Disasters often strike without warning and in the past, the response to them has often been uncoordinated with several agencies duplicating each others functions in an unproductive manner.
It is in this vein that the Nigerian Red Cross Society and stakeholders like the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs among others, met in Abuja, Nigeria on the 7th of August, 2023 at a Pre-Disaster Consultative Meeting and come up with a communique which advises the formation of a technical committee to look into the coordination and management of disasters at various levels in Nigeria.
The technical committee will
-Gather and review all existing regulations and legal frameworks for handling disasters at National and subnational levels.
-Review all relevant ways and means of handling disasters and merge them all into a single document
According to the Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Abbakar Kende,
“We as a National Society are seeking to strengthen our role as an auxiliary to the Nigerian government. We are seeking to enhance coordination as we and our partners , the IFRC, collaborate with the various government agencies in the course of our disaster response activities.
Present at the Pre-Disaster Consultative Forum were the National Emergency Management Agency, Ministries of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Health.
“We aren't disrupting any existing law but we are just strengthening our responses during disasters and our role as auxiliary to government agencies in responding to disaster.” says the National Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Red Cross, Barrister Muazu Dikwa
The purpose of this pre disaster agreement, is to create a framework for cooperation in disaster preparedness and response, including for public health emergencies, between the government, the Nigerian Red Cross Society and the IFRC in Nigeria.