Since 1902

By Peter Orengo

President Kibaki has commended the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for its efforts in co-ordinating and directing assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations.

Speaking during the 17th session of the General Assembly of IFRC at the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) headquarters in Nairobi, the President lauded the work of the humanitarian agency, especially in disaster-prone Africa.

The President said: "Africa has had a sad history of drought, floods, mudslides and other disasters. Global instability is also affecting numerous businesses with most people struggling to make ends meet. But IFRC has continued in co-ordinating assistance in such situations."

Kibaki praised Kenya Red Cross Society for tirelessly seeking to alleviate human suffering. The President is also the patron of Kenya Red Cross Society.

"Your movement remains the largest humanitarian organisation with visible, dedicated and committed workforce," Kibaki said. He encouraged the society to take advantage of their human, material and other resources to create even bigger impact in alleviating human suffering.

Kyoto Protocol

Kibaki also said the Government is working to minimise effects of disasters.

He said: "We have policies and structures towards disaster risk management. Kenya is also a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol framework for action."

IFRC president Juan Manuel Del Toro assured Kibaki the federation would continue to discharge its duties to all that need support.

Del Toro, however, urged the Government to march the scale of response if humanitarian problems are to be solved in the coming years.

"We are aware many of the problems are global in scope and multifactorial in origin, but efforts must be joined in a coherent and co-ordinated approach to tackle them," he said.