Wednesday, August 10, 2022

SADC advised to move away from taxing humanitarian aid

SADC member states have been advised to put in place laws that will allow the smooth movement of humanitarian aid in SADC states when such countries experience disaster situations.

The International Federation of Red Cross, Disaster Law Coordinator for Africa, Samme Bosuuij, revealed in an interview that SADC states should have special arrangements in their law to allow the importation of humanitarian goods.

Bosuuij stated that currently there are some regulations that could possibly hinder the importation of humanitarian aid when disaster takes place in SADC countries.

She further noted that currently the SADC states require import duty to be paid up front on any humanitarian goods that are brought in to assist whenever there is a disaster. Bosuuij said that this could hinder the importation of humanitarian aid when there is disaster among these states.

She further stated that they were disasters that came as result of global climate change.

“We anticipate seeing large scale disasters in future, such as flooding due to global climate change. With legal barriers and regulation in place in most of the Southern African countries this could render the humanitarian aid assistance whenever the SADC region experiences a disaster that needs a quick response,” added Bosuuij.

She indicated that there is a need for countries in the region to improve their legal preparedness before a disaster strikes.

Bosuuij also noted that there is need to have laws and regulations that will facilitate the smooth movement of humanitarian aid because the region was a disaster prone area. She indicated that there is a need to address issues relating to humanitarian aid in case of emergency.

Bosuuij said that the just ended meeting between the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, which brought together SADC member states representatives, will pave the way for the smooth movement of humanitarian aid. He also stated that the issue of Visas was also a hindrance as most of the volunteers go through rigorous screening before they could be allowed to extend their helping hand.

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