The Hungarian Red Cross carries out its disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster relief activities as “auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field”. The special legal status of our organisation is determined by the Act No. 40 on the Hungarian Red Cross adopted in 1993 and its amendment Act No. 37 of 1994 emphasizing this auxiliary role.
The main objectives the Hungarian Red Cross for which it carries out basic and complementary activities, such as the protection of life and health, respect for human personality, alleviating human suffering and social problems, preventing diseases, helping the victims of armed conflicts and disasters, collaborating in performing tasks emanating from the Geneva Conventions; dissemination of international humanitarian law and the fundamental principles of the Red Cross as well as educating people for social solidarity.
In case of war it participates in the rescue of the victims of war, it keeps record of the prisoners of war, it provides information and eventually financial or material aid to the vulnerable and their relatives. In case of natural or other disasters it traces those in need, shelter the victims, provides them with relief items and legal aid, operates rescue teams for the search and rescue, and helps the victims to cope with the crises by providing them psychological support. Since 1993, the Hungarian Red Cross has been co-operating with the disaster preparedness authorities and, more recently, with the National Disaster Preparedness Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in joint training courses, exercises and concrete activities.
The Hungarian Red Cross is also well placed to work with authorities and responding agencies in identifying better the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities affected by emergencies. Certain Hungarian Red Cross county branches are represented in the County Disaster Committees. The Hungarian Red Cross organises training courses in first aid, water rescue, psychological support for staff and volunteers, as well as for the public. Teams of trained Red Cross volunteers are available to provide a range of practical and emotional support to individuals affected by an emergency or disaster, wherever it may occur.
Within the frame of a cross border cooperation agreement a joint workshop of the Ukrainian and the Hungarian Red Cross on Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response (DP/DR) was also held in Hungary, Szajol, aiming at the joint harmonised development in disaster management at the cross border branches, as well as the exchange of information on each-other’s disaster management activities. The Hungarian Red Cross has developed its DP/DR capacity responding to a series of floods in Central Europe in recent years. Two years ago huge amounts of money and donations in kind were raised to help the victims of the Tsunami in South East Asia by a national fund-raising campaign.