Doha: As the first Arab humanitarian organisation to reach the distressed regions, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) mission to the Central African Republic made a report on its one-week visit to assess humanitarian needs and identify areas of intervention.
The QRC team prepared a draft cooperation agreement with the Central African Red Cross, awaiting endorsement to come into force as a legal framework for implementation of QRC projects in the country. Under the agreement, QRC will open a resident office there to recruit well-trained coordinators and technicians and manage the funds allocated for the urgent relief programme.
The QRC team held several meetings to share information and coordinate efforts with concerned parties such as the Central African Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Oxfam International, and the delegate of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). There are attempts to enter into partnerships for this purpose.
Through field assessment of conditions on the ground, the humanitarian situation turned out to be extremely critical, including widespread malaria and measles and, alarmingly, scattered cholera; scarce trained medical workers in hospitals and emergency mobile clinics; sheltering shortage particularly in southern parts; and bad weather in some areas, which hinders geographical expansion of relief.
In addition, a plan was suggested to send surgical teams from QRC, Arab Medical Union, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), in coordination with the World Health Organisation and ICRC, to operate healthcare centers in evacuation regions. Also, there will be coordination with Oxfam in relation to sheltering, water, and sanitation.