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Ahmed Muhammed

Ahmed Muhammed

By Ahmed Muhammed
Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) launches new open and tailor-made first aid and humanitarian service focused training programs on December 07, 2017 at its Training Institute (TI).
 
Following the expansion of its mission in mid 2017 to include services of consultancy and research, the TI has changed its name to Center of Capacity Development for Humanitarian Services (CCDHS).
 
Opening the workshop, Dr. Solomon Ali, Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy, Governance and Members Affairs Department at ERCS said that “previously, the Center has been providing general first aid training and now it has envisioned to become and discharge its responsibility as a Center of excellence for humanitarian services in the country in 2025.”
 
In this regard, the Center is projected to capacitate the Society by providing quality capacity building training and consultancy service as well as integrating and standardizing fragmented training programs of the Society, in partnership with stakeholders.
 
Speaking on during the launching, Mrs. Wondawk Abezie, Deputy Secretary General of Resource Development and Mobilization at ERCS said that, the need for humanitarian support is increasing from time to time.
 
“...increasing humanitarian needs require increasing resource to respond to vulnerability. Therefore, in order to fill this gap, we have to devise a new strategy focusing on resource development and mobilization so that we can respond well to the needy. One of the strategies in this regard is transforming the CCDHS”, Wondawk Abezie added.
 
As a result, the Center is reinstated with the aim of supporting the humanitarian efforts of ERCS by generating revenue from provision of various humanitarian trainings, consultancy and research services as well as catering and lodging services including renting of training facilities.
 
 
Participants form Canadian Red Cross, the Netherlands Red Cross, ICRC, and IFRC, partner local and international Humanitarian organizations and consortiums have attended the launching program, it’s learned.
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) distributed food items worth 1.5 million birr to people displaced from Somali Region in Deder and Haregesa Woredas, Ease Hararge Zone of Oromiya Region from November 03-06, 2017. The Support was obtained from East Africa Bottling Company.
 
 
Daniel Ayele, Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR) Manager of ERCS marked the society has put forward its call to support the affected people and the East Africa Bottling Company responded to the call as one of the partners. “The society will go for generating further supports in this endeavor”, the manager added.
 
Adem Abdurahman, ERCS East Harerege Zone Branch Head, stated ERCS has been offering first aid and ambulance services to 709 individuals, restoring family separated and rendering psychological advisory. As to the head, the support that has been r provided for 3 rounds so far estimated worth 25,000,000 birr and ICRC plus IOM were part of the support.
 
Shemiz Mohamed, a mother of 5 who lived for 21 years in Somali Region, expressed they lost all their property and arrived at the temporary residence camp broke. But, now, because of the support from Ethiopian Red Cross Society, other donors and the hosting community, we are now able to lead our life with our children resuming their schooling. “We appreciate ERCS has been standing with us in different ways starting from the very beginning day of our displacement”, she added.
 
Mohamed Sani, a Head of 17 families and who lived for 25 years in Jigjiga, had his own big shop store from which he generate income to support his family as to him. “Losing all my possessions in thirty minutes, I and my family members just managed to save our lives. But, currently, due to the support from ERCS and others we are recovering from our sufferings”, he stated. He further urged there is no real time than this left for donors to reach out to support them.
 
Tafesse Dhufera, Communications and Public Affairs Director of East Africa Bottling Company, said the company handed over the support in line with meeting the company responsibility of working for the wellbeing of the community. The support includes milk, powder, pasta, macaroni, rise and sugar which cost 1.5 million birr. The displaced people were originated from Jigejiga, Keberi Beya, Chinakesen, Babile, Komebolecha, Jarso, Togo Chale, Kebri Dahar, Tulu Guder, and Wuchale making 76, 448 people hosted in East Hararge Zone beginning from September 10, 2017, it is learnt.
 
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) is elected as a member of the Governing Board (GB) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the upcoming four years on the meeting held during the 21st Red Cross Red Crescent General Assembly that took place in Antalya, Turkey from 4-11 Nov., 2017.
 
The General Assembly held in Antalya has elected Mr. Francesco Rocca as its New President from the Italian Red Cross Society, four Vice Presidents from Senegal, Venezuela, China and Turkey; and Twenty GB members from Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Congo; Canada, Argentina, Haiti, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda; Fiji, Bangladesh, Iran, South Korea, Palestine; Spain, Denmark, Britain, Croatia and Georgia
 
The General Assembly of the International Federation and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Summit addressed relevant humanitarian issues, including the alarming effects of climate change and the growing dynamic change and diversification of human and natural calamities around the world. The participants discussed disaster recovery and resilience, promoting culture of nonviolence and peace, the development of youth volunteers, restoring family links, migration, health care and emblem protection, among others.
 
ERCS was also among the 35 exhibitors selected to exhibit a variety of humanitarian works which includes community development and disaster response operations, as well as activities that demonstrate youth volunteers’ participation in those operations. The 21st General Assembly brought together more than 1,200 delegates, 190 national societies, the IFRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and institutional partners’ delegates from different parts of the world to provide a viable set of objectives and discussed various humanitarian issues, it is learned.
 
