Africa must not rely on external agencies for humanitarian assistance – Austrian Brigadier General

Social Humanitarian Assistance
Social Humanitarian Assistance

Africa must not rely on external agencies for humanitarian assistance in the wake of the current global economic crisis.

Brigadier General Alois Hirschmugl, a representative of the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports, said the continent must train and build the capacities of its people to be able to respond to humanitarian issues and emergencies.

“The best thing is always training and that makes it easier (for security agencies and civilians) to work together.
“You (Africa) should build capacities so that you are able to do everything all by yourself, not relying on different organisations such as the UN,” he told journalists at opening of a Course on humanitarian assistance in Accra on Monday, May 16, 2022.

The two-week Humanitarian Assistance and Women, Peace, Security in West Africa Core Course (HAWA WPS CC) is being organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAPITC) in collaboration with the Austrian Study Centre for Conflict Resolution (ASPR).

A total of 32 participants, comprising personnel from the Military, Police, Ghana Fire Service and civilians are participating in the Course.

The participants were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Niger, The Gambia, Liberia, Austria, United States, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, and Gabon.

The Course is expected to among others, equip participants with knowledge and skills regarding comprehensive approaches to planning, coordination and implementation in the field of humanitarian assistance.

Brig. Gen. Hirschmugl said the Course would inform the participants about existing mechanisms in disaster management and humanitarian assistance approaches and build cooperation among civilians and security agencies.

Air Commodore George Arko-Dadzie, Deputy Commandant, KAIPTC, said the widespread economic challenges on the continent had “plenty and diverse” humanitarian consequences.

He said with more than 130 million people living in poverty, Africa’s population was vulnerable to the effects of widespread food insecurity, recurrent natural disasters, climate change, the global economic crisis, and socio-political instability among other challenges.

Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie emphasised the need for the police, civilian, and the military to work together to tackle the continent’s peace, security and humanitarian challenges.

“In emergency situations, civilian, police and military actors find themselves working side by side and thus for effective disaster relief and assistance, the need for coordinated measures is indispensable,” he said.

He said the participants of the Course would learn in detail about mechanisms for coordinating measures and mutual understanding between civilian, police and military actors throughout their joint efforts in providing humanitarian assistance in highly challenging situations.

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