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The French Red Cross : Meet with Estelle Morange

  • 23.08.2016

Each year, World Humanitarian Day offers an opportunity to pay tribute to humanitarian aid workers and the essential work they do around the world in providing disaster relief work during one-off as well as long-term emergencies. We meet with Estelle Morange, Partnerships Manager at the French Red Cross, who presents the association, its vision, organization and her take on the partnership with BNP Paribas, through the Rescue & Recover Fund.

What is the French Red Cross?

The French Red Cross is a humanitarian association that combats all forms of vulnerability, relying on the efforts of 58,000 volunteers. In addition, it is a non-profit organization, working in the areas of health, social inclusion and social medicine, with another 18,000 employees

We work across five major fields of action:

  1. Disaster response and recovery: the heart and soul of our organization, integrated into the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement around the world. Daily emergency response efforts include managing first aid positions during events as well as in responding to natural disasters and other similar situations.
  2. Social inclusion: food security, workforce entry, support for migrants, placement for seniors, etc. – including 705 local food security units in France. 
  3. Training: the French Red Cross offers initial training and a series of continuing education courses in occupational safety, health and social inclusion. 
  4. Health and autonmy: including home care, placement for seniors, etc.
  5. International endeavors: which receive support from the Rescue & Recover Fund – with 82 projects currently underway in some thirty countries – projects carried out in collaboration with National Societies on site locally. Our efforts focus specifically on the following areas: health (combatting HIV, maternal and infant health), disaster risk prevention, water and sanitation, etc.

World Humanitarian Day will took place on August 19 – what does the event represent for you? 

It gave us a chance to launch a special communications campaign, via social media, so we can showcase our actions and commitments, while saying thanks to our donors and volunteers

What major commitments have you pursued in 2015 and 2016?

In 2015, through our international actions – including those supported by the Rescue & Recover Fund – three major highlights come immediately to mind:

  1. Humanitarian crisis following the earthquake in Nepal 
  2. Migrant crisis, which unfortunately was not a new event, but escalated by the end of 2015 
  3. Devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, in March, which was a major humanitarian crisis impacting 166,000 people, though it received little media attention

In 2016, the condition of refugees entering Europe remains a top priority.

You receive support from the BNP Paribas Rescue & Recover Fund. What does that represent for you?

We’ve already had the opportunity to collaborate with BNP Paribas through actions in France, notably by offering training in actions that save lives.

But the Rescue & Recover Fund is both a new way to galvanize public support and a testament to the company’s strong commitment, as it continues to manage and coordinate the fund it created. BNP Paribas has taken an innovative step forward with this initiative! 

The grant enables us to promote our message and gather support among customers and employees, with their contributions being matched. That has surely gone a long way to boost the fund’s credibility while BNP Paribas goes above and beyond its business and expertise, by fostering a strong commitment to its three partner associations. 

The result is a powerful new tool that enables a large number of people to express their solidarity, while providing us with a reliable source of funding. The ultimate advantage is that it is flexible and efficient: we work together to choose projects, in collaboration with the Fund and its two partners, and BNP Paribas has set up an efficient process to raise funds

The ultimate advantage is that it is flexible and efficient: we work together to choose projects

Do you stay in contact or coordinate actions with the 2 others associations?

Humanitarian aid is a small world and we have plenty of opportunities to work with CARE France and Doctors Without Borders. Our scope and methods of action are different but complementary. Our partnership does not influence our actions or our choice of commitments!

What are you hoping to accomplish at this year’s World Humanitarian Day and throughout the rest of 2016? 

Developing our association’s resources is still our main focus: at the French Red Cross we hope to continue each of our current endeavors while also expanding our ability to take action on an increasingly vast range of needs and crises.