The COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on the Norwegian welfare state and necessitated that the Norwegian Red Cross, as a preparedness and humanitarian organisation, found innovative ways to operate its humanitarian activities and how it responds to emergencies. This report describes how the organisation has mobilized massive resources in supporting the Norwegian public authorities respond to the crisis, while maintaining and adjusting regular preparedness and humanitarian activities.
At least 196 local Red Cross chapters have assisted local authorities in their pandemic response through various efforts, such as transport or logistical support at vaccination centres. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers have spent approximately 650 000 hours preforming direct pandemic response, and one in four of volunteers report to have participated in this work.
This has not reduced the organisation’s capacity to conduct regular preparedness and emergency response activities. Humanitarian needs amongst vulnerable groups in Norway have increased during the pandemic, and the Norwegian Red Cross has managed to maintain and scale up key humanitarian activities within Norway.