IFRC SG expresses readiness to strengthen, expand GRCS services
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said that he is very impressed with The Gambia Red Cross Society and promised to work harder with them to strengthen and expand their services.
He made the remarks during the conclusion of visits to Migration Operation Sites and Humanitarian Service Points, among others in various parts of the country.
The IFRC top officials were on a visit to The Gambia to profile the Global Route Based Migration Program as an important new way in which the IFRC network is supporting the safety and dignity of people on the move around the world, including in Africa and MENA and implementing strategy 2030 (and as a program that has built on past experiences such as through AMiRA and EUTF, among others) as well as to show the IFRC network’s unique strengths and leadership in supporting people on the move along migration routes, through Humanitarian Service Points providing support regardless of status; cross-border and route-based coordination, and leveraging federation-wide resources including human, financial, and technical expertise.
SG Chapagain also expressed positive impression with the tremendous transformation in The Gambia Red Cross Society, the recognition it has gained in the country, the expansion of its services all over the country and also the bold activities like opening of the Emergency Operation Center at its Headquarters, the expansion of its volunteer based, the selfless service it renders to humanity every day, and its transformation but growing entrepreneurship as a National Society.
He went on to also express his delight in how The Gambia is open to and welcoming to migrant issues as a country of origin of migrants, migrants transit and also a country receiving returnees.
“I feel that the country is trying its best to ensure safe and orderly migration. I also feel that the country has enabled the humanitarian space for the GRCS to be able to provide their services and access to migrants,” he also said.
“My impression is very positive and I go back with a promise to work harder with The Gambia Red Cross Society to strengthen and expand its services,” he stated.
He pointed out that one of the root causes why people migrate is because of lack of livelihood and job opportunities.
He noted that as a Red Cross they are not a job creating agency but like to advocate for governments, private sector and other organisations who have skills and mandate in the area of job creation to create job opportunities.
“We have experience around the area of livelihood and these are some of the things we would like to develop to have a more integrated approach to have more impact in migrant related issues and that could include the element of livelihood,” he said further.
He said that they have a well established global system for when disasters happen to immediate activate funds and will be with The Gambia Red Cross Society when that happens.
“We need to reduce the needs by investing in communities and building community resilience,” he said.