The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would downsize its operations in Sierra Leone after 18 years of humanitarian service to the Country. However, it would continue to operate a small antenna office with one permanent staff to be supervised by the ICRC delegation in Guinea –Conakry.
This was motivated by the progress made in Sierra Leone’s peace and consolidation process; ICRC’s mandate is to address protection and assistance in times of conflict and violence, in order to breach the gap between emergency aid and development support.
Addressing Reporters at the Cabenda Hotel Congo Cross, the out going Head of Delegation ICRC, Christopher Hartmann maintained that the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has done tremendous work with support of the partners of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including ICRC, to carry out humanitarian and selected social services.
He noted that the ICRC would continue to provide financial and technical support to selected Sierra Leone (SLRCS) Programs that include restoration of family links.
It was also disclosed that the ICRC would also continue to support Communication and Dissemination Programs, and also work with Government on the domestication of International Humanitarian Law Treaties to fit into the Sierra Leone law.
He encouraged both Government and the people to make good use of the SLRCS and its vast pool of committed volunteers across the Country; noting that the SLRCS would be the reference organization for all Red Cross activities.
The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Governance Officer Fadelu Lamin, expressed gratitude to the ICRC delegation for their numerous contributions in delivering humanitarian service to the Country.
He promised to build upon the good working relationship to complement the cooperation and support they enjoyed with the ICRC and commended the central authority for its strides towards salvaging the issues of economic hardship, compounded by the global market price hike.
By Saidu Bah