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Government to Retable Red Cross Bill – Speaker Among

The Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among has pledged to reintroduce the Uganda Red Cross amendment bill of 2021, during her address at the Uganda Red Cross Society’s (URCS) National Council meeting held at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Saturday, February 24th, 2024.

During her keynote address, Speaker Among, representing the Government, commended URCS for its unwavering efforts in providing sustainable humanitarian assistance and pledged to ensure the passage of the Uganda Red Cross Society Bill.

This bill, originally passed by the 10th Parliament in March 2021 but not assented to by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, aims to legally formalize URCS’s auxiliary role with the government and other public authorities.

In her speech read by Soroti East lawmaker Herbert Ariko, she emphasized that passing the Red Cross Bill and assenting it into law will strengthen the work of the Uganda Red Cross Society.

“I will use my office to ensure that it is passed by the current Parliament,” stated Speaker Among, as she emphasized the importance of strengthening URCS’s capacity, especially in disaster-prone regions like Uganda.

The Speaker also committed to increasing budgetary support for URCS, acknowledging the organization’s vital role during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Ebola outbreaks.

The bill, among others, seeks to legally formalize the auxiliary role of the Uganda Red Cross with the government of Uganda and other public authorities. It recognizes the Uganda Red Cross’s auxiliary role across disaster risk preparedness, response, and humanitarian assistance in situations of armed conflict, other forms of violence, disasters, and public health emergencies.

In response, URCS Secretary General Robert Kwesiga hailed the Speaker’s commitment as a significant step forward for the organization to better reach and assist vulnerable communities.

The annual gathering, chaired by URCS President Bishop Tom Ebraim Okello, brought together delegates from URCS’s 51 branch governing boards and the national youth council to deliberate on various agenda items, with a primary focus on receiving updates regarding the health and well-being of URCS.

The reintroduction of the Uganda Red Cross Society Bill reflects a renewed commitment from the Government to strengthen partnerships with humanitarian organizations and enhance disaster management capabilities, ultimately benefiting communities across Uganda.