Red Cross meeting addresses volunteers’ issues & challenges in Africa
08 September 2004
Algiers: The 6th Pan African Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to be held from 8 to 13 September will discuss how to maximize their network of two million volunteers in addressing the continent’s many challenges in Algeria.
The main themes of the conference are public health, including HIV/AIDS, and food insecurity. These reflect some of the biggest obstacles to development in Africa and address the organizations’ targets and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDGs is a set of time-bound objectives which including halving poverty and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have been key contributors in Africa’s development. In the field of public health for example, some 50 million children were reached by volunteers during a polio vaccination campaign. They have also been the driving force in reducing malaria and measles amongst children under five years.
"Most of these success stories have been achieved in collaboration with other partners," says Richard Hunlédé, head of the International Federation’s Africa department.
"One of the central issues at this conference will be how the International Federation and National Societies in Africa can build on existing partnerships with governments, UN agencies, other humanitarian actors and the private sector, and build new ones, to better serve the needs of the most vulnerable," he adds.
The conference is bringing together all the Red Cross National Societies in Africa and representatives of the wider Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, including sister National Societies from other regions, the International Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Also attending are key partners from government, UN agencies, other humanitarian organizations, academia and the private sector.
Photo shows a child in the arms of a Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteer. Source: IFRC