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RedR UK and The Urban Hub at the Working Together for Disaster Relief Conference

RedR UK training local aid workers in WASH, Haiti 2010. Photo credit: RedR UK

The Working Together for Disaster Relief conference, taking place at BRE’s Watford campus on 8th February 2019, is focused on exploring the best ways for the humanitarian and private sectors to work together to develop local capacity for longer- term sustainability and resilience. The desire in the private sector to support disaster relief and development activities is great, and finding the best, most efficient way to do so can help to ensure that the impact of such support is as effective as possible.

This event builds upon previous initiatives aimed at streamlining the capacity for collaboration between these sectors, including the Urban Humanitarianism conference hosted by RedR UK which took place on 16th October 2017. This conference saw the launch of the Urban Hub, a ‘ technical network’, designed to bring together the skills of the humanitarian and private sectors in the relief and recovery phases of large scale urban disasters.

Jez Foster is a director at Ramboll and one of the founding members of the Urban Hub. He will be presenting at BRE’s Working Together conference, to explain how the Urban Hub works and the Hub’s perspective on where private sector engagement should be developed with the humanitarian sector.

“The speed and depth of support that could be provided by a network of private sector expertise was the driving force behind the development of the Urban Hub. Exploring new and innovative ways to engage the private sector in the humanitarian sphere will be key to ensuring that the technical support and resources that the private sector can contribute, are utilised effectively in disaster response.” Said Jez.

RedR UK, who’s Ready to Respond Programme focuses on building the capacities of local first responders and international aid workers, and providing technical assistance in the aftermath of disasters, are uniquely placed to help frame the Working Together conference’s themes. Harriette Purchas, RedR UK’s Senior Urban Advisor, will be helping to set the scene for participants to explore the role of the international private sector in supporting local capacity building and ensuring local ownership of disaster response and recovery.

“Having hosted the Urban Humanitarianism event to address common challenges and strengthen networks between the private and humanitarian sectors, we are looking forward to seeing awareness of these issues develop and engaging with interested parties to develop mutually beneficial relationships that ultimately provide the best support for disaster-affected populations.” Said Harriette.

We are pleased to announce RedR UK’s and the Urban Hub’s contributions to this conference, which will also examine the role of the construction and infrastructure industries in humanitarian action, industry-led research and development,  finance, operations, and technology in disaster response.