18/02/2013 - 91% of disasters the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) respond to are not reported by the media as they are deemed small or medium sized disasters. Despite this, the suffering of people cannot be measured.
Today saw the launch of a campaign by the IFRC, ECHO and 11 European Red Cross National Societies which will raise awareness about these emergencies. The campaign was launched at the European Parliament where Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva delivered a key note speech as part of a high level panel.
The panel also included Euronews journalist Chris Cummings, Walter Cotte, Under Secretary General from the IFRC, Dr. Bildard Baguma, Under Secretary General from the Ugandan Red Cross, and Michèle Striffler, Vice Chair in the European Parliament. They discussed the importance of working closely with the media to increase the volume on these silent disasters. They also heavily advocated disaster preparedness, risk reduction and resilience-based projects as solutions to prevent disasters. Nonetheless, this work should also find its place in the media.
The campaign, set to run for four weeks, will see a 50 second cinema and TV spot distributed across eleven European countries and online media to raise public awareness on silent disasters. A variety of campaign materials such as online photo exhibits, new statistics and direct testimonials from humanitarian workers currently relieving suffering in silent disaster areas are also being released.