"Coordination and cooperation between active humanitarian actors is necessary to offer better services, and humanitarian and development programs to the countries of the Sahel."
Mr. Toby Lanzer,
"We cannot stop the reasons behind the people's needs in Sahel unless we work using a methodology based on security, development and humanitarian work."
As part of the coordination between Qatari Humanitarian Organizations and OCHA, a round table meeting was held in Doha about humanitarian work in the African countries of the Sahel. Its main objectives were to review the work of the humanitarian actors, to discuss the possible cooperation, and to build partnerships in the countries of the Sahel considering the exacerbating conditions of such countries.
Mr. Toby Lanzer, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, and the representatives of Qatari humanitarian societies and institutions attended the meeting. The Qatari organizations included: Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Charity, Sheikh Eid Charity, Sheikh Thani bin Abdallah for Humanitarian Services (RAF), Al Faisal Foundation, Afif Foundation, Education Above All and Silatech. All the Qatari humanitarian organizations active in the Sahel displayed their achievements there through presentations.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Youssef bin Ahmed Al Kuwairi, QC's CEO, thanked all the people who attended the meeting which discussed a very important region in Africa. The Sahel includes a group of countries where Qatari charity organizations are active.
"QC pays extra attention to this region when it implements its humanitarian projects and programs. It is clear through the fact that we have 5 headquarters in Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Through its international and local partners, QC works in the 11 countries of the Sahel," said he.
As he also mentioned, in the last 3 years QC implemented more than 6,000 projects at a cost of around 148,000,000 QR covering most of the sectors. QC is still implementing more projects in the fields of education, health, water, sanitation, food security, livelihoods, economic empowerment and others.
Mr. Al Kuwairi stressed on the importance of cooperating and coordinating with active humanitarian organizations. "Because Qatar Charity believes in its mission and the humanitarian principles of assisting others, it is willing to coordinate and cooperate with all international, regional and local organizations so as to offer humanitarian and developmental programs and services to the countries of the Sahel."
Mr. Lanzer said that the exacerbating needs for humanitarian aid are a result of a three dimensional crisis: instability, lack of security, and climate change. "We cannot stop the reasons behind the people's needs in Sahel unless we work using a methodology based on security, development and humanitarian work. The humanitarian actors must always follow up with the deep needs of the countries of the Sahel," said he.
He highlighted the importance of cooperation between the active organizations participating in the development programs to achieve stability. Without such programs, the the need for humanitarian aids will be indefinite.
Mr. Lanzer expressed his gratitude for the Qatari humanitarian organizations and commended their work and efforts. "We thank these organizations for expressing their willingness to cooperate and coordinate. We hope that this meeting will be very successful and that the results will be as great as expected. We also hope it would bring good for the people living in the Sahel."
The work agenda of the round table included exchanging information about the work of Qatari humanitarian organizations in the Sahel, the projects in progress, and the fields they cover. It also covered the chances of cooperation and exchange of partnerships with OCHA, which is covering the humanitarian work in the Sahel. In addition, the meeting was to reinforce coordination mechanisms and exchange of information with the UN.
The African Countries of the Sahel
It is worth mentioning that the Sahel African countries comprise of 9 countries: Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameron, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia. Based on the studies conducted by OCHA, the Sahel is one of the most important places for the main humanitarian operation centers for the year 2016. It is expected that 23,500,000 people might suffer from the lack of security of food, healthcare, severe malnutrition, dire shortage in drinking water, malfunction in sanitation and problems in education. The armed disputes and violence made 4,500,000 people displaced.
Since QC always makes sure to offer the best humanitarian aids, it cooperates with international organizations; especially the United Nations. OCHA and QC have a distinguished relationship especially at the level of coordination.