The Deputy Regional Director of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Director for the Africa Region, Mr. Robert Kaufman paid a courtesy call on the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 15th June 2019. The objective of the meeting was to discuss areas of collaboration in disaster risk management in the region.
The IFRC Director thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for affording him the opportunity for a meeting. He noted that SADC priorities are in line with the priorities of IFRC and hence the need for the two organisations to work together. He highlighted that IFRC has extensive expertise and experience in working with Member States in undertaking relief operations to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and hazards and to assist victims of disasters to build resilience, and therefore offers a comparative advantage on the ground. Mr. Kaufman mentioned that IFRC operates in all the 16 SADC Members States and globally, with over 3,000 Red Cross offices globally through a volunteer programme, highlighting that 130 volunteers contributed to the recent relief response to the impact of the recent Tropical Cyclone Idai flooding impacts in the region.
Her Excellency Dr. Tax welcomed Mr. Kaufman to SADC. She pointed out that SADC is open and welcomes partnerships, especially where partners add value to SADC’s interventions based on competencies. She highlighted that in terms of Disaster management, SADC has prioritized the operationalization of the Regional Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy, and Regional Disaster Management Fund. She pointed out that international cooperating and regional partners (ICPs) are welcome to work with SADC and strengthen the regional response capacities, with a view to urgently address the inadequacies in preparedness and response capacities, to match the risks associated with the intensity and severity of disasters. The two Parties agreed to identify areas where IFRC can support and add value to what SADC is already undertaking.
The SADC Executive Secretary was joined in the meeting by Dr. Thembinkosi Nkosi, the Deputy Executive Secretary-Regional Integration, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, Deputy Executive Secretary-Corporate Affairs, Ms. Sithembiso Gina, Senior Officer Disaster Risk Management and Mr. Duncan Samikwa, Senior Officer Food Security, who represented the Director Food Agriculture and Natural Resources .