Prepare Central Asia: Urban Earthquake Preparedness Initiative
Central Asia faces an extremely high risk for devastating earthquakes; seismologists in the region predict a high likelihood of a severe earthquake affecting population centers like Almaty, Kazakhstan, within the next 15 years. In partnership with local Red Crescent partners in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the American Red Cross is helping reduce the impact of future disasters on vulnerable people in Central Asia. The program is helping prepare residents to survive and recover following a catastrophic earthquake through activities such as enhancing the ability of local Red Crescent partners to build networks with government and civil society, implementing community-based trainings, and organizing community-wide events for disseminating valuable preparedness information, with the aim of ensuring that at least one member of every household will have a basic level of preparedness for an earthquake. These activities all help to reduce the vulnerability of people living in Central Asia and increase the ability of local Red Crescent partners to respond when disaster strikes. A total of 20,000 people across the region are expected to benefit from this program.
Regional Health Initiative
Starting in 2003, the American Red Cross partnered with the Russian Red Cross to provide comprehensive support services to people living with HIV in eastern Siberia’s Irkutsk region. Since then, the program has been replicated and expanded to additional project sites across Russia and other countries in Eurasia: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In the region with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world, the Regional Health Initiative program activities are tailored to meet specific needs and priorities in the various countries. American Red Cross’ approach is to work with the local Red Cross or Red Crescent in these countries to increase access to health information and medical care for HIV-positive people; improve HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in high risk populations (e.g. disseminating safe sex messages, providing condoms to sexually active individuals); and reduce stigma so that people can have frank discussions about how to prevent the spread of the disease. This regional program aims to benefit more than 151,600 people across all five countries.