For Immediate Release
November 11, 2004

Top International Red Cross Leader Tapped to Direct in Nairobi

SAN FRANCISCO and NAIROBI - Fritz Institute announced its Africa Initiative, which establishes a network of major African Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to strengthen the capacity of Africa-based humanitarian organizations addressing the never-ending cycle of humanitarian crises throughout the continent. Abbas Gullet, former deputy secretary general of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been appointed to lead this important Africa Initiative, called New Partnership for Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies (NEPARC). "By assessing the operations and identifying new models and resources, we are looking to exponentially grow local resources and their effectiveness for a long-term impact on the massive need," said Abbas Gullet, director of Fritz Institute's Africa Initiative. "This is the first partnership of this kind in Africa that establishes a coalition of humanitarian organizations dedicated to self-sufficiency through developing new partnerships, operations and tools to collectively change our community."

Europe's developed national societies of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have a network that meets regularly for collaboration, as do the Nordic countries. NEPARC addresses the unique needs of African aid and is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the Federation's presence and contributions on this continent. "All along we have been very dependent on sister Societies from developed countries and I think we've reached a stage where we as national societies in Africa, must own our own development and become stronger and less dependent on outsiders," said Tom Buruku, chairman of the Uganda Red Cross, who serves as NEPARC's inaugural chair.

"Fritz Institute is bringing its operational and private sector expertise to facilitate NEPARC and advance a shared agenda of effective local relief," according to Anisya Thomas, Ph.D., managing director of Fritz Institute. "We see this as a critical forum to bring appropriate technologies, new partnerships with mutli-national corporations to develop solutions to operating challenges, and develop new processes and governance structures to empower African humanitarian community to plan for longer-term actions that address the need for expanding local services." Creation of this network was a result of the summit Fritz Institute held in Johannesburg this August. NEPARC will be expanded during the course of the year to include many other humanitarian organizations throughout Africa.

NEPARC aims to build the capacities of country and regional-based organizations in four areas: 1) conducting private sector assessments of the operational capabilities of all participating Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; 2) identifying technology and private sector support to adapt it to unique needs of the disaster theatre; 3) building fundraising capability and clout of these African humanitarian organizations to attract major increases in donations to meet the continent's growing challenges; and 4) establishing new corporate partnerships with multi-national companies doing business in Africa to bring new expertise and resources from those with a vested interested in the economic, human and infrastructure needs of the region.

Participating organizations include Red Cross and Red Crescents from: Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda., Zambia and Zimbabwe.

About Fritz Institute
Fritz Institute addresses complex challenges in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people around the world by collaborating with the private and academic sectors to mobilize expertise, technology and resources. For additional information visit

BIO- Abbas Gullet

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