Global Focal Point for Shelter Coordination, Shelter Cluster, IFRC
In 2005, Tom Bamforth was a tourist exploring ancient Greek archeological sites in Northern Pakistan when the country was struck by a massive earthquake. He initially worked as a volunteer loading trucks with relief items before being offered a job coordinating humanitarian shelter in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. Since then he has worked with a range of humanitarian and advocacy agencies including International Crisis Group, Norwegian Refugee Council, International Organisation for Migration, Australian Red Cross, and International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in both natural disasters and conflict. His work has mainly focused on disaster response, preparedness and risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region.
Tom is currently Global Focal Point for Shelter Coordination with the Shelter Cluster. This is a global humanitarian coordination platform established by the UN General Assembly to ensure more predictable international emergency response and is co-led by IFRC and UNHCR. Tom has coordinated humanitarian shelter response in emergencies in Pakistan, Philippines, Fiji, Vanuatu, Haiti, and Nepal. He has published widely on humanitarian issues, including the book Deep Field: Dispatches from the frontlines of aid relief (Hardie Grant, 2014) and is currently working on a book of travel writing in the Pacific islands.