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Qatar: boosting professionalism in humanitarian aid programmes

08-10-2012 News Release

Kuwait (ICRC) – Humanitarian aid professionals have gathered in Doha to attend a 10-day aid-management course which begins today. The course, entitled Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.), is being held for only the second time in the Arab world.

"Humanitarian workers need to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field to better meet the basic needs of people harmed by armed conflict or natural disaster, and to better coordinate their actions," said Gerard Peytrignet, the head of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The course, organized jointly by the ICRC, the Qatar Red Crescent Society and the University of Calgary - Qatar, will take place on the premises of the Qatar Red Crescent from 8 to 18 October. About 25 participants are taking part in the course including representatives from Red Crescent societies of Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

In his welcome note, the secretary-general of Qatar Red Crescent, Saleh Bin Ali Al-Muhannadi, encouraged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills. He emphasized that the H.E.L.P. course addresses health-related areas that are of crucial importance for the country. He also confirmed that the Qatar Red Crescent will continue to hold the course annually, as it is an important platform for the exchange of information and expertise among humanitarians.

Experts and specialized personnel will present and discuss international humanitarian law, staff security and stress management, public-health activities, forensic medicine, practical ethical issues in humanitarian activities, and other important topics.

The H.E.L.P. course, created in 1986 by the ICRC, is organized in partnership with the World Health Organization and with research institutions and universities all over the world. It has been given in various parts of Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia, and in Western and Eastern Europe. Participants come from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, United Nations agencies, NGOs, health ministries, armed forces' medical services and academic institutions. The first H.E.L.P. course in the Arab region was held in Doha in May 2011.

For further information, please contact:
Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel: +965 9787 9434