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QFFD, QRCS sign pact to back Sudan’s health sector
As part of Qatar’s response to flash floods Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) have signed a grant agreement to strengthen the health emergency preparedness system in Sudan. At Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health (MOH), the agreement was signed by H.E. Abdul-Rahman bin Ali Al-Kubaisi, Ambassador of Qatar to Sudan, for QFFD, and Ali bin Hassan Al-Hammadi, Secretary-General of QRCS. The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Osama Abdul-Rahim, Sudan’s Health Minister-Designate. The agreement is aimed at supporting the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health and State Health Offices in White Nile and Sennar, by upgrading the health emergency system to be able to work more effectively. To that end, several activities will be implemented, including (1) building the capacity of staff and volunteers, (2) increasing the number of isolation centers, (3) improving health-related performance, and (4) establishing a public health lab for the two states. Recently, Sudan has been subject to unprecedented flash floods, a humanitarian crisis that caused the government to declare a countrywide state of emergency, amid growing numbers of casualties and inability of hospitals to cope, especially in Sennar and White Nile, two of the worst-hit states. This intervention would help to reduce the spread of water-borne diseases, such as acute water diarrhea and cholera, resulting from the monsoon rains and subsequent flooding. The central medical lab of Sennar will be supported, to ensure more efficient and timely diagnosis of epidemic diseases. It will also step up preparedness and response to potential health emergencies, which would translate into better health services for over 2 million Sudanese people. In his speech, Mr. Al-Kubaisi said, “This agreement builds on the outstanding relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Sudan, as well as the historical bonds between the two peoples. It responds to the declaration of a state of humanitarian emergency by the government of Sudan”. He emphasized the successive instances of support from Qatar to Sudan, the latest of which was the relief aid granted upon the directions of H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, to address the impact of flash floods in many parts of the country. Mr. Al-Hammadi stated, “I have been here in Sudan with a delegation from QRCS to deliver Coronavirus control aid to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS). Then, the flash floods occurred, and we immediately launched a campaign to help those affected”. “We work closely with SRCS as a strategic partner,” said Mr. Al-Hammadi. “We wish to be successful in our humanitarian mission to serve the valued people of Sudan”. Dr. Abdul-Rahim described the partnership with QFFD and QRCS as “fruitful”, as it supported a significant part of the health system, which is the emergency preparedness and response, through infrastructure rehabilitation and emergency personnel capacity-building. “I would like to thank the government and people of Qatar, H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, QRCS, and QFFD for their unlimited support to the people of Sudan,” he added. “A lot of work was done behind the scenes so that this agreement would become a reality. I wish this partnership would be a keystone for further partnerships in the future”.