Global charity partners with African bank to tackle disasters

NAIROBI, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Monday it has inked an agreement with pan African financial institution Ecobank to empower communities to cope with disasters more efficiently.

Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, IFRC’s regional director for Africa, said there was need to address the underlying causes of this vulnerability, including lack of funding to equip communities with required systems and skills.

“Many innocent lives continue to be lost in Africa simply as a result of insufficient investment in disaster preparedness. Many of the natural hazards that take place do not need to become major disasters when a population is prepared and able to respond adequately,” Nafo-Traore said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

She said the charity will working with the Ecobank Academy, a pan-African corporate university based in Togo in training of IFRC’s staff members who will participate in a number of customized programs to enhance their management skills.

Under the agreement Ecobank employees will also be given the opportunity to attend First Aid training sessions, enabling them to save lives during every day emergencies and disasters.

According to IFRC, the growing gap between funds needed by humanitarian groups and funds available to them is a major cause of communities’ vulnerability to disasters.

“It is on this account that Ecobank is partnering with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Africa to secure resources for their local first aid volunteers,” said the charity.

It said the first project is already being rolled out in Ghana where Ecobank is launching a digital public fundraising campaign.

“A unique QR code (a type of bar code used to access information through your mobile phone) has been created and displayed in branches, making donating easy and immediate,” IFRC said.

Source: Ghana News Agency