The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Mohammad Jawad Khalifa, and the Lebanese Red Cross president, Mr. Sami Dahdah, opened the Lebanese Red Cross Partnership Meeting in Hotel Monroe- Minet el Hosn. The opening ceremony was also attended by the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, George Comninos, the Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, Ole Johan Hauge, the Lebanese Red Cross vice president, Mr. Walid Kibbi, members of the executive committee, and delegations From: General Secretariat of the Arabic Organization of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Lebanon), the International Committee of the Red Cross (Lebanon), Regional Delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Amman), Delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (Lebanon), Syrian Red Crescent, Kuwaiti Red Crescent, Egyptian Red Crescent, Bahrain Red Crescent, Norwegian Red Cross, Belgian Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Sweden Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Swiss Department Corporation(SDC),CISP (Italy).
The opening was started by speeches from the Head of Public Relations and communication, Mr. Ghaleb Ayoubi, and Sheikh Dahdah, who introduced the Society's activities and services provided to the Lebanese society, impartially and without discrimination, pointing out the role played by the Lebanese Red Cross volunteers during the crises and wars, and stressing on the importance of activating and spreading awareness about the international humanitarian law. Also, He stressed on the importance of partnership in activating the mutual work and exchanging partnerships with friendly associations to appeal for needy responses. "Not only are We longing ,through this meeting, to fund our programs, but also to exchange experiences and cooperation to help the Lebanese Red Cross in finding ways to secure sustainable funding for services and humanitarian activities", Dahdah added.
It was then the minister’s speech in which he pointed out that the ministry of public health adopted the Red Cross as the basis for emergency services, and provided an annual budget of 2.8 billion pounds to support the emergency services, blood banks, and some social services.” we have developed up to 4.4 billion pounds for the same purpose, and coordination is underway with the Lebanese Red Cross”, he added.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted three days, participants were divided into groups where they discussed how to find sources to finance programs and activities and exchanged of experiences and ideas for the same issue. Recommendations were concluded which aimed at creating methods, concepts, and techniques in order to enable the society to continue its humanitarian work. The meeting ended with the speeches from the President of the Lebanese Red Cross, Sheikh Sami El Dahdah, the President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, George Comninos, and Acting Head of Zone Office Martin Faller.
On the third day, participants moved to Jbeil to watch the maneuver of the emergency teams, where about fifty rescuers and ten ambulances paraded their capabilities in cases of disasters and crises.