The African continent has experienced all types of humanitarian crises, both natural and manmade. Floods, famine, health epidemic, earthquake, volcanic eruptions, wars of liberation and civil wars have devastated the continent, resulting in loss of life, refugees, internally displaced persons - not to mention poverty damage and loss.

African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies (ANS) have been on the front line of the response to these crises. Over the past decades, ANS have undergone a tremendous transformation, from community-based organizations run by volunteers to organizations managed by professionals. Much of this has been facilitated and supported by the IFRC and other members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.

Today, while the majority of ANS have very good track records of responding to disasters, they are, unfortunately, largely dependent on international financial and technical aid. In Africa today, not a single Red Cross Red Crescent Society has the resources to pay for its core costs or, for that matter, its program costs. This has been of great concern to the ANS leaders.

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