FACT SHEET THE ETHIOPIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY
What is its history? The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) was founded in 1935 and recognized by the ICRC the same year; it joined the International Federation in 1950. Revised statutes entered into force in 1999. Changes to the statutes have led to a revision of the electoral procedure and the composition of governing bodies at all levels. The revised statutes form the framework for a comprehensive change process that the society is currently undergoing with a strengthened role for members and volunteers, representing the communities. The 12 th ERCS general assembly was held on 13-14 May 2004. Elections of members of the national executive committee took place at this same time. The mission of the ERCS is to prevent and alleviate human suffering and to contribute to the well-being of mankind and prevalence of peace, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions and the Fundamental Principles of the Movement. This mission statement was adopted in 1999 and has been disseminated to its members and branches. The auxiliary status of the Red Cross is well understood by the government. The society enjoys a relatively high profile and countrywide recognition among the general population. It has frequent press coverage for its various activities and the Red Cross symbol is widely known and respected. The ERCS and the Federation have been implementing major relief operations since 2002 in response to worsening food situation related to drought. ERCS has developed a five-year strategic development plan (2001-2005) which guides all activities. With support from partner national societies, the ICRC and the Federation, the national society development programmes are carried out through out the country and encompass areas such as water and sanitation (WatSan), community-based first aid (CBFA), HIV/AIDS and disaster preparedness. Ambulance service, blood donor recruitment and the essential drugs programmes also provide essential services to the population. The national society also carries out a tracing programme in conjunction with the ICRC which provides tracing and reunification of family members separated by disaster or conflict.
What is its mission?
What does it do?
How is it structured?
There are 11 regional branches, 23 zonal branches and 41 woreda branches and a network of about 1,500 local committees throughout the country. The size and capacity of the branches vary widely from one or two staff to large branches with several staff and a large number of youth volunteers. All regions have at least one branch. Three regional offices have opened recently as part of the National Society change process. Governance and staff roles are clearly defined in the charter of the ERCS. The national executive committee generally meets on a monthly basis, but extraordinary meetings can be convened to deal with urgent matters. Branch executive committees also meet monthly. For those who facilitate grass-roots development (staff and volunteers), various courses and workshops related to the society’s change process have been conducted. The ERCS employs more than 300 staff at headquarters. By 2002 the society had 725,827 fee-paying adult members and about 90,000 youth volunteers. Youth volunteers (aged 16-30) provide useful services in the various programmes of the society such as first aid, ambulance, blood transfusion and relief. They are provided with a nominal fee to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The ERCS has a status independent of the government’s NGO coordinating entity, the commission for disaster prevention and preparedness. The relationship with the local government, especially the relevant ministries, regions and municipalities is maintained. The ERCS signed an agreement with the International Federation in 1996, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 1997 with several participating National Societies, the ICRC and the International Federation. The ERCS also has a MoU with the ICRC for tracing, dissemination and health (first aid), and as a partner to the CDP. The ERCS has formal contracts/MoU with the Danish Red Cross (essential drug programme, primary health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and as a partner to the CDP); Swedish Red Cross (integrated urban development programme, branch partnership, and as a partner to the CDP); German Red Cross (integrated rural development programme and branch partnership); Korean National Red Cross (integrated rural development programme); British Red Cross (branch partnership and as a partner to the CDP); Belgian Red Cross (integrated rural development programme); and the Netherlands Red Cross (branch partnership).
How many volunteers and staff?
Who are its partners?
PAC06/FACTNS12E Original: English July 2004-07-29