First Nepali as IFRC Secretary General assumes office

Published On: February 2, 2020 01:10 PM NPT By: RSS

KATHMANDU, Feb 2: Jagan Chapagain has assumed the post of the Secretary General, the highest position of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network.

Outgoing Secretary General Ilad Sai handed over the portfolio to Secretary General Chapagain amidst a special function held in Geneva, the headquarters of IFRC on Friday. Chapagain had been serving as the Under Secretary General of IFRC since May 2017.

On the occasion, Outgoing SG Sai said the Federation has got in Jagan Chapagain an efficient, very capable Secretary General, who will provide a new momentum to the network. Under his leadership, the IFRC will be able to play a leading role in the management of any disaster in the coming days.

Chapagain, who has been involved in the Red Cross campaign since the past 25 years, is the first Nepali and first from the whole of Asia to assume this high level position. A special governing board meeting of the IFRC on 3 December 2019 had elected Chapagain to the post. The board represents 29 countries, and Chapagain was elected by a two-thirds majority.

His four-year term has begun on February 1, 2020. The IFRC brings together 192 Red Cross Societies across the globe including Nepal Red Cross Society. The IFRC provides humanitarian assistance during the times of natural and human-induced disaster including wars, poverty, and building resilient communities. It has more than 700,000 staffers and reaches humanitarian assistance to around one billion population in a year through its 20 million volunteers in the world.

The new Secretary General of the IFRC, Mr Chapagain took up this role on 1 February 2020 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Chapagain has extensive experience and a broad knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, having begun his career as a youth volunteer at the Nepal Red Cross, advocating for and representing community voices.

Born in Dibyanagar, Chitwan, 52-year-old Chapagain has spent more than 20 years with IFRC, working across Europe and Asia. Prior to becoming Secretary General, he was the Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations, Chief of Staff and Director of the Asia Pacific region where he provided leadership in responding to large-scale humanitarian crises and in building resilient communities in partnership with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and external partners across the region.

Previously, he held various leadership positions including Deputy Head of Zone and Head of Operations for the Asia Pacific region from 2007 to 2011, Head of Regional Delegation for Central Asia from 2006 to 2007 and Senior Regional Officer for South Asia from 2004 to 2006 in Geneva. In previous missions, he worked in IFRC delegations in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Montenegro and Thailand.

Mr Chapagain holds a degree in Engineering and certificates in Leadership and turn-around management and Emerging social sector leadership. He is fluent in Nepali, English and Hindi and has a basic knowledge of Urdu and Russian.

With his involvement in the IFRC, Mr Chapagain has become a witness to the humanitarian crises and disasters the world faced in the past three decades. Accordingly, he has gained extensive knowledge to manage the disasters.

"Climate change-induced disaster as well as natural and man-made disaster has severely impacted many countries. My action plan will be to rescue those caught in such disasters and crises, and building the resilience of the people to face disaster in the days to come," he said.



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