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 Background

Palestine Red Crescent Society: The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), officially founded in December 1968, is a national humanitarian organization. Since its establishment, it caters to the health and welfare of the Palestinian people in the Occupied State of Palestine(OSoP) and the Diaspora. PRCS has 4,200 employees in OSoP (West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip), Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iraq in addition to its volunteer network of more than 20,000 people. In 2006, PRCS became a full member of the International Movement of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies.

The PRCS Psychosocial (PS) Department:The PRCS has established itself as alead provider of essential health services for the most vulnerable amongst its population. The PS Department complements PRCS services, with a psychosocial component that focuses on the emotional & psychological components of health. Based on the Right to Health the PS Department uses a holistic case-management model, premised on the respect and dignity of the individual, with the objective of enhancing overall well-being. It also works with various departments within PRCS to ensure protection principles are entrenched within all activities.

The core psychosocial (PS) interventions target primarily PRCS staff, volunteers and their families, as well as PRCS beneficiaries. In order to mitigate the risksin conflict areasthe PS department focuses on preparedness in the event of an acute emergency and enhancing an effective response to such an event.

Partnerships

Staunch commitment to the PRCS Psychosocial Department has been garnered, and partnerships have been established for over two decades. These include partnerships within the Movement, noteworthy Danish, French, Icelandic and Italian Red Cross, who in 2007 formed a Consortium to support the program, the Qatari Red Cresecent,, Netherlands, Spanish, , Red Cross.In addition The PRCS PS Department has partnered with international organizations including UNICEF, Medicins du Monde, and Caritas and agreements have been signed with government ministries in Palestine, including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as local CBOs to provide trainings, develop manuals and implement PS interventions according to the specified needs. In addition, the PS Department is working in close cooperation with the IFRC and its related institutions, specifically with the IFRC PS Reference Centre

The PS Department is active in the Cluster System, specifically the Mental Health Psychosocial Working Group (MHPSWG), a sub-cluster within Protection Cluster, jointly led by UNICEF/WHO. Tasks identified within the cluster include establish a code of ethics, standardize who can do what and when and in cooperation with national and international academic institutions, agree on monitoring tools which are culturally appropriate and ethically acceptable.

Changing Needs:

The humanitarian community’s mandate is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance[1].as well assave lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises[2] In recent years this has meant not only providing for persons and communities beset by natural or man-made disasters, but more to focus on building the resilience of communities so they have the resources available to counteract the effects of traumatic events. Psychosocial interventions aim to build resilience so individuals and communities are able to improve their psychosocial preparedness and minimize psychological risk factors during acute emergencies that would have a detrimental effect on their immediate and long-term well-being.

Psychosocial interventions have now become an integral component of relief efforts, and preparedness a prerequisite of ensuring an effective impact. The principle of Do No Harmremains resolutely intact. Standards and methodologies have been established based on evidence-based data, including the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines, which combines theory and practice to enhance a coordinated response. Yet also crucial is the ability to contextualize and consider the socio-cultural dimension to ensure interventions to have an optimal impact, and that the right to dignity and protection is upheld.

 

 PRCS Resource Center

The PRCS Resource Center aims to provide technical expertise and resources to the MENA Region, both inside and outside the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, using international standards that have been adapted to the region. Based on extensive experience developing psychosocial interventions, including manuals, guidelines, tools etc, resources will be made available for PS service providers so these are able to enhance the well-being of their respective populations affected by traumatic events in the MENA region

In the MENA region, awareness and recognition of the importance of psychosocial interventions and preparedness has grown exponentially. Yet there remains a gap between the available resources to respond to the psychosocial needs of the local population

Objectives

Development Objective: To contribute to building the resilience and enhancing the psychosocial well-being of the people affected by conflict and emergencies.

Specific Objective:To enhance the professional level of PS interventions on the local and regional level among humanitarian service providers.

The PRCS PS Department has extensive experience in providing psychosocial support services for persons and communities in conflict and disaster areas. They have responded effectively by conducting psychosocial needs assessments and facilitating participative processes using a community-based approach in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the interventions. The PS theories and methodologies have been field-tested and are evidence-based. Resources developed and services provided have had a measurable impact.

This expertise has been shared with national societies in the region, notably the Libyan, Tunisian and Yemeni Red Crescent Societies. Focus is on building the capacity of the National Society using existing resources and adaptingthese to the identified needs, or alternatively developing program-specific PS trainings and materials.

Both on the national and regional level, it is evident that a gap exists between the available and the needed resources, and given the propensity of risk in the region, this gap may widen even further, to the detriment of the most vulnerable The PRCS PS Resource Centre is dedicated to supporting PS service providers in their efforts to alleviate suffering and enhance the well-being of their respective populations.

 

PS Resources and Services

  1. Developing Manuals
  2.  PSS Training (PS First Aid, Individual and group counseling, PS interventions during emergencies- Contingency Plan), Using Art as a way of Intervention, Stress Management/Stress relief, Drug Addiction, PS Sport Intervention, Protection)
  3.  Follow-up/Quality control Training
  4.  Conducting Needs assessment
  5.  Conducting Evaluations
  6. Developing Monitoring and Evaluation tools
  7. Group and individual supervision for service providers
  8. Developing guidelines
  9.  Strategic planning
  10. Advocacy and Humanitarian Diplomacy (HD)