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NATIONAL SOCIETY PROFILE
The Nigerian Red Cross Society is the largest national humanitarian organization in Nigeria. It has an extensive network of 800,000 volunteers who work with people who need humanitarian assistance, along with relevant public authorities, across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The National Society is a first responder during disasters and social emergencies, and also supports long-term development through its work in public health, and community and youth development.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society is mandated to act as a leading organization in national preparedness and in the humanitarian response to circumstances including armed conflict and violent situations, natural hazards, man-made disasters, and other emergencies in the country. It is further mandated to manage an effective national network that restores family links between people separated as a consequence of natural hazards or man-made disasters, or by other situations that have led to displacement and a need for humanitarian response.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society areas of work include livelihoods, shelter, climate change, migration, restoring family links, cash transfer programming, disaster risk reduction and community first aid. These activities sit alongside the National Society’s long-term health work, resulting in a holistic approach that provides an effective humanitarian response in all situations. It aims to strengthen its preparedness capacity at headquarters and branch level to ensure timely planning, effective coordination and response to emergencies The National Society played a key role supporting the public authorities in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaborating with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), its national health team provided guidance to branch secretaries and health focal points, on risk communication, demand creation and community mobilization for COVID-19 vaccination.
During the outbreak, the Nigerian Red Cross Society also trained 165 volunteers and local staff in COVID-19 risk communication and community engagement, across 25 branches. Working closely with the NPHCDA and the Ministry of Health, it produced and displayed key messaging about the COVID-19 vaccine using posters in strategic locations such as palaces, residences of traditional and religious leaders, market places and health facilities. It translated these posters into local languages and used images to help people easily understand them. Key messages focused on symptoms, the importance of being vaccinated, ways to reduce transmission, and how and where to get vaccinated. As a result, 165,000 people received vaccinations and 255,000 are now willing to take up the vaccine. Messages around risk communication, community engagement, health and hygiene promotion reached 12 million people. The Nigerian Red Cross Society has also reached more than 21,000 people with cash and voucher assistance since the pandemic began.
In line with the IFRC Strategy 2030, the Nigerian Red Cross Society Strategic Plan 2021–2025 focuses on improving the National Society’s capacity to save lives, provide humanitarian services to people affected by crises, implement health and social development programmes, and promote humanitarian values throughout the country. It has identified strategic aims which focus on disaster risk management (including climate change and migration), health and care, communications and humanitarian values, and organizational development. Priorities in organizational development are the following:
National Society development: Strengthen institutional structures and systems and the capacity to deliver timely, relevant, quality and sustainable humanitarian services to vulnerable people
Resource mobilization and management: Establish a sustainable source of un-earmarked financing to support the National Society’s core costs and some programmes, and to enable the Nigerian Red Cross Society to contribute effectively to other National Societies in Africa
Gender and youth volunteer development: Strengthen engagement and retention of youth and gender volunteers for sustainable humanitarian services
Financial development: Work towards financial sustainability through the efficient management of financial resources
Digital transformation: Strengthen the National Society’s programme and systems development, and delivery and decision-making, through digital transformation
Programme monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning: Strengthen effective and efficient project cycle management to generate quality results and evidence-based information from programmes and projects
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