ECOWAS has called for synergy with the United Nations and the Red Cross in the
area of humanitarian interventions in West Africa in other to maximize results.
The Director of Human affairs of the Community, Dr. Daniel Eklu said that
while ECOWAS has been active in the implementation of its humanitarian policy
to overcome the challenges in this area, other actors such as the UN and the
Red Cross were also engaged in disparate efforts in this direction
The director who was speaking on 27th September 2013 at the end of a five-day
joint Capacity building exercise programme for staff of ECOWAS and the United
Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said such
synergy will also ensure the efficient management of resources and capacities.
Similarly, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Social Affairs and National Solidarity,
Dr.Alain R.D Zoubga who was represented by the Secretary General of the
ministry, Mr. Adjima Gbangou reiterated the importance of collaboration between
countries and the region in disaster management.
The five-day training programme on Multi cluster/sectoral Rapid Assessment
(MIRA) and international response, which ended on 27th of September 2013 in
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, saw forty-five members of the ECOWAS Emergency
Response Team (EERT) equipped with skills to improve the ability of member
states in responding to emergencies in the event of a sudden on-set Disaster.
MIRA, is a process designed to identify the strategic humanitarian priorities
during the first few weeks of an emergency based on five broad stages;
initiating the MIRA, undertaking secondary data analysis, undertaking the
community level assessment, conducting the final inter-sectoral analysis and
determining strategic human priorities as well as preparing and disseminating
‘We are convinced that this exercise will contribute to the way disasters are
managed by our countries’, he said of the training which was intended to equip
participants with skills for improving their response to disasters.
The Preliminary Scenario Definition, known as the PSD is issued between 24 and
72 hours following the disaster while the report should be release two weeks
The participants, upon acquiring these coordination skills, are better equipped
to liaise with their governments and could even be deployed by the United
Nations Disaster Assessment and coordination system (UNDAC) in the event of a
They were also acquainted with international and regional response mechanisms
such as UNDAC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
societies (IFRC), On-Site Operation Coordination Centre (OSOCC), the Sphere
project, the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the ECOWAS humanitarian policy.