The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, October 3 in Tunis establishing a partnership of cooperation, aimed at providing assistance to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in Africa.
The MoU paves the way for increased collaboration between the two organizations. It specifically outlines several areas of potential collaboration, including climate change, health care, food security, disaster risk reduction, youth development, and water and sanitation.
The African Development Bank has confirmed its commitment to engaging with IFRC through a donation of US $1 million, to assist the Comoros Red Crescent Society in its response to flash flooding in 2012.
The two organizations will identify and agree upon joint projects and activities to help local communities prepare for and respond to the consequences of climate change, as well as build their resilience for long-term social and economic development. The partnership will explore new avenues of growth, with the end result being better services for those most in need.
“With drought currently affecting parts of southern Africa, and with many people in the Sahel region coping with flooding, it is imperative that we form strategic partnerships with local actors to help address recurring challenges,” said Bekele Geleta, IFRC Secretary General.
Referring to the successful outcomes of the recent African Development Fund (ADF) negotiations in Paris, African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka highlighted the Bank’s commitment to fragile states. In this regards, he stressed the need for greater urgency in “our collective efforts” to address food insecurity and flooding that affects millions of people across the continent. “We are happy to team up with the IFRC to address these issues for sustainable development in Africa,” he said.
The overarching objective of the African Development Bank Group is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its 54 regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction. The Bank Group achieves this by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs, and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.
The Red Cross Red Crescent is active in all 54 countries of Africa, and with its vast network of an estimated 1.6 million volunteers across the continent, 57 per cent of whom are youth, the movement has unprecedented access to the smallest of communities.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 187 member National Societies.