A new milestone: The Uganda Red Cross Society Bill

Source(s)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The role of Uganda Red Cross Society will be enshrined in law, an important step for an organisation helping people in need in Uganda since 1939.

The Ugandan Parliament passed the Uganda Red Cross Society Bill, on the 11th of March 2021, to legally formalize the auxiliary role of Uganda Red Cross with the Government of Uganda and other public authorities.

The new Act recognizes Uganda Red Cross’ auxiliary role across disaster risk management and humanitarian response in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence, disasters and public health emergencies. It further highlights the Uganda Red Cross Society’s commitment to promoting and disseminating International Humanitarian Law, Disaster Law and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Robert Kwesiga, Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society says the new Act is a significant step for Red Cross to better reach and help vulnerable communities.

“This is a big milestone for the National Society. With strengthened capacities, we pledge our commitment to finding sustainable solutions to mitigating the impacts of multiple disasters in the country’’.

The legislative strengthening of the role of Uganda Red Cross reinforces the foundation of its mandate, allowing the organisation to operate more effectively and efficiently. This legal foundation is critical in a country like Uganda, which in the past has been affected by natural and man-made disasters as well as public health emergencies.

Counsel Alex Luganda, National Society Legal Advisor, commented on Parliament passing of the New Red Cross Act: “A National Society that operates without a compliant and supporting National Legal base is akin to a ship sailing on the ocean waters minus a campus. Such is the importance of the milestone that the Uganda Red Cross has achieved in obtaining a revised National Red Cross legislation that speaks to the times we are in.”

As the Bill awaits Presidential assent, Uganda Red Cross and the Government continue to work together on the development of the Disaster Risk Management Bill, which will further help to strengthen and regulate disaster risk management activities across the country.

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