Red Cross Red Crescent Pan African Conference calls for more investment in community resilience and localization of humanitarian aid
Leaders of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) gathered in Abidjan for the organization’s 9th Africa Regional Conference that took place from the 9th to 12th of April 2017.
The conference, which takes place every four years, is an opportunity for Red Cross and Red Crescent members to discuss humanitarian challenges facing Africa, to exchange ideas and experiences, and to pave a way forward for the coming years.
“This year’s event will explore new and innovative ways of investing in community resilience, through increased localization of aid, as a result of more effective partnerships, as well as efforts to strengthen the auxiliary role of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,” said Souare Karidiata Koné, President of the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire.
“One of our key focuses will be on the need to better support community-level response to emergencies,” said Dr. Abbas Gullet, IFRC Vice President. “The fight against Ebola virus disease, for example, highlighted the absolutely critical role that local communities play in containing the health crises and responding to other challenges.”
The event takes place at the time when the continent is facing one of its worst humanitarian crises in recent history, with famine confirmed in parts of South Sudan and looming in Nigeria and Somalia, and severe hunger threatening communities in a number of other countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia
“Hunger is threatening the lives of millions of people in Africa. As we gather in Abidjan, one of the issues we explore will be how we can change the way we respond to the risks and consequences of hunger,” said Dr. Gullet.
The Pan African Conference will explore a range of other issues as well, including how to strengthen the capacities of communities to better prepare for, and respond to disasters, as well as discussions on the root-causes of migration, health problems and the impact of climate change.
IFRC is calling on its partners in the region and globally to invest in its member National Societies, which are providing support to vulnerable communities throughout Africa. Red Cross and Red Crescent make up a vast network of first responders, anchored in local realities and communities, providing early warning, response and solutions to humanitarian emergencies and challenges.