Red Cross abandons charity consortium
16 November 2005, BRUSSELS — The Belgian Red Cross is to withdraw from the Belgian emergency aid consortium set up by five charities 25 years ago.
16 November 2005
BRUSSELS — The Belgian Red Cross is to withdraw from the Belgian emergency aid consortium set up by five charities 25 years ago.
Red Cross said the consortium — which is known as 1212 and helped co-ordinate Belgium's Indian Ocean tsunami disaster relief — had become "too unwieldy".
The consortium currently comprises of Caritas, Oxfam, Unicef, Handicap International and the Red Cross.
The four remaining charities will continue the co-operative relationship after Red Cross leaves on 1 January 2006, newspaper 'Het Gazet van Antwerpen' reported on Wednesday.
Red Cross spokesman Axel vande Veegaete said the charity will exit the consortium because it is too difficult to reach decisions with five organisations.
The director of the Red Cross international affairs department also said the co-operative relationship was good for large actions, but that it was "too unwieldy" for small-scale relief efforts.
Sources have indicated the decision not to organise a benefit for the victims of the recent earthquake disaster in Pakistan and India was the prime reason for Red Cross' departure.
"That was indeed a good example of how every organisation puts other goals first. Some regions are clearly more important than others," Vande Veegaete said.
The consortium (www.1212.be) reacted with surprise to the decision because the "tsunami action was such a success".
"It weakens our position in negotiations with companies and the media," spokesperson Philippe Henon said.
"We will need to consider in the coming weeks a rearrangement of tasks, but it is clear that the four remaining organisations will have more work. The costs will also increase."
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news