For Immediate Release
July 02, 2007


“New Partnership for African Red Cross Red Crescent Societies” Dedicated to Improving Efficiency and Self-sustainability of Local Relief Agencies

SAN FRANCISCO - Lynn Fritz, founder of Fritz Institute, a leading force in improving the delivery and effectiveness of humanitarian aid worldwide, announced today that Kebour Ghenna has been appointed executive director of the New Partnership for African Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (NEPARC).  NEPARC, the first African-driven consortium to address Africa’s humanitarian challenges, works with Fritz Institute to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in African countries.

"We are very pleased to announce Kebour Ghenna’s appointment to the position of executive director of NEPARC,” said Lynn Fritz.  “He is well-known and highly respected within the international and local humanitarian and business communities, and his extensive experience with non-profit organizations, the private sector and economic development make him the ideal choice for the job.”

“We need 21st century solutions to solve 21st century problems,” said Ghenna.  “I am very proud to serve the members of NEPARC in our ongoing efforts to take charge of our destiny.  Our goal is to improve the governance, financial sustainability and program impact of our members, based on world-class standards, so that we can better serve the most vulnerable people, and to do so in a sustainable manner.”

Historically, African Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been largely dependent on international financial and technical aid, struggling to fund their core costs and set their own agendas, preventing them from building their own long-term capacity and leveraging their own contextual knowledge.  At NEPARC’s invitation and in collaboration with members and private and academic partners, Fritz Institute developed a Standard of Humanitarian Excellence, providing a set of tools that enable objective third-party certification of an organization’s adherence to international standards in the areas of (a) governance, accountability and transparency, (b) program effectiveness, and (c) organizational financial sustainability.

The goal of the program is to improve the credibility and viability of the NEPARC organizations, enabling them to establish stronger relationships with their partners and be better able to respond effectively to humanitarian crises.  To date, national Red Cross Red Crescent Societies in 19 African countries have joined NEPARC and 15 have participated in the audits.

“The biggest crises facing Africa right now are HIV/AIDS, food security and overall health,” said Ghenna.  “We need to leverage the Fritz Standard to demonstrate the competence of our members and attract resources, both locally and internationally, that can strengthen our NEPARC members, specifically in the areas of human resources development and financial support.  Fritz Institute has been invaluable in assisting such a large organization trying to ease the suffering of an enormous population by introducing standards of excellence leading to more effective operations.”

Born in Ethiopia, Ghenna received his Master of Science degree in Policy Analysis and Quantitative Methods from State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1981.  Prior to accepting his post at NEPARC, Ghenna served as the executive director of Initiative Africa, a grant-making organization that works within the international philanthropic community to increase financial support and resources to groups committed to economic and social justice.  He also worked with 20 African countries on behalf of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.  In addition, Ghenna has served as president of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and the Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce.  Since 2000 Ghenna has served as vice-president of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and he is currently president of the Ethiopian Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS. 

About Fritz Institute

Fritz Institute is a non-profit organization working to enable preparedness and effectiveness in humanitarian relief through the creation and deployment of appropriate processes, systems, and standards so that more lives can be saved and suffering mitigated when disasters strike.  Fritz Institute was founded in 2001 by Mr. Lynn Fritz, a social entrepreneur and philanthropist, who recognized that effective front-line humanitarian operations must be supported by strong back-room capabilities: effective operational processes, appropriate uses of enabling technologies, well-trained logistics personnel, objective performance metrics, and institutionalized learning across the humanitarian sector.  Mr. Fritz is the former chairman and CEO of Fritz Companies, a Fortune 1000 global logistics corporation with offices in 120 countries.

Fritz Institute brings the efficiencies of private-sector operations to international disaster relief efforts with a wide range of programs.  These include:  Certification in Humanitarian Logistics, a ground-breaking training and certification program that establishes a set of professional standards for an international force of largely unaffiliated relief workers and creates a community of logisticians working from common protocols; HELIOS supply chain management platform, the only software of its kind built by and in partnership with humanitarian organizations to manage the complex demands of immediate relief as well as long-term reconstruction operations; Capacity Networks Initiative to establish regional standards of excellence for local aid organizations; the New Partnership of African Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (NEPARC), a partnership of 19 Africa-based relief organizations to systematically build capacity for excellence in disaster relief delivery; the Humanitarian Logistics Association, an international gathering that provides an unprecedented opportunity for international relief organizations to share common problems and explore solutions; and the Bay Area Preparedness Initiative, which has brought together local government, community, corporate, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders in a unique collaborative and ambitious effort to improve the capability of the San Francisco Bay Area to prepare and respond to a large-scale disaster.


Media contact:  Casey Shaughnessy or Jill Markey at Glodow Nead Communications,

(415) 394-6500 or

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