Strengthening cooperation in the Gulf
For Jean-Michel Monod, head of the regional delegation in Kuwait, which covers Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, the collaborative challenges in this strategic region are many.
How is cooperation between the ICRC and National Red Crescent Societies?
Our main goal is to develop an operational capacity with the National Societies in various humanitarian hot spots. We wish to establish with these partners a stable and lasting operational relationship similar to those we have with other participating National Societies.
We also hope they contribute on a regular basis to our activities by supporting our budget appeals, in the way that, for example, the National Societies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates responded positively to our 2006 appeal for Somalia.
What about Lebanon?
Gulf countries have had special relationships with Lebanon for ages, which is a considerable advantage for the Red Cross/Red Crecscent Movement's activities. National Societies from this region have reacted with generosity on a wide scale to the needs of Lebanon and Syria.
To name but a few examples, the National Society of Saudi Arabia has set up a hospital in Beirut, the Kuwait Red Crescent is providing food parcels, the Qatar Red Crescent is very active in medical mission in southern Lebanon… The cooperation is fruitful and in the future we would like to count more on these National Societies and to work closely with them on rapid deployment activities which would benefit from the know-how and specific capacities of our partners.
In the light of various examples of international cooperation in the field – including the current collaboration in Lebanon – Dr Mohammed Ganem Al-Madeed, secretary general of the Qatar Red Crescent , expresses his views and prospects.
As a movement, we currently make a lot of things happen together and have the potential to do much more. In fact, with our common values and local presence we are able to achieve what nobody else can.
Thanks to the Sevilla Agreement, which laid out the coordination among Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement partners, we have a constructive basis to work with. Through recent crises like the tsunami in South-East Asia and the Pakistan earthquake, we have worked closely with the ICRC and the International Federation and are making improvements at the operational level. But this is not sufficient…we have further to go!
To give an example, the mandate of each activity and leadership need to be defined in each context. In this respect it is important to clarify in a timely manner the responsibilities of those who work together. I think we need to improve the planning and the training aspects of our activities in the near future.