Overview

The White Helmets focus on humanitarian crisis caused by disasters is based on the Disasters Risk Reduction Sendai Framework 2015-2030, adopted by the Third World Conference on Disasters Risk Reduction, on March 2015. The Sendai Framework succeeded the Hyogo Action Framework for 2005-2015.

The challenges ahead urge the strengthening of the understanding that risks constitute a developmental matter to be resolved and, as such, they should be interpreted along the lines of multiple and multi-dimensional vulnerabilities endured by our communities.

Poverty and inequality generated by the effects of economic globalization on the communities and its territories constitute the principal elements of social vulnerability increasing the risks that threaten humanity. In this context, it is becoming more necessary and urgent to build alliances among disaster reduction risks agendas and those encompassing sustainable development and climate change.

Being aware of the fact that any global strategy leading to risk disaster reduction will have to take into account the inalienable and non-delegable responsibility inherent to
States, specific measures are to be adopted in all sectors involved at the local, national, regional and worldwide levels regarding the following four priority areas:

  1. Understanding the risk of disasters
  2. Strengthening the disasters risk governance to manage such risks
  3. Investing in disasters risk reduction to enable resilience
  4. Increasing preparedness for disaster events so as to deliver an effective response, and to be able to better “reconstruct” in the areas of recovery, restoration and rebuilding.

After the adoption of the Sendai Framework, a new chapter dawned regarding international cooperation on disasters risk reduction, considered as a vital component in supporting the efforts carried out by developing countries. This translates into providing them with better tools to be applied, including sufficient, timely and sustainable resources delivered through international cooperation and worldwide alliances for development.

At the same time, one of the leading principles that guide the White Helmets approach and which coincides with the actual understanding of the international community, albeit under another name, is that of a “socio-natural” disaster. It has become to replace the category “natural disaster”, understood as an unpredictable and unavoidable phenomenon.

The inclusion of the community in all processes, with the real empowerment of civil society entities and the organization of the local volunteer corps, rounded out the vision on the question of the humanitarian assistance.  It defines a model opposed to that of the directed assistance which assumes the risk as natural, unavoidable, unpredictable and, in summary, exceeding the capacity of nations to face them.

The White Helmets Commission, adhering to a democratic and across the board humanitarian assistance approach, respects national sovereignty and seeks the communities collaboration in such a way as not to place them as potential victims but to entitle them to become actors in the different instances of the comprehensive risk management process.