The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) will be more self-sustaining
and efficient in response following the introduction of the Uganda Red Cross
Society Bill 2019.
The proposal seeks to revise the Uganda Red Cross Act of Parliament (Cap
57, 1964) to align it with the evolving humanitarian mandates of Red Cross.
The bill was on Wednesday tabled for first reading in Parliament by the
Makindye Municipality MP, Emmanuel Kigozi Ssempala. The objective of the bill
is to among other things provide for the continued existence and relevance of
the Society and for its management and operationalization.
The proposal seeks to ensure independence of the Red Cross Society but
also enable it to invest and generate resources for response as well as to
Kigozi says that at the time in of establishing the society in the 1960s,
it was not necessary for the society to engage in developmental activities or
to generate extra income since the scope of work was by then limited.
He says this will be like the Kenyan Red Cross Society which currently
has investments like hotels and training institutions that currently fund the
humanitarian work. Kigozi says that the society is faced with numerous
challenges arising from disasters that require much money.
He adds that a review will go further in augmenting the Society's new
tasks like sporadic response, developing new response capacities including
introduction of incident command systems to manage scenes of disasters for a
coordinated response among others.
He says the disasters that the Red Cross Society is addressing today have
transcended in dimension and occurrence, including climate change disasters,
disasters relating to technological advancement, water and road accidents among
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Kigozi also says the Population of Uganda was smaller than when the
society was set up compared to the current number of 42 million people.
The Uganda Red Cross Society was established by an Act of Parliament in
1964 vide the Red Cross Act Cap 57 with a mandate generally to mitigate
suffering throughout the world without any distinction based on sex, race,
nationality, religion or faith and political opinions.