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New humanitarian strategy to save lives, protect livelihood, address disasters

Mar 4, 2016, 10:26 AM | Article By: Madi S.Njie

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society’s work is guided by Strategy 2020 which has three strategic aims: to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disaster and crises.

This information is contained in the International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) of The Gambia, a study on legal preparedness for facilitating and regulating international disaster assistance.

The study report indicated that the 2020 strategy enable healthy and safe living, promote social inclusion, and culture of non-violence and peace.

The report was commissioned by the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).It was prepared by Bandirabeh Consultancy Firm and launched on 29 February 2016.

Essa Khan, a consultant, while making a presentation at the launching of the report, said: “The International Disaster Response Law Report on The Gambia analyses the existing legal and policy frameworks for disaster management and response in The Gambia focusing on the facilitation and regulation of international disaster assistance.

“The report also provides an assessment of strengths and gaps and provides recommendations for strengthening legal preparedness for disasters in The Gambia.”

Mr Khan explained that the Disaster Law Programme seeks to reduce human vulnerability by promoting legal preparedness for disasters.

He said: “The Disaster Law Programme works in three key areas:collaborating with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other partners to offer technical assistance to governments on disaster law issues; building the capacity of national societies and other stakeholders in disaster law; and dissemination, advocacy and research.

“GRCS in collaboration with the IFRC commissioned this legal report research to review the current legal framework, policies and practices in disaster response preparedness in The Gambia.

“The report is based on a review of The Gambia’s legislation applicable to international disaster response, in light of the guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance.”

GRCS initiated the process of the research in response to the call by states made at the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent for national legal frameworks for the facilitation and regulation of international disaster response to be examined and strengthened.

It is for this reason that in June 2014 the GRCS and the IFRC, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) of The Gambia, began a process to sensitise relevant government partner agencies and lawmakers on the relevance of integrating facilitative domestic regulations for international disaster response in the national response system.

The project came at a time when the National Disaster Management (NDM) Act of 2008 being reviewed.

The Act is being reviewed in order to make it more comprehensive, coherent and adaptable to new problematic areas of disasters that have diversified and increased in recent years.

During the preparation of the report, consultations were done with representatives from the Office of the President, NDMA, the National Assembly, GRCS and key government agencies and other humanitarian partners with the objectives of supporting government-initiated efforts to strengthen the country’s legal preparedness for disasters, among others.

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