Glubokoe regional executive committee

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17 February 2016

Norwegian Red Cross to share emergency response practices with Belarus

Norwegian colleagues will share their experience of organizing volunteer-based teams for rapid response to emergencies and for providing first aid with the Vitebsk Oblast branch of the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross. The information was released by Galina Zhelanova, Chairwoman of the Vitebsk Oblast organization of the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross, on 16 February, BelTA has learned.

According to the source, representatives of the Norwegian Red Cross visited Vitebsk in November 2015. A reciprocal visit to Hedmark where the work plan for this year will be determined is scheduled for April 2016. "Preparing our emergency response team will be the key task," said Galina Zhelanova.

BelTA reported earlier that in November 2015 the Vitebsk Oblast organization of the Belarusian Society of the Red Cross and regional branches of the national Red Cross societies of Hedmark, Norway and Visaginas, Lithuania signed a trilateral cooperation agreement.

Speaking about plans for the year, Galina Zhelanova said they are going to put more efforts into improving living standards of vulnerable population strata. New projects will be implemented in association with the Swiss Red Cross. In March 2016 the Vitebsk Oblast branch of the Belarusian Red Cross will start receiving food kits for the sake of providing aid to those in need. Plans have been made to render about $120,000 worth of aid. The implementation of the project meant to support homeless people will begin in Vitebsk in late February. The homeless will be getting hot food for three months.

In 2016 the Vitebsk Oblast branch of the Belarusian Red Cross intends to implement about 20 projects in various areas, including cooperation with foreign partners. As many as 18 projects were implemented in 2015.

The 25th general meeting of the Vitebsk Oblast branch of the Belarusian Red Cross Society took place in Vitebsk on 16 February. The meeting was held to review results achieved in 2011-2015 and plans for 2016. Among other things the implementation of the state social order for domiciliary medical and social services was reviewed as well as the development of volunteer movement, the provision of aid to citizens of Ukraine, and participation in international projects.

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