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Ethiopian Red Cross Fundraising For Half Billion Birr Headquarters

Published on: Sun, 2014-01-12 00:00

The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) is looking to raise 27 million Br in a year’s time for the construction of its new multipurpose headquarters, through the “One Birr for Humanity” fundraising project, Fortune reported.

The 16-storey building is expected to cost 500 million Birr, but so far the ERCS has only managed to raise 22.8 millionBr.These fundswere acquired through an SMS lottery game, launched in 2013.

The building will rest on a 4,936sqm plot of land next to the Addis Abeba Spa Services Enterprise along Yohannes St – nearZewdituHospital. The plot was granted to the ERCS for free by the Addis Abeba City Administration, in 1997.

DMC Construction has been awarded the first phase of construction (structural framework and concrete work) for 187 millionBr.

With the reduction in funds from foreign and local charities because of the increasing number of people, who seek assistance, the Society turned to community-based fundraising options, such as the SMS game it already had.

“We are also looking for government support to secure the remaining funds,” Dr Ahmed Reja, president of the ERCS, said during the launch of the fundraising project at the Hilton Addis, on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

The building, when completed, is expected to generate income from rent for the ERCS. Generating income will decrease the organisation’s dependence on foreign aid, which has been declining recently, and increase its capacity to do its humanitarian work, said Dr Ahmed.

“Anyone interested in the project can support this fundraising in kind, financially and even in knowledge sharing, as well as labour,” Ahmed said.

When established on July 8, 1935 in Addis Abeba in the aftermath of the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-41), the ERCS was pioneered by the Russian Red Cross Medical Team. It aims to work on food security, disaster preparedness, community health, first aid, ambulance services, blood banks and an essential drugs program. It has several projects, including environmental protection and poverty reduction, as well as helping returned refugees, says Frehiwot Worku, the Society’s Secretary General.

The revised charter of the ERCS allows it to collect money from different sources. This includes the proceeds of various income generating programmes they run.

The ERCS is currently based in a building adjacent toGhandiMemorialHospitalalongRas Desta Damtew Street, which it has owned for the last 40 years.

Source: Fortune

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