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Give young disaster experience, Princess Anne urges charities

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HRH PRINCESS Anne has renewed her challenge to aid agencies to embrace the skills and enthusiasm on offer from young engineering and healthcare professionals when assembling teams to work in disaster areas.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of disaster relief charity RedR, its president Princess Anne urged agencies to look beyond qualifications when selecting personnel.

'I think we are losing the plot.

We've been too careful and too cautious, ' she said in a hardhitting speech. 'I think we have become too obsessed with qualifications. Experience will come from actually going to these places.'

Princess Anne praised the work carried out in the field by RedR and by the International Health Exchange since the two organisations came together last year, and urged them to continue to press to get young people experience overseas.

She also supported RedR's recent decision to work with a wider spectrum of humanitarian actors, including military and commercial organisations, and the move to get more involved with developmental work alongside its disaster relief activities.

'If our training helps them to act better then so much the better, ' she said.'

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