IFRC Secretary General visits Iranian Red Crescent, praises efforts of volunteers and leadership

Published: 22 December 2014 10:45 CET

By Raefah Makki, IFRC MENA

“Commitment, dedication, passion, and professionalism, this is what we found at all levels starting from very young children who are learning our Fundamental Principles at the age of five till volunteers and leadership of the Iranian Red Crescent,” said Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) after his three day visit to the National Society.

Mr Sy began his visit on Wednesday with a meeting with the vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Mr Eshaq Jahangiri who expressed the Islamic Republic’s constant support for the IFRC in its humanitarian mission, praising the Federation as “one of the greatest of its kind in the world involved in humanitarian activities totally neutral, independent and impartial.”

“Iran is located in a region that is subjected to natural disasters annually, such as floods and earthquakes causing severe damages and the Red Crescent Society is one of the organizations that rushes to assist the people in hard times of dire need,” said the Iranian first vice president.”

During his visit Mr Sy met with volunteers, youth and staff of the National Society and visited its different facilities in Tehran and Isfahan. In Tehran, Mr Sy visited the health treatment and rehabilitation division, the youth organisation, the higher educational institute, and the medical procurement organization.

“The Iranian Red Crescent Society proved once again to be one of the most effective members of the IFRC. It has a very strong community base; it mobilised and kept two million volunteers very active, passionate and motivated; it built a strong partnership with government and has an excellent leadership at all levels,” said Mr Sy.

The main purpose of the Mr Sy’s mission was to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Red Crescent and the environment department of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The MoU paves the way for increased cooperation and collaboration in the area of protection of the environment as a key aspect in addressing disaster management in urban settings.

The MoU signing was celebrated in a ceremony at the Iranian Red Crescent volunteers organization with the presence of more than 1000 youth and volunteers who will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the MOU and considered the mainstay for the success of the project.

During his visit to the international training center of the National Society in Isfahan, Mr Sy witnessed first hand youth and volunteers’ training in simulations what they could encounter in the field. The center was established in 2011 and offers public and specialized trainings in different areas such as mountain rescue, road safety, logistics, psychosocial support, and shelter. To date, the center has trained more than 274,000 members and has offered training services to eleven neighbouring countries as well as the Sudanese Red Crescent.

“Capacity building is key and we are looking at the possibilities of making a better use of the international training center to put this knowledge to the membership at large and facilitate partnership in this regard,” said Mr Sy.

Mr Sy concluded his visit with a joint press conference with the Secretary General of the Iranian Red Crescent Dr Seyed Ahmad Mousavi to announce the signing of the MoU and answer journalists' questions on several cooperation areas between the IFRC and its member National Society.