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Gambia to launch International Disaster Response Law

Feb 26, 2016, 10:11 AM | Article By: Madi S. Njie

The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) will launch a report on the International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) on Monday, 29 February 2016 at a hotel in Kololi.

The document will be launched in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

The IDRL on The Gambia follows similar research reports conducted in Uganda, Botswana and Malawi under the international disaster law programme of the IFRC in collaboration with national societies and disaster management of governments.

The IDRL was introduced as a result of reports over the last decades providing revealing evidence of the increasing numbers and impact of natural disasters globally.

As a result, there has been an upsurge in the need for international disaster assistance, either between neighbouring states or from the international community.

Experts said the increase in number and variety of international actors who may be available to provide assistance in major disaster operations is making the task of facilitating and regulating international humanitarian assistance more complicated for the governments of affected or transit states.

It is observed that some of the legal challenges faced by the affected or transit states during response of international magnitude include: coordination of international and regional disaster response, customs procedures, obtaining of visa and work permits, recognition of certificates of specialised personnel such as medical personnel, and quality of relief items and services.

To help address such situation in The Gambia, GRCS in collaboration with NDMA has facilitated the conduct of a legal research with the technical and expert support from the IFRC.

The research was to identify the gaps and map out recommendations for the disaster law programme in The Gambia.The reach report is now ready for launching.

The research spanned more than one year and was conducted by a team of local and international consultants including Essa Khan, Gibriel Bah and Modou Yaya Jallow of Bandirabeh Associates Consultancy Firm in The Gambia.

The indepth research covered all sectoral laws in The Gambia and the national disaster management architecture so as to identify gaps and proffer recommendations to improve the coordination and management of disaster response in the country.