White Helmets

For the purpose of coordinating Argentina's participation in the international humanitarian emergency response system and ensuring that its contribution matches its possibilities and needs, an international civil corps was created in 1994. The White Helmets marked the beginning of participation by developing countries in international humanitarian aid, which had thus far been reserved for donor countries, and started using volunteers in a specialized, professional corps.

Today, the White Helmets Commission is charged with designing and implementing humanitarian aid. The organization carries out its activities through a work model based on cooperation, solidarity and community engagement. It is of an entirely civil nature and based on a team of volunteers who are experts in various fields and specialties.

In order to achieve its goals, the Commission has a network of domestic and international links through which it coordinates immediate response to humanitarian crises or social and natural disasters, undertaking rehabilitation, reconstruction and development tasks, and promoting disaster prevention and risk management.

White Helmets coordinates its actions bilaterally with other countries and with several international entities. Since its creation, the Commission has carried out more than 400 humanitarian aid missions in 81 countries across the five continents, including in Argentina.

Based on these strategic international and regional links, White Helmets incorporates and adapts international protocols and guidelines for application in the national territory in order to put them at the service of communities, thereby increasing presence and work in Argentine Provinces and Municipalities.

In 2007, for the purpose of ensuring that disaster risk reduction at a national level is provided with a solid institutional basis for application, the Argentine Republic created a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (PNRD), co-coordinated by the White Helmets Commission, following guidelines from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). In that context, the Commission promotes international initiatives and campaigns for humanitarian aid, emergency response, and comprehensive disaster risk management. White Helmets has partners from the public sector, the academic sector, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector for its internal and external actions.

In terms of disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation following social and natural disasters, White Helmets programmes include projects to enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable communities, prevent risks through the implementation of drills, reduce vulnerabilities and comprehensively manage risks, as well as to assess and improve living, educational and volunteer training conditions, among others.

White Helmets has a privileged position as a national humanitarian aid agency, with the possibility of taking national or international action, which enables it to channel and coordinate volunteering at a national level to prevent or respond to humanitarian emergencies.

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