Following the ongoing drought and humanitarian crisis being faced in the Horn of Africa region, the Seychelles government has joined forces with civil society to show solidarity and raise money for the relief effort in the Horn of Africa.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Red Cross Society Seychelles (RCSS) launched a joint public appeal to the media earlier yesterday asking for public support and generosity to assist in the areas most affected, namely: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi.
“The International Red Cross Federation has assessed the humanitarian situation and has asked all civil society to assist in mobilizing support for this crisis,” said RCSS Vice President Mr. Ronny Renaud.
The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, said that the government was proud to associate themselves with an organization like the Red Cross that has the experience and proven track record necessary to maximize the impact of the funds raised in Seychelles.
The Minister also added that the people of Seychelles have shown solidarity with people in dire need before, as was the case with the Haiti appeal following the devastating earthquake of 2010, and he hopes that the Seychellois people will show the same support for its regional neighbors.
“This crisis is the most grave we have seen in a generation, and it has a real international impact,” said the Minister, “This region is one of instability and, as we no longer live in a closed-off insular world, we must play our part.”
Well-known personality, Captain Francis Rouccou, also joined in the public appeal saying that he was happy to lend his voice and help sensitize people about the crisis and help disassociate the negativity associated with Somalia and the pirates that operate in the region.
Capt. Rouccou, who was previously held hostage by pirates in Somalia for several months, said that it is important to help those in need in the region and that he hopes the illegal actions of a few do not deter public support.
The RCSS Vice President and Minister welcomed all fundraising activities from the public but stressed that, due to the cost of shipping and associated packaging of food and clothes donations, money would be the fastest and most effective way to get 100% of the donations to the people who need it most.
Mr. Renaud said that special accounts had been set up for the appeal that will last for a month, after which a public audit will be held to ensure maximum transparency. Mr. Renaud also asked the public to ask all Red Cross volunteers collecting donations for the certified letter and photographic identification they should all be carrying.