1 October 2018. The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has held an Opening Ceremony on “Humanitarian Assistance in West African (HAWA) Core Course” on Monday, 1 October 2018.
The 2-week course was organized jointly by KAIPTC and the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) with the support of the Austrian Ministry of Defence and funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation.
The aim for organizing the course was to train participants on key issues related to Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa, expose them to the basic legal framework for humanitarian aid and also identify the different actors in the field as well as learning how they cooperate.
The course would introduce participants to project management in the context of humanitarian emergencies such as conflict and natural disaster, cultural awareness, negotiation and mediation as well as media communication.
According to the Deputy Director General for Technical and Reforms at the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Mr Seji Saji, no single institution or organization had all the resources and means to manage humanitarian issues and therefore there was the need for a coordinated effort among several response agencies to maximize the results.
Mr Seji Saji also stated that there were more displaced people in Middle Income Countries than Low Income Countries and therefore there must be a shift in planning and resourcing for response and resilience in West Africa.
He added that regardless of the impediments facing the humanitarian work on the African continent, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its member states could help reduce risk and vulnerability by improving the socio-economic development in the sub- region, have a reliable funding for humanitarian agencies, organize joint training and simulation exercises.
He stated further that ECOWAS should develop a data base of all the humanitarian assistance capability of all members to know which member state to fall-on for a particular support. He added that member states could develop better response mechanisms through better coordination which could be achieved through collaboration.
Mr Seji Saji stated that the Humanitarian Course was in the right direction since it fell within the framework of the Plan of Action of the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy.
He thanked the organizers for the opportunity given him and wished the facilitators and the participants well on the course.
According to the Humanitarian Affairs Advisor; Austrian Defence Staff, Brigadier General, Professor Alois A Hirschmugl, natural disaster has displaced a lot of people in Sub-Shara Africa.
He urged participants to share their rich diversities of experience among themselves. He hoped the course would equip participants to give better support to civilians in emergency and disaster cases.
He thanked the commandant, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths S Evans and Seji Saji for their support to the course.