By Raefah Makki
Bekele Geleta, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), visited the Iraqi Red Crescent Society on 17 and 18 December 2012. The main agenda of the visit focused on review and discussion of the humanitarian context in Iraq and in neighboring countries, and the response efforts being made by the organization.
During his meeting with the Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, Mr Geleta commended the growing support the government provides to the National Society enabling it to fulfill its humanitarian mission supporting the most vulnerable within the country, and providing assistance to the victims of the current conflict in Syria.
The role the IFRC plays facilitating the development of the society and its work was also emphasized with understanding about the need to speed up and conclude the process started to ensure that the IFRC presence and service in Iraq is based on the necessary status agreement to be signed with the government .
In his discussion with the leadership and management of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, including President Dr. Yassin Al Ammoury, Mr Geleta underscored the importance of ensuring that the independence of the National Society is fully recognized and respected to enable it to continue to operate as a strong society with growing positive public image and reputation.
At the end of his visit, Mr Geleta told volunteers and staff that he would convey to Geneva the great humanitarian services of Iraqi Red Crescent Society and the support of the government, and would also produce a report that highlights the strong collaborative effort supporting operations both inside Iraq, and beyond its borders.