On Monday, The Princess Royal attended a reception in London, hosted by RedR, an international charity working to aid the victims of natural disasters. Her Royal Highness is the President of RedR UK, and has held this position for more than 25 years.
RedR is an international non-governmental organisation, with a mission to “relieve suffering caused by disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and committed personnel to humanitarian programmes worldwide.” The charity was formed in 1980 by Professor Peter Guthrie, an engineer who based the organisation’s motives on his experience working at a refugee camp in Vietnam, where he provided aid during the Boat People Crisis. At the time of its formation, the charity was known as the Register of Engineers for Disaster Relief; a name that was latter shortened to RedR.
Princess Anne became the President of RedR UK in 1988. She plays an active role in the working of the organisation, participating in member events and attending Annual General Meetings, and is an international ambassador for RedR UK.
The Princess Royal previously attended a reception for the charity in 2011, where she spoke about the need of effective logistics during major disasters. She attended another event in 2012, and discussed the importance of local skills in disaster management.
With regard to the charity’s work, Princess Anne has said: “In the early 80s, the founders saw then what the organisation still sees today – that effective response to catastrophes requires skilled, professional aid workers. Over the past year, more than 6000 people around the world have learnt essential skills– everything from how to deliver aid programmes safely, to managing humanitarian projects effectively, to water and sanitation expertise. Together, we are making a real difference to the lives of people affected by disasters.”
Members of RedR are working in over 80 countries worldwide. Apart from the UK, RedR has branches in a number of Commonwealth nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa. In recent years, they have established programmes in Haiti, following the devastating earthquakes of 2010, and the newly formed South Sudan, after the civil wars of 2011.
RedR UK is just one of some 320 organisations and charities which the Princess Royal is associated with in an official capacity.