Thirty-two security officials and civilians from 15 countries began training on humanitarian aid yesterday at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Center (KAIPTC) in Accra.
The two-week course entitled “Humanitarian Assistance and Women, Peace and Security in West Africa Basic Course”, aims to build capacity for effective humanitarian assistance in the sub-region.
Participants are military, police, fire and humanitarian professionals from Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Gambia, Liberia, Austria , United States, Burkina Faso, Benin and Gabon.
They would follow modules including humanitarian operations in a context of fragility and conflict; the use of an armed escort; negotiation of humanitarian access and conflict sensitivity; community engagement and coordination measures between civilian, police and military actors.
This is the tenth group of trainees for the course organized in partnership with the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence.
KAIPTC Deputy Commander Air Commodore George Arko-Dadzie said that over the past eight years, the Center has sought to foster positive development in the sub-region through training.
He said the course provided an opportunity to discuss some of the obstacles to peace and development that West Africa faces and explore ways and opportunities to address and address the challenges.
He said more than 130 million people in the region live in extreme poverty, with the population vulnerable to the effects of widespread food insecurity, recurring natural disasters, climate change, global economic crisis, socio-political instability and a pandemic like COVID-19. .
Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie said the humanitarian consequences of natural and man-made disasters are diverse, including large population movements, destruction of property and key socio-economic infrastructure.
He said that epidemics, worsening food insecurity and weakening of the already fragile coping capacities of states and communities were also the result of disasters.
Through capacity building and awareness raising, he said, the course would contribute to several strategic objectives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and global action plans.
Air Commodore Arko-Dadzie said these included the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy and Action Plan, the ECOWAS Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and Action Plan and the 2020-2030 Action Plan and the EU Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
“In emergency situations, civilian, police and military actors find themselves working side by side and therefore for effective disaster relief and assistance, the need for coordinated action is indispensable,” he said. declared.
A representative of the Austrian Defense Ministry, Brigadier General Professor Alois Hirschmugl, said that in March last year, 247 participants from civil society organisations, non-governmental and security organizations had been trained in class or training for trainers.
He was optimistic that the course would continue to increase the knowledge and skills of its participants, providing comprehensive approaches to planning, coordination and implementation in the field of humanitarian assistance and enabling responders to be well prepared.