A new national Red Cross society for a new nation in South Sudan

Published: 8 July 2011

8 July 2011, Juba — On the eve of the declaration of Independence by the Republic of South Sudan, the IFRC announces the establishment of a new national Red Cross society – the South Sudan Red Cross.

The South Sudan Red Cross will be formed of staff and volunteers who have until this day worked for the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, which continues to operate in Sudan. The secession of South Sudan from the north, as determined by a referendum in January 2011, paved the way for a new National Society in the south.

“I am delighted to introduce the new National Society to the world,” said Arthur Poole, Secretary General of the South Sudan Red Cross. “It is our mission to reduce the suffering of vulnerable people in our country. We have been doing this for many years already, through the Sudanese Red Crescent, who we have been proud to be a part of. Now we shall continue and expand this work, through the support of our generous Red Cross partners.”

The South Sudan Red Cross will be headquartered in Juba, with ten state branches offering emergency response, first aid, health and care, and water sanitation services across the country. As their first act, volunteers will provide first aid services during the Independence celebrations on 9 July.

“I would like to praise the way that all parts of the Sudanese Red Crescent have conducted themselves during this time of separation,” said Alasan Senghore, director of the IFRC in Africa. “Our humanitarian values extol peace and inclusivity; this has certainly been demonstrated in Sudan. The South Sudan Red Cross will have much work to do given the extensive humanitarian challenges that exist in that country. But they are capable of rising to the challenge and I believe will be a force for good in a new nation.”

The South Sudan Red Cross also launches tomorrow its new website: www.southsudanredcross.org and is already active on Facebook, where it encourages Southern Sudanese to post their experiences of volunteering or find out more about joining.

The new National Society will be built on the Red Cross Red Crescent fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. Donors wishing to financially support the new National Society should contact the Secretary General.

For more information, or to set up interviews, please contact:
In Juba:
• Faye Callaghan, communications manager, Africa, IFRC
Mobile : +27 71 895 2774  – E-mail : faye.callaghan@ifrc.org
In Geneva:
• Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, Acting public communications manager, IFRC
Mobile: +41 79 213 24 13 – E-mail: benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org