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Lesotho Signs Agreement to Establish SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre

In a historic event held on March 28, 2024, Lesotho became the eleventh member state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to sign the Intergovernmental Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) establishing the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre (SHOC).

This signing marks a significant milestone as it meets the legal threshold of 2/3 member states required for the MoA to come into force.

With Lesotho’s signature, 11 out of 16 SADC member states have now signed the Agreement, signaling a robust regional commitment to enhancing disaster response coordination across Southern Africa.

According to Article 17 of the MoA, the Agreement will officially come into force 30 days after the signature by the 11th country, setting the operational date as April 28, 2024. The MoA will remain open for other member states that have not yet signed.

This achievement underscores the dedication of SADC member states to bolstering disaster risk management capabilities in the region. It also reflects SADC’s unwavering commitment to regional cooperation and its focus on fostering a more resilient future for all member states in the face of disasters.

Upon its activation, the SHOC will operate as an independent entity within SADC, equipped to provide technical assistance, facilitate resource mobilization, and coordinate emergency response efforts during disasters. This development marks a significant step forward in strengthening regional cooperation and preparedness to address humanitarian crises in Southern Africa.

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