The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba has said, that President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction agenda will play an essential role in enabling the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society to serve the most vulnerable people within the country.
Dr. Alie Kabba made this disclosure during a courtesy call on him at the weekend by a delegation from the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society led by the Independent Interim Manager, Mabel Theresa Koketso, at the Ministry’s Tower Hill office, Freetown.
Mabel Theresa Koketso told the Minister that the purpose of their visit was to broaden and deepen the existing bilateral cooperation between the government of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and to update him on the present state of affairs of the society and to further request the government to assist its National Society in its role as an auxiliary in humanitarian matters in the country. She highlighted some of the significant contributions the Red Cross has made since its establishment in the country including efforts to end the civil war, assistance to victims of the Ebola scourge, the floods and mudslide disasters. Madam Theresa Koketso also highlighted some of the key challenges the society is facing especially in the area of government subvention to the society in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the effect of Executive Order 1, regards duty free waivers.
Welcoming the Independent Interim Manager and team to the Ministry, Dr. Alie Kabba on behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society for providing humanitarian assistance over the years to the people who are vulnerable in the country especially in situations of disaster, crisis and conflict.
The New Direction agenda, Dr. Kabba stated, recognises the importance of strengthening organizational, coordination and delivery capacities of our National Societies, to respond to the increasing number and complexity of disasters and the growing number of vulnerable people. This calls for greater collective learning, adaptation, innovation and leadership to ensure that the national so
ciety achieves its greater humanitarian impact, he added.
The Foreign Minister underscored that, while it is essential that our national Red Cross Society should be exempt from taxation, it is also important to note that tax relief incentives for individual or corporate donors are also important for income generation.
‘I will continue to engage colleague Ministers on the issue of subvention and tax waivers’, Dr. Kabba Concluded.
Present were: the Director of Multilateral and International Division, Franklyn Fawundu; the National President of SLRC, Rev. Christian Fayia; the Secretary General of the SLRC, Mr. Gbawuru Sandi; and the Communications Director of the SLRC, Mr. Abubakarr Tarawally.