ADDIS ABABA, October 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today entered into formal partnerships with two key African stakeholders, paving the way for increased cooperation between the organizations which will ultimately result in improved services for those most vulnerable.
Memorandums of understanding were signed with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
The partnerships will focus on promoting the economic and social development of African countries, concentrating on initiatives to reduce poverty; food security, nutrition and sustainable development; youth, gender and sustainable development; climate change and disaster risk reduction; health care and HIV/AIDS.
"This opens the door for us to gain access to new areas of potential growth," said Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, IFRC. "For National Societies to thrive in the coming years, they need to be attracting new methods of funding, with a greater emphasis on regional bodies, government and the private sector. These agreements, signed today, will help us move in that direction."
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa promotes the economic and social development of its member states, fostering intra-regional integration, and promoting international cooperation for Africa's development. Its dual role as a regional arm of the UN positions it well to make unique contributions to address the development challenges facing its member states.
"This is an opportunity for our two organizations to complement one another as we seek long-term solutions to address Africa's vulnerabilities," said Carlos Lopes, ECA Executive Secretary. "Jointly, we can work to better identify, prepare, appraise, and implement development projects and programmes, and then evaluate the success of those programmes. The result will be improved programming and services for those who need it the most."
The Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel invests in research for food security and the fight against the effects of drought and desertification for a new ecological balance in the Sahel region.
"CILSS and the IFRC are both committed to tackling food insecurity and malnutrition which chronically affect Sahel and west African populations, particularly women and children," said Professor Al Housseini Bretaudeau, CILSS Executive Secretary "This agreement will allow us to collaborate and develop programmes to address these issues. It will help us identify food insecurity earlier and enable earlier interventions. This will build and develop country and regional capacities for food security and nutrition management. This is a win-win-win arrangement for CILSS, the IFRC and especially the African people."
The signings come during the 8th Pan African Conference, being hosted this year by the Ethiopian Red Cross. The conference brings together hundreds of Red Cross Red Crescent leaders from 53 African nations and provides the opportunity to discuss the humanitarian and development challenges facing the continent. Held every four years, this year's theme is "Investing in Africa".
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil¬lion people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)