Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will conclude the training program for the Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) today.

The purpose of the training is to create an international team for intervention in major disasters, by making situation reports and developing intervention plan and budget, in coordination with the host National Society based on the urgent needs.

With theoretical and practical parts, the training mechanism involves identifying the damage in health care, food, shelter, water, and sanitation. The mission of the team is to deploy immediately to the venue within 24-48 of the disaster.

Over seven days at QRCS headquarters in Doha, the theoretical part clarified the roles and responsibilities of the FACT members, in addition to introducing a tabletop scenario that a National Society is facing a disaster and the team is required to support it.

The last three days of the training involve the practical part, which applies the “learning by doing” strategy. In the disaster simulation, Al-Khor City was shaken by an earthquake that affected the infrastructure and left behind some damage, deaths, and injuries. Consequently, the FACT staff was summoned to assess the impact and prepare for later intervention by other relief teams.

Divided into four working groups, the trainees visited several government authorities in Al-Khor, such as the North Security Department, Al-Khor Hospital, Al-Khor Airport, and Al-Ruwais Port, where they met with top officials who contributed largely to the successful exercise.

As part of the scenario, security checkpoints were set up on the route of the team, who was surprised by these checkpoints and the requirement of prior security permission.

The trainees were not allowed to proceed, as the security permission was strictly required from the host National Society — i.e., QRCS. This is a key requirement that must be considered by the assessment team while working in real-world disasters.

The course will conclude today with a presentation of the training outcomes for QRCS’s board of directors, to review the achievements and effective response mechanisms.

This is the 23rd FACT course, hosted by QRCS for the first time by in the MENA zone, with support from IFRC and the British Red Cross.

It is attended by 34 humanitarians from 22 National Societies around the world, in addition to representatives of IFRC. Qatar is represented by three volunteers from QRCS.