State House, Banjul, 14 th August 2023: President Adama Barrow, on Monday morning, received the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr Jagan Chapagain, at the State House in Banjul.
During discussions with the IFRC boss, the Gambian leader encouraged partnership, building confidence, creating jobs and enlightening the people to address international migration. He said it was time to think outside the box in addressing the current significant issues, including migration, climate change and security concerns.
The President expressed concern about the many young lives being lost to illegal routes in search of greener pastures. He asserted, “If we are determined, we can make it in the country.”
He added his voice to the concerns regarding climate change, saying, “Also, climate change is real, and we need resilient programmes to mitigate its negative impact on our lives.”
President Barrow expressed delight in the partnership between his government and the Gambia Red Cross Society and its critical role in the country, which earned it a good name and respect. He concluded by reiterating his call for peace and stability.
Briefing the President on the purpose of his visit, Nepalese-born IFRC Secretary General complimented the national Red Cross group for the transformation during his second visit to The Gambia. He observed the Society’s use of funds and the quality of its reporting processes, defining the system and policy for financial sustainability and mobilisation.
SG Chapagain identified five critical areas of the Red Cross Society’s interventions across over one hundred projects, responding to crisis, supporting communities to build resilience, migration, climate change, gender and inclusive programming.
He said Migration is politically sensitive and divisive. Still, GRCS provides migrants with psycho-social support, considering the many young lives that disappear or die in the cause of such deadly journeys. He added, “Thus the need to understand the root causes of migration, rather than addressing the symptoms only,”
The IFRC is working to provide access to fundamental human rights by working with partners for returnees. He also hailed the positive partnership the GRCS enjoys with the Gambia Government.
The President, Fabakry Kalleh, the National Secretary General, Alasan Senghore, the Regional Head in Dakar, Alexandre Claudon and other members of the GRCS accompanied Mr Chapagain to State House.