Ethiopian Red Cross Society participated in the General Assembly, led by its Dr. Ahmed Reja, President, Mrs. Frehiwot Worku, Secretary General, W/O Mulu Solomon, member of the Governing Board, Ato Wondawk Abezie, DSG for Resource Development, Dr. Solomon Ali, Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy, Membership and Governance Affairs Dept.; and Bereket Hailesilassie, Vice President of ERCS Youth Council.
 
IFRC Governing Board is composed of: the IFRC President, the four Vice Presidents from the four regions, the ex-officio Vice President, the Chair of the Finance Commission, the Chair of the Youth Commission and twenty National Societies from each region (Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe). The IFRC Governing Board ordinary sessions are held twice a year (in addition the President shall convene the GB in his or her initiative or requested by the majority of the GB members or the Secretary General).
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Donor Advisory Group visited Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) from October 9-13, 2017 to assess the drought response by ERCS in Bidu, Afar regional state.
 
Dr. Ahmed Reja, President of ERCS welcoming DAG delegation at ERCS Training Center During their meeting, Dr. Ahmed Reja, President of ERCS called on the IFRC to extend its support for Ethiopia's efforts towards building a resilient society. Dr. Ahmed stated the Society’s need to give attention to support government's endeavors in building a resilient community - the capability to withstand natural and man-made disasters. Enhancing water supply in the drought-prone areas would have lasting effect in improving the community's drought resilience capacity, Dr. Ahmed noted.
 
During their discussion with ERCS higher officials, Dr. Jemillah Mahmood, IFRC Under-Secretary General said that IFRC has been closely working with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society to address the critical needs of drought affected citizens. She said we have witnessed that ERCS have been engaged with local communities to build their drought resilience capacity. Dr. Jemilah noted that the delegation has assessed the magnitude of the problem with a view to mobilizing donors' support to people affected by the drought. Praising the role, the Society has been playing in responding to the drought, the Under-Secretary General has also reaffirmed the IFRC's support to ERCS endeavors.
 
 
From right to left: W/ro Frehiwot Worku, ERCS SG, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC Under-SG and Ato Getachew Taa, IFRC EAIOI cluster head discussing with Bidu Woreda community leaders, Afar.
 
ERCS Secretary General W/ro Frehiwot Worku on her part said the Society has been closely working with partners including IFRC to address the drought. She noted that the Society has distributed supplementary food, restocking, water trucking and non-food items, among others to the affected people. Stressing the active participation of all actors in the drought response; she also called on IFRC and other stakeholders to support the Society's effort. It is learned that during its stay in Ethiopia, the delegation led by Dr. Jemila Mahmood will pay a courtesy visit with Dr. Mulatu Teshome President of the Country and Patron of Ethiopian Red Cross Society; will hold discussion with government ministers of health, water, national disaster management commission, among others, and the President of the Afar Regional State and relevant local authorities in Semera; last but not list will pay visit to Bidu woreda of Afar to assess the IFRC support given to the affected communities.
 
A delegate from the International Humanitarian Assistance Operation, Global Affairs Canada paid an official visit to the Ethiopian Red Cross society.The visit basically aims to discuss on the status and challenges faced in implementing Strengthening Emergency Response in Africa (SERA).
 
During the discussion held on October 3, 2017 at the society board room W/o Frehiowt Worku, Secretary General of the Ethiopian Red CrossSociety explained the structural adjustments the Society has been undertaking in recent years to meet the emerging needs and the income sources together with the resource mobilization activities to the delegate. Putting the need for the SERA project forward, “SERA has been a key component in our strategic works”, she stated.
 
The Secretary General underscored that the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) which is underway has to be priority issue as system development is important for people to operate through. Putting forth the working relationship of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) with the Movement Members, Wro Frehiwot added any partnering body with the Societyis supposed to come up with at least three years project that has sustainable impact.
 
Helen Barrette, on her part, forwarded that ERCS is among the strongest from the two SERA projects being implemented in Latin America and Africa.
 
 
Mr. Mohammad Araghi, Director General of International Affairs of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) payed a one day visit to Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) on 24 August 2017.
 
Mr. Araghi expressed the interest of IRCS to work in partnership with ERCS in areas of health. He also stated that both societies can work in the production of emergency relief items such nonfood items and essential shelters.
 
Mrs. Frehiwot Worku, Secretary General of ERCS on her part said “we want to maintain and improve the emergency health area by learning from the best practices of IRCS and work together in setting up emergency health clinic in Addis Ababa that would supplement our ambulance services and emergency care.”
 
“As a strategic direction, our Society has established a business development sector that is supposed to generate resources for humanitarian interventions; therefore, an experience from the Iranian Red Crescent business enterprises in medical and medical equipment production will help a lot to start our own here in Ethiopia”, she added.
 
Mr. Engida Mandefro, Deputy Secretary General for programs and Dr. Solomon Ali, Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy, Governance and membership Affairs briefed Mr. Araghi on current status and prospects of ERCS.

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