The African Development Bank, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly address humanitarian and development challenges in Africa, elevating a partnership between the two institutions.
The signing, which took place on the sidelines of the Global Refugee Forum, marks an important milestone in a partnership that has grown substantively over the past few years. The African Development Bank and the ICRC recognize the connection between peace, humanitarian, and development initiatives and share the vision and commitment for sustainable impact in conflict-affected and fragile areas. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a multi-year framework to scale up impact in underfunded, insecure, fragile, and conflict-affected settings, with emphasis on conflict prevention and climate resilience.
This innovative partnership between Africa’s premier development finance institution and the globally leading humanitarian organisation will leverage their respective resources and expertise to pursue the following goals:
- Sustaining impact and sustainability of interventions by staying engaged in insecure and conflict settings
- Scaling up impact for affected communities through joint resource mobilization, tailored financing instruments, and multi-country approaches and
- Sharing knowledge and developing expertise on the financing and delivery of sustainable impact at the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus.
This strategic partnership, in alignment with the Bank’s 2022-2026 Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa as well as ICRC’s 2024 – 2027 Institutional Strategy, will therefore advance emergency interventions and longer-term solutions for the most vulnerable populations in those settings.
The agreement was signed by African Development Bank Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration, and Business Delivery, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, who participated virtually from Abidjan, and ICRC Vice-President, Gilles Carbonnier at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva.
“This strong, ongoing, renewed, and expanding partnership between the African Development Bank and the International Committee of the Red Cross is critical,” observed Akin-Olugbade. “The new MOU expresses our joint dedication to preventing and addressing the complex and interconnected issues facing conflict-affected communities in Africa.” She also noted: “We need to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable communities, including women, youth, forcibly displaced and host communities, among others, in areas affected by fragility and climate change are not left behind. This MOU builds on a successful pilot project in the Sahel and has implementation at its core.”
Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President of ICRC highlighted: “This MoU is about delivering a holistic response, encompassing prevention, protection and assistance, to the compounded nature of protracted crises across Africa with the ambition to achieve impact at scale and speed, with and for affected people.” He added, ‘’This milestone in ICRC’s partnership with the African Development Bank will promote respect for International Humanitarian Law, which protects civilians but also essential infrastructure, limiting the risk of large development reversals in armed conflict’’. He concluded that ‘’partnering to build resilience and empower communities is a powerful means to bring dignity and hope in fragile and conflict settings’’.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from both organisations, including Yero Baldeh, Director, Transition States Coordination Office, Mamady Souare, Country Manager CAR and Jerome Berndt, Principal Fragility and Resilience Officer for the African Development Bank and Patrick Youssef, ICRC Regional Director for Africa, Fidy Rajaonson, Manager and Jean Francois Yao, Principal Advisor for Institutional Partnership at ICRC.
Distributed by APO Group