The role of the third sector in man-made disasters: the Brazilian and Polish Red Cross Associations case study

This paper aims to discuss the special role of the third sector and civil society associations in man-made disasters caused by technological and biological (CBRN) hazards or armed conflict. By categorizing the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC, IFRC, and national societies) institutional position of trust (neutrality), we analyze their institutional advantages and limitations, considering stakeholders involved in each case and in relation with State authorities. The exploratory case study focuses on ICRC-IFCR support in the Brazilian dam breaks in 2015 (Mariana Dam) and 2019 (Brumadinho Dam) compared with the victims of war assistance in 2021 Polish-Belarusian border migration crisis and 2022 Russian aggression to Ukraine. Even with a different set of institutional boundaries, we conclude that Red Cross humanitarian assistance is decisive in the disaster response, reducing human, material, economic and environmental losses, and further impacts.