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UNICEF inks MoA with IRCS

Bijaya Rajbhandari, CFO, UNICEF Bihar (Left) and SK Negi, Honorary Secretary, IRCS, after signing MoA
PATNA, Bihar, June 24 2009 - Bijaya Rajbhandari, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF and SK Negi, Honorary Secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, Bihar State Branch, signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Collaboration in Capacity Building in Disaster Management in the presence of UNICEF & Indian Red Cross Society functionaries at a simple function at the Indian Red Cross Society office.

“We are, indeed, very happy today to be witness to this Memorandum of Agreement between UNICEF and the Indian Red Cross Society in Bihar,” said Bijaya Rajbhandari, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF.

“The Indian Red Cross Society has tremendous experience of working in prolonged emergency situations, and this coupled with the expertise of its manpower resources and service delivery, with only strengthen disaster management in the state. The level of commitment of its employees and their involvement in the protecting the health and safety of human life in a disaster situation is commendable and needs no introduction." Rajbhanadri said.

" We feel that the coming together of our respective core expertise in emergencies has now evolved to the next step: one of coordination of relief activities, sharing technical expertise with partners for the distribution of inputs, management of information and consensus building in pursuit of common objectives in our work for vulnerable populations in emergencies, especially women and children,” Rajbhandari added.

Rajbhandari pointed that experts from UNICEF (or designated by it) would participate in the trainings/workshops, apart from providing assistance like workshop design, technical support, coordination, documentation and dissemination of above activities and their outcomes.

Said SK Negi, Honorary Secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, Bihar State Branch “This is an important day for the Indian Red Cross Society in Bihar. UNICEF and the Indian Red Cross Society will now work together in emergency preparedness and mitigation in sectors like water and sanitation, Health and primary education. It will also include co-ordination in pre-positioning emergency supplies. I strongly feel that both organizations can augment each other’s strengths in the overall context of disaster management. We are increasing the umbrella of our activities, and our strength comes from our volunteers and the enthusiasm they bring to their selfless work”.

Negi appealed to the common citizens of the state to come forward and give their time in support of the organisation’s work. “Your contribution in terms of giving us your time to assist us in our work is invaluable to us,” he added.

Negi said that following Indian Red Cross Society’s MoU with the Government of Bihar on blood banks, the Society, with support of UNICEF, would organize workshops on women and children-related issues based on a mutually agreed framework.

“We will (together with UNICEF) develop a detailed calendar of trainings on Disaster Risk Management, identify regions/communities where CBDM would be implemented, identify a nodal person to coordinate work, and help in arrangements for proper storage of emergency supplies- both at district and state level - and its use by mutual consent,” he added.

The suggestive activities which are being explored include developing training modules on Community-Based Disaster Management (CBDM) for Voluntary Organizations and PRIs; pre-positioning emergency supplies; and organizing workshops, briefing, technical expertise, training and capacity building on areas of mutual interest.

Other distinguished guests included Dr (Capt.) VS Singh, Vice President (N), IRCS, Bihar branch; SP Singh (IAS, retd.), Honorary Director, IRCS, Bihar, s Bineeta Prasad, Honorary Deputy Director, IRCS, Bihar, and Manish Agrawal, Emergency Officer, UNICEF Bihar office.



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