Omar Abou-Samra: On the Value of Meaningful Collaboration
We are honored to announce news of the UC DRN and the American Red Cross solidifying their partnership based on shared views of creating a culture of preparedness to help the most vulnerable communities when people are met with unprecedented natural and human-caused disasters. Our goal is to reduce suffering through this work.
Director of the American Red Cross Preparedness Services and Global Disaster Preparedness Center and DRN Advisory Board member, Omar Abou-Samra
Omar Abou-Samra has over fifteen years of experience in nonprofit and disaster work; responding to complex emergencies both domestically and internationally.
Omar spoke on why this partnership is meaningful and why this work is necessary below:
“The mission of the American Red Cross is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. One of the most visible examples of our mission in action is our nationwide structure that responds to more than 60,000 disasters each year. While most of these disasters are smaller home fires, the American Red Cross is responding to more extreme disasters as our climate changes. For example, we’ve seen a sixfold increase in the number of billion-dollar disasters over the last 40 years.
Increasingly frequent and extreme weather disasters caused by climate change threaten millions of people each year with being forced from their homes and communities. This displacement can be catastrophic as it pushes people who are teetering on the brink of poverty into a freefall. Tragically, the rapidly accelerating pace of climate displacement is also having a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable communities that lack the resources needed to cope.
The UCDRN offers an opportunity for the American Red Cross to accelerate its commitment to address a changing climate and empower communities to adapt to the challenges ahead by establishing meaningful partnerships and providing opportunities for shared research and innovation.
In 2022, we will begin creating local partnerships between American Red Cross regions and UC campuses connected under the unifying umbrella of UCDRN.”