On International Day for Disaster Reduction, ICN celebrates the work of nurses in reducing the impact of disasters around the world. Every year, people all over the world are affected by natural disasters from earthquakes to floods to hurricanes and wildfires. As one of the most trusted professions in the world, nurses are uniquely positioned to provide information regarding disaster preparedness to the community. Additionally, their special knowledge, skills, and abilities make them key providers of disaster relief services, especially in relation to meeting the health needs of victims and workers.
ICN encourages and works with international networks, such as WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, coordinating the expertise and skills needed to keep the international community constantly alert to the threat of disease outbreaks, and ready to respond.
ICN is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Global Health Cluster, a United Nations initiative led by the WHO to improve the coordination of disaster relief. Within the cluster, ICN is a founding member of a sub-group focused on capacity building among national stakeholders.
ICN has developed a Position Statement on Nurses and Disaster Preparedness, setting forth a framework for the role of national nurses associations in disaster preparedness and response. This includes the NNA role in coordination of response and recovery efforts.
ICN has a Disaster Response Network which provides useful information and resources for those interested in joining disaster relief efforts or improving relevant skills. In addition, we have several fact sheets on this topic and, in partnership with the World Health Organization, we have published Disaster Nursing Competencies which aim to strengthen the essential capacities of nurses to deliver disaster and emergency services within an ever-changing world with on-going health threats and disasters.
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