groups will perform a disaster simulation scenario, in coordination with relevant partners in Qatar.

QRC has already successfully organised five training camps in 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014, graduating hundreds of volunteers who later played an effective role in responding with QRC to many disasters in other countries.