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The ICRC regional delegation in Nairobi

23-04-2014 Overview

The ICRC regional delegation in Nairobi promotes international humanitarian law and carries out humanitarian activities in Kenya, Djibouti and Tanzania. It is an important logistical centre for ICRC operations in Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region.

Second-largest ICRC logistics facility in the world

Kenya’s geographical position makes it an ideal base for the ICRC’s activities in East Africa and the surrounding regions as there are good roads and air transport connections, and facilities to import and export goods from the port of Mombasa. The regional delegation, established in 1973, is therefore home to the second-largest ICRC logistics facility in the world. Currently it is facilitating operations in South Sudan, Somalia and the Great Lakes region.

Promoting international humanitarian law and human rights law

The delegation provides training on international humanitarian law (IHL) to the armed forces in the region. Each year, events are held to help increase the study of IHL and to encourage research within academic circles. For example, the delegation conducts an annual essay competition and a national moot court contest; organizes a Pan African competition on IHL and humanitarian issues, which takes place in Arusha, Tanzania, bringing together students from Anglophone countries on the continent; and stages an annual IHL course for humanitarian workers and policy makers.

The delegation also works closely with the police, giving training on human rights and professional policing concepts to ensure these rights are upheld in the course of their work.

Helping detainees and restoring family links

Visits to detention centres in Djibouti are conducted to monitor conditions and to ensure that the rights of prisoners of war and civil detainees are respected. The ICRC, jointly with the respective National Red Cross Societies, facilitates the restoration of family links through Red Cross messages and phone call services for refugees in Kenya, Tanzania and Djibouti. In addition, unaccompanied minors and children are reunited with their families.

Partnering with National Societies

The delegation works closely with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) and the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti (RCSD), delivering emergency assistance, restoring family links, promoting IHL and preparing for and responding to emergencies. At the same time it strives to enhance the capacity of the National Societies to provide humanitarian services within their respective countries.

Currently, the delegation is developing its strategic partnership with the KRCS and supporting the Society’s regional initiatives to help other African National Societies strengthen their governance and response capacities. The National Societies also benefit from the ICRC delegation’s support for first aid and safer access training to enhance their preparedness and response during emergencies.

Learning and development

The delegation, through its learning and development department, is also active in training ICRC staff in all delegations in Africa. Its institutional learning forums help the department identify gaps and establish learning and development programmes. This is geared towards developing the ICRC’s human resource capacity to better deliver its humanitarian mandate, as well as supporting career progression. The department has recently started a leadership and management school, the aim of which is to develop strong leadership and management skills among ICRC staff.

Assisting the disabled

The Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) programme was created in 1983 and supports physical rehabilitation centres in low-income countries. It aims to achieve socio-economic integration of disabled people by promoting accessibility to rehabilitation centres, enhancing the quality of patient services and ensuring the long-term functioning of the centres. The SFD has two regional offices: one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for English-speaking countries, and one in Lome, Togo, for French-speaking countries. The programme’s partners are the Tanzanian Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) in Moshi and the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) in Dar es Salaam.