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African Union Signs MoU with International Red Cross/Red Crescent

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 18, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Union Commission has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

A Memorandum of Under-standing to that effect was signed on Thursday, 17 November 2011 at AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of

the Commission and Mr. Stephen G.R. Omollo, Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy and Representative to the African Union and International Organisations for the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chairperson Ping lauded the excellent relations that exist between the AUC and IFRC and underscored the credibility and outstanding reputation of the IFRC, acquired in over 150 years of experience in humanitarian work, especially in conflict zones.

On his part, Mr. Omollo explained that the agreement offers a platform for enhanced engagement between both parties, adding that this is good for Africa, since the Red Cross/Red Crescent usually has access to places such as Somalia, where most other humanitarian organisations cannot reach.

Both parties agreed to concentrate their joint efforts in the area of predictable emergencies and disasters, for, as the Chairperson put it, “prevention is always better than cure.”

The agreement formalizes cooperation ties between both organisations in humanitarian assistance throughout the continent and provides for, among other things, the exchange of information and documents, consultations on programmes, collaboration in the development of joint information tools and advocacy campaigns, support for capacity building, promotion of partnerships between AU Member States and the IFRC and the design and implementation of joint evaluation mechanisms.

Present at the ceremony were the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chairperson and his Deputy.