PIROI-member National Societies have received assistance with their disaster preparedness and response work for a number of years already. Until now most of this support has been provided at central level, with capacity-building focusing on Red Cross/Red Crescent head offices. Now, to take things a step further and with the support of the DG ECHO, PIROI has launched a new project to strengthen local capacities in the most vulnerable sub-regions.

The islands of the south-west Indian Ocean are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards that, due to climate change, will become increasingly severe. It is therefore crucial to increase disaster management capacities in the region.

For this reason PIROI is pioneering a new project to strengthen local capacities to prepare for and respond to natural and health-related disasters. Slated to last 20 months, this project specifically addresses stakeholders in 5 territories where local response capacities need to be reinforced. The five National Society (NS) branches concerned are:

  • Melaky, Madagascar
  • Atsinanana, Madagascar
  • Moheli, Union of the Comoros
  • Anjouan, Union of the Comoros
  • Rodrigues, Mauritius

PIROI will support stakeholders in each of these 5 territories through a twofold approach:

  • By strengthening operational emergency preparedness capacities: organising contingency planning workshops and simulation exercises, setting up early warning systems and coordination workshops between Red Cross/Red Crescent teams and government actors, etc.
  • By strengthening logistics response capacities: supplying contingency stocks locally and countrywide, training branch disaster response teams (BDRT), assisting logistics staff with stock management, etc.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, PIROI is taking advantage of this project to supply national stakeholders in the Union of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles with personal protective equipment.


The activities implemented at local level are part of a regional cooperation strategy. The project, funded by the EU’s Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), will be complementary to actions carried out as part of PIROI’s regional programme. This programme already equips and manages 8 regional disaster response warehouses across the south-west Indian Ocean.