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Uganda Red Cross Unveils 5-Year ShsShs235bn Strategic Plan

First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Gen (RTD) Moses Ali (L) is joined by other officials to launch Red Cross’ five-year strategic plan

Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) Thursday morning launched its Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2026. 

Red Cross’ partners converged at the Office of the Prime Minister Conference centre to witness the launch of the grand plan.

According to Robert Kwesigwa, the URCS Secretary General, the goal of the strategic plan is to attain Institutional, Financial and Programmatic Sustainability.

 “ This goal will be achieved through the pursuance of four strategic pillars of; institutional development, membership and branch development, partnership and resource mobilization and program sustainability,” he said.

He added that these focus areas are expected to strengthen governance and management structures for sustained operations; strengthen planning, monitoring and evaluation, learning and grant management; improve operational efficiency; improve financial performance; attract, manage, develop and retain a competent and skilled workforce; enhance membership and volunteer management systems and procedures to improve the delivery services; strengthen branch capacity development; enhance branch governance and management capacities; enhance the capacity of the NS to effectively manage partnerships and grants; improve visibility and public awareness of the NS; strengthen communities’ resilience and wellbeing; improve capacity and resources to respond to health issues and emergencies and to strengthen national society’s capacity to restore family links and protection among others.

 Kwesiga says the total investment required over the 5 years is estimated at Shs235.05 billion.

The money  will be generated from commercial first aid as well as members and estates rentals among other pools, he said.

With the funding intact, URCS will have a robust emergency preparedness and innovative disaster risk management system; build communities that are informed about climate change risks and impact, strengthen branch capacity to mobilize blood and expand public health programming among others.

PARTNERS

Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda in her speech described URCS as a valuable partner in the implementation of its 2021-2025 strategy. On the leadership of the URCS, she said: “URCS is evident that we can achieve systems in Uganda.”

She revealed that it is time to focus on building resilience communities in Uganda in responding to emergencies for a sustainable, inclusive development and prosperity.

“We will work with URCS to strengthen resilient communities,” she said. She asked URCS to consider holding joint retreats to strengthen partnerships with the UN agencies across the country.

Dr. Charles Olaro, who represented the Minister of Health while reading Dr. Jane Aceng’s speech said: “It’s our commitment to support URCS’ commitment to deliver. We pledge our commitment.”

Dr. Olaro acknowledged that through the URCS, the ministry now has 11 ambulances deployed along all Uganda’s highways to evacuate victims of road accidents in case of emergencies.

The Office of the Prime Ministers’ Relief and Disaster Preparedness docket was represented by Moses Kizige (State Minister in charge Karamoja Affairs) who represented Minister Hillary Onek. He noted that URCS’ challenge over the years has been real time and inconsistent funding.

However, as the government, Kizige said, “We commit yourself to achieving this new strategy.”

“Much as the districts have grown, you should grow to match the number of districts,” he said, looking at URCS SG, Kwesiga.

MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Wim Vanhelleputte said the only proven and trusted relief and disaster preparedness partner is URCS. He described URCS as trusted, reliable and consistent adding, MTN Uganda has worked with URCS in the past and therefore pledged continued support.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Gen (RTD) Moses Ali represented the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda as Guest of Honor.

In a speech read verbatim, Ali said the government of Uganda appreciates the work of URCS. As a result, he said, the URCS bill has already been gazetted and only awaits ascending to it by the President. “We are committed to operationalizing provisions for URCS to do its work smoothly. Government  will coordinate with RC to achieve real time emergencies,” he said, calling upon all partners to provide holistic support to URCS. “We reaffirm our support to URCS in fulfilling its mandate,” he concluded.

By Francis Otucu

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