The leadership of the West Coast Region of the International Federation of Red Cross is meeting in Accra to discuss how to boost the operations of the organisation and improve the lives of vulnerable populations.
The West Coast region comprises Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The three-day workshop will also adopt a youth policy in line with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help streamline the youth in the humanitarian service organisations.
It is also to re-assess the strategies of the group towards becoming a better-functioning cluster, discuss how to generate funds to sustain the organisation and to increase the knowledge of the leadership in good governance, management and sustainability, among other objectives.
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The meeting is also a platform for experience and knowledge sharing so that the member countries can learn from one another and agree on standards to guide the operations of the group in the region.
It will discuss strides made on some commitments by the group at a pan-African conference held in Abidjan.
The commitments included assisting one another to achieve the status of a well-functioning national society through peer support, regional networks and peer review.
Another is to invest in regional partnerships among African national societies to facilitate cross-border collaboration in support of migrants, early warning and shared risk reduction, among other commitments.
In his remarks to open the conference in Accra yesterday, the President of the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), Dr Michael Agyekum Addo, shared with the participants some activities, successes and challenges of the Ghana group.
He said the organisation had over the years played important roles in offering humanitarian services in and outside the country.
The Ghana group, he said, was committed to sustaining its fundamental principles of ensuring higher standards of service and maintaining its impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality of services to all humanity.
The West Coast Group Chair and President of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Elder Anani Bolaji, applauded the Sierra Leonean group for the good work they did and continued to do to help the survivors and affected families in the recent mudslide disaster.
He was optimistic that the workshop would help build the capacity of the regional group to enhance the operations of the respective national groups and set a regional standard for their operations.
He also applauded Ghana for the good work it was doing and called on the other member countries of the cluster to emulate Ghana.
The GRCS is a relief humanitarian organisation which started in 1929 as the League of Maternal and Child Welfare; and in 1932 became the Gold Coast branch of the British Red Cross. On attainment of independence in 1957, it evolved into the Ghana Red Cross Society through an Act of Parliament (The GRCS Act 10, 1958).
It is an affiliate of the IFRC.
With its headquarters in Accra, the GRCS has secretariats in all 10 regions.