QRC takes part in Lanka summit to commemorate tsunami tragedy
November 25 2014 12:04 AM
Al-Mohannadi and other dignitaries at the closing ceremony of RCRC T10 summit in Colombo.
Al-Mohannadi and other dignitaries at the closing ceremony of RCRC T10 summit in Colombo.

A high-profile delegation from Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has participated in the three-day Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) T10 summit in Sri Lanka to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2004
Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy.

The summit was organised by the Sri Lankan Red Cross (SLRC) with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and German
Red Cross.

QRC was represented by its secretary-general, Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi; head of International Relations and International Humanitarian Law, Dr Fawzi Oussedik; and director of the Al Khor branch and head of the Social Development Department, Rashid bin Saad al-Mohannadi, along with national society representatives from the US, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the Maldives, Kuwait and Sweden, as well as IFRC and ICRC representatives.

The meetings covered several topics, including the SLRC’s response to the recent landslide disaster, sharing observations, best practices and challenges of T10 field visits; strategic plans for some national societies; and review of future partnership opportunities in building resilient communities. There were also open sessions for group discussions and presentations.

The summit is held every year to commemorate the Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy of December 26, 2004, which swept through coastal areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, India and nine other Indian Ocean countries.

Within less than an hour, the tsunami killed more than 35,000 people and displaced more than 500,000 people in Sri Lanka alone. The loss of infrastructure, properties and livelihood means were also humongous.

On the sidelines of the summit, al-Mohannadi said: “The tsunami disaster is particularly important for experts because it was a model of co-ordinated relief efforts across the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement between volunteers, relief staff, government authorities, sister national societies, local and international donors, and specifically IFRC and ICRC.

“The Movement’s assistance to the most vulnerable communities was wide-ranging, wherein search and rescue, restoring family links, relief, psychological support, shelter, infrastructure, disaster management, healthcare, water and sanitation, and livelihoods in the recovery period covered varied aspects in each sector.”

He noted that such meetings provide an opportunity for the Movement partners to engage with beneficiaries, visit past and present field projects, reflect on the impact of the collective Red Cross and Red Crescent tsunami recovery operation, share experience and best practices, and discuss opportunities to maximise the impact of the Movement partners toward building community resilience and delivering humanitarian services.

“It is vital to take stock of what we did in respect of the lessons learned. It is also significant to remember the people who died and recognise the people who recovered from this socioeconomic trauma,” al-Mohannadi said.

QRC has a strong presence in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It assures its commitment to collaborate with other Movement partners to extend humanitarian protection and assistance to all vulnerable populations, in compliance with the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.




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