International Relations and Cooperation Minister to sign an Agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross on 19 January 2010

The Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will be signing an agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) tomorrow on Tuesday, 19 January 2010, at the Department’s Head Office at 16:00, regarding the new Zone office of the IFRC based in South Africa. Mr. Alasan Senghore, Director for Africa, will be signing on behalf of the IFRC.

The IFRC, founded in 1919, is a membership organisation comprised of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. These national societies, present in almost every country in the world, are the world’s largest humanitarian network. The underlying mission of the IFRC is to improve the situation of the world’s most vulnerable people by providing humanitarian assistance and relief to people affected by man-made and natural disasters and to also provide development assistance in order to empower vulnerable people to become more self-sufficient and resilient.

The Host Agreement that will be signed on 19 January 2010 will further improve the capacity of the IFRC to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities, throughout Africa. Its presence in South Africa will allow the IFRC Zone office with an opportunity to better interact and coordinate with other international humanitarian organisations already situated in South Africa.

In South Africa the IFRC has been supporting the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) in various programmes and projects, including in disaster management, health and care and integrated HIV and AIDS interventions.

The Agreement to establish the Zonal Office complies with the provisions of the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act, Act 37 of 2001. The Agreement provides for the juridical personality of the IFRC, the inviobility of the Zonal Office, the immunity of the IFRC and its property, exemption from taxation and customs duties, how it carries out its financial transactions, the general principles which apply to the transit of goods, vehicles and equipment and so forth. The Agreement was forwarded to other stakeholders in South Africa such as the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (IL).


For more information contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on 082 940 1647.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

18 January 2010


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