Geneva/ Tehran, 13 October 2015 –The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will support 5,000 vulnerable families in Somalia and Kenya, through a Hunger Resilience and Food Security partnership signed yesterday by the leaders of the two organizations.
The programme, which will be implemented in collaboration with the Somali Red Crescent Society and the Kenya Red Cross Society, will target communities affected by one of Africa’s most protracted and yet often overlooked humanitarian crises.
Successive cycles of extreme drought and floods in Somalia, combined with the consequences of decades of violence and insecurity, have left many communities without access to durable livelihoods and exposed to chronic food insecurity. As a result, millions of people have fled their homes to other parts of Somalia or into neighbouring Kenya.
Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of the IFRC, said the prolonged nature of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and northern Kenya had created a sense of apathy among many donors. “The crisis currently facing millions of people in the region is avoidable and therefore unacceptable,” he said. “This agreement will help us alleviate the impacts of this crisis on a group of particularly vulnerable people. It will make them stronger and more resilient to future shocks.
A demonstration of solidarity and shared humanity
The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran is contributing 2.3 million Swiss francs ($2.4 million US dollars) toward this effort. The President of the Red Crescent, Professor Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, reiterated his National Society’s commitment to supporting vulnerable people around the world in close cooperation with the IFRC.
“This is another important opportunity where the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IFRC can further complement one another and leverage on our vast network of Red Cross and Red Crescent members to develop long-term solutions to food insecurity in Africa,” said Dr Ziaee.
Dr Ziaee emphasized that, through increased cooperation and collaboration, sustainable and long-term solutions can be delivered by strengthening the capacities and resilience of individuals and communities in Africa.
“We look forward to carrying out this partnership with the IFRC and through close cooperation with the Somali Red Crescent Society and the Kenya Red Cross Society. We hope that through this Hunger Resilience and Food Security Programme, we will provide more effective support to those in greatest need, starting with the vulnerable people from Somalia,” said Dr Ziaee.
The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran has plans to expand this programme, first into other countries in East Africa and then to other regions on the continent affected by food insecurity. An estimated 60 million people across sub-Saharan Africa do not have enough to eat this year, and there are predictions that food production will deteriorate further in the coming months.
“We invite fellow humanitarian partners to collaborate with us in expanding the Hunger Resilience and Food Security Programme in Africa,” said Dr Ziaee.
IFRC Secretary General, As Sy, welcomed the leadership and commitment of the Red Crescent.
“The presence and support of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran in many countries far away in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and now Somalia, responding to acute humanitarian needs, is an example of a shared humanity that goes beyond borders,” he said.