CAR

QRC First Arab Organization to Reach Central Africa, Finalizes Field Humanitarian Needs Assessment in Preparation for Relief Projects

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April 26th, 2014, Doha ― As the first Arab humanitarian organization to reach the distressed regions, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) mission to the Central African Republic made a report on its one-week visit to assess humanitarian needs and identify areas of intervention.

The QRC team held several work meetings to share information and coordinate efforts with concerned parties, notably the Central African Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Oxfam International, and the delegate of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). There are attempts to enter into partnerships for this purpose.

Through field assessment of conditions on the ground, the humanitarian situation turned out to be extremely critical, including widespread malaria and measles and, alarmingly, scattered cholera; scarce trained medical workers in hospitals and emergency mobile clinics; sheltering shortage particularly in southern parts; and bad weather in some areas, which hinders geographical expansion of relief.

The QRC team prepared a draft cooperation agreement with the Central African Red Cross, awaiting endorsement to come into force as a legal framework for implementation of QRC projects in the country. Under the agreement, QRC will open a resident office there to recruit well-trained coordinators and technicians and manage the funds allocated for the urgent relief programme.

In addition, a plan was suggested to send surgical teams from QRC, Arab Medical Union, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and ICRC, to operate healthcare centers in evacuation regions. Also, there will be coordination with Oxfam in relation to sheltering, water, and sanitation.

These efforts were initiated in response to the humanitarian appeals issued by UN agencies and IFRC to help the populations affected by the political unrest in Central Africa. On March 19th, QRC issued an emergency appeal, followed by a donation campaign targeting QR 5,000,000, with a QR 2,920,000 contribution from QRC's Disaster Management Fund, to provide food and nonfood assistance, sheltering, healthcare, and water and sanitation services for 30,000 people, out of more than 650,000 displaced people. The first stage of the campaign will last for six months.

During the press conference held to announce the launch of the campaign, Mr. Saleh Bin Ali Al-Mohannadi, Secretary-General of QRC, urged all institutional donors and kindhearted individuals to lend a hand and donate as much as they can to mitigate the suffering of innocent civilians, children, women, and elderlies in Central Africa and save them from homelessness and life-threatening conditions.

"It is not something new that Qatari citizens are known for generosity and support to vulnerable people, as well as their heartfelt willingness to help any anguished victim around the world," he stressed.

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About Qatar Red Crescent

Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRC) is a humanitarian charitable organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.

QRC is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 189 national societies. QRC is also a member of several Gulf, Arab, and Islamic assemblies, such as: the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Secretariat-General of the Arab Organization of Red Crescent and Red Cross. In this legally recognized capacity, QRC has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts, a role that distinguishes it from other local charitable or philanthropic organisations.

QRC operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRC's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRC provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRC aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. As a reflection of its long-standing accomplishments and credibility, QRC's Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Maadheed, is former Vice-President of the IFRC.

Qatar Red Crescent works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

For more information about Qatar Red Crescent, please contact Mrs. Rajaa Saleh, Director of Communication Department, Tel.: +974 4402 7805, email: rajaa@qrcs.org.qa.

Or you can visit our website: www.qrcs.org.qa, or like and follow our social media pages: Facebook: www.facebook.com/QatarRedCrescent

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