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Djibouti, January 21, 2014: The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, and the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Mr. Jan Egeland this morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Secretariat of IGAD in the presence of the Nairobi-based Regional Director of the NRC, Mr. Hassan Khaire.

“The objective of this MoU is to establish a framework for closer cooperation between the Parties on issues related to displacement, protection, and building resilience to disasters”, states the MoU in substance.

On the basis of this MoU, the Parties agree to work on key issues of mutual interest such as collaborating on implementation of programmes in the IGAD member states to build resilience and the impacts of climate change to disasters, working together on the issue of displacement and durable solutions in the region in line with the IGAD Migration Framework; identifying opportunities for capacity building of the member states on the above two issues; undertaking joint efforts for resource mobilization to support implementation of the above.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Mahboub Maalim highlighted that IGAD and NRC have been working together on drought resilience and more over the last year. “For some time now, our region is affected by climate change. In order for us to mitigate negative effects of climate change here, 15 years of uninterrupted drought resilience related programming are needed, and along with NRC, we came up with a five-year concept paper aimed at bringing us together for the benefit of the region”, he added.

The Secretary General of NRC said that he was happy his Organization signed this MoU with IGAD as the two institutions are complementary. “IGAD is the foremost regional organization working towards empowering the people of this region of Africa with mandate from Member States. And at the NRC, we work for the vulnerable people”, he explained.

Mr. Jan Egeland reminded the participant to the ceremony his thirty years of experience in humanitarian work that make him want “to make communities self-sufficient through sustainable development projects”.

Both parties stressed that the MoU signed today will be implemented immediately following an implementation mechanism detailed in the document: relevant information sharing will be institutionalized, an annual meeting will be held for the attainment of the objectives of this MoU.

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