Under the slogan “Develop to Make a Difference”, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) launched yesterday its sixth annual forum for foreign missions/offices.

The opening ceremony was attended by Yousef bin Ali Al-Khater, president, Faisal Mohamed Al-Emadi, acting secretary-general, directors and heads of department, and representatives of 12 foreign mission/offices located in Niger, Turkey/Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Bangladesh, Mali, Mauritania, and Iraq. Representatives of QRCS offices in Palestine, located in Gaza, the West Bank and Al-Quds were unable to participate in the forum, due to the current escalations there.

In his opening speech, Al-Khater strongly condemned the savage and unrelenting bombing of Gaza since 7 October 2023, as well as the attacks against medical and relief workers and facilities. He cited the four Geneva Conventions and all the international instruments that provide for the protection of medical personnel, facilities, and teams showing the Red Crescent or Red Cross emblem.

Al-Khater called upon all humanitarian and international organisations to ensure protection for civilians, ambulance personnel, and hospitals amid the ongoing war.

“Through this annual forum, and other training meetings for our field and HQ personnel, we seek to make our interventions more effective, identify the shared challenges, improve responses, and adopt the best humanitarian practices. We capitalise on internal and external expertise, in cooperation with many local, regional, and international partners,” said Al-Khater.

Dr. Mohamed Salah Ibrahim, director of Relief and International Development Division at QRCS, gave a presentation on the division’s strategic objectives, priorities, and targets for the coming year. According to year-to-date statistics, QRCS has been working on a total of 290 projects, worth nearly QR195 million, for the benefit of over 4.7 million people in 14 countries.

The five-day forum involves workshops, consultations, and brainstorming sessions. The participants will propose strategies and review the last forum’s recommendations, to build on the outcomes, develop working mechanisms, and ensure better performance. They will learn more about international developments, especially the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the challenges facing humanitarian action and relief workers.

A series of lectures will be delivered by Sheikh Dr. Abdulaziz bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Humanitarian Funds, Dr. Iyad Nasr, international humanitarian law (IHL) and humanitarian diplomacy expert, and Dr. Adel Salah, nonprofit sector and relief organisations expert. Other lecturers include those by representatives of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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