The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has entered into a collaboration with the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) on humanitarian assistance training.
The programme involves joint research activities and the development and implementation of a new training on humanitarian assistance at the KAIPTC, funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, Ms Rita Glavitza, ASPR Programme Coordinator, said the training programme formed an integral part of a joint project developed in 2012 in cooperation with the ADA, the Austria Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports, and the ASPR under the framework of a whole-of-government approach.
She said this whole-of-government approach aims at the development of a coordinated, coherent and complementary strategy of state institutions and non-governmental actors in the fields of security and development.
The Programme Coordinator said the overarching objective of the cooperation is to promote sustainable development in the ECOWAS region by fostering peace and human security.
She said this particular course would contribute to several strategic objectives of the Plan of Action of the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy 2012-2017, through building capacities; increasing awareness and knowledge; and meeting training needs in support of effective humanitarian assistance.
It was designed for a comprehensive target group – civilian, police and military; with the current batch of 26 participants drawn from the sub-region, made of 15 civilians, three police and eight military officers.
Ms Glavitza said this goal supports the achievement of several international and regional frameworks and objectives such as the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Africa Peace and Security Architecture, the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework, as well as the ADA’s objective of sustainable development for peace and security.
She said all project activities would support capacity-building in West Africa to foster local ownership of development initiatives in the field of peace and security in the sub-region.
Mr Gavivina Yao Tamakloe, the Chief Disaster Control Officer – Relief and Reconstruction, National Disaster Management Organisation, said as part of efforts to get relief items quickly to disaster victims, the Organisation had established new storage depots in the Volta, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and West Regions.
He assured the public that relief items were for free distribution to disaster victims which was done without political colouration.
A participant, Ms Zara Goni, Human Resource Development Expert, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said that the course was in line with the new mandate of the Commission, which involve peacebuilding; that this was what motivated her to take part it.
The programme is designed specifically for the West Africa sub-region and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports is supporting the project with the deployment of a Course Director at the KAIPTC.
The programme seeks to improve effectiveness of humanitarian assistance by providing participants with thorough knowledge and skills in the humanitarian sector. It also seeks to enhance interaction and mutual understanding and cooperation between civilians, police and the military actors involved in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the West Africa sub-region.