By Cecilia Ologunagba
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are partnering to strengthen delivery of emergency medical and health services during humanitarian crises.
WHO, in a statement on its website, said that its Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, and IFRC Secretary-General, Mr Jagan Chapagain, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on implementing the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) initiative.
The statement quoted Ghebreyesus, as saying “we thank the IFRC for their support from the onset of the EMT Initiative and we look forward to this continued partnership in improving the quality of care in emergencies.”
“With the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant increase in emergencies around the world, this agreement can not come at a better time,”it added.
Chapagain said in the statement that IFRC was committed to working side-by-side with WHO in providing life-saving health services to communities affected by humanitarian emergencies.
“This MoU will allow us to standardise our emergency health response work and provide increased support for National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies which play such a crucial role in emergency response.
“We are very committed to working together with WHO to provide quality emergency health services that communities desperately need in times of crisis.”
The MoU, also known as the Red Channel Agreement, is the culmination of years of collaboration between IFRC and the WHO Emergency Medical Team Initiative.
The new agreement will bring more synergies to health emergency response between the two international organisations, particularly in technical standards, accountability, and coordination.