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Kiwis Learn International Disaster Relief Skills


13 September 2002

Kiwis Learn International Disaster Relief Skills

New Zealand's third annual training course for aspiring aid and relief workers gets underway in Auckland next week (15-20 September).

The five-day course aims to provide working professionals with the skills and training needed to work in the international disaster relief and development sector.

'Essentials of Humanitarian Practice' is run by RedR New Zealand, a training and recruitment agency for disaster relief professionals worldwide, with financial assistance from the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In the past two years, about 15 course participants have been employed for agencies such as the United Nations, the Red Cross, Oxfam and Medecins san Frontieres, working in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, East Timor, Kosovo, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar.

RedR New Zealand training manager, Allen Crosby, said there was continued interest in the course. "An increasing number of Kiwis have travelled and worked overseas and have seen the plight of many people in the developing world. They want to utilise their skills to assist a lot more people in a lot more critical situations than they would find in New Zealand."

He said New Zealanders are particularly well regarded internationally because of their versatility and adaptability. "These Kiwi attributes lend themselves to the aid and relief sector," he said.

RedR is an international organisation that provides technical and administrative experts to help in disaster and emergency situations anywhere in the world. Relief agencies can apply to RedR when they require experienced and professional expertise from people such as engineers, administrators, logisticians and accountants. On average RedR NZ receives 20 assignment requests per month for disaster relief and emergency management projects worldwide.

This year's course is being held at the Motu Moana Scout Camp, Green Bay, Auckland from September 15-20.


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