Red Cross launches CHF3 billion pandemic appeal

ICRC workers distribute aid material in an Ivory Coast prison during the coronavirus pandemic. Keystone / Legnan Koula

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has called for CHF3.1 billion ($3.2 billion) in extra funding to help vulnerable communities cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

This content was published on May 28, 2020 - 16:40
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The joint appeal builds on an earlier one launched on 26 March 2020 and aims to "increase life-saving services and support to address both the immediate impacts of the pandemic and its long-lasting social and economic repercussions", a statement said on May 28.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working hand in hand with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, "at the intersection of the pandemic, armed conflict and violence to ensure that we assist both now and beyond the pandemic's immediate effects to help families in the long-run," said ICRC Director-General Robert Mardini

The money is needed to reinforce healthcare and sanitation, improve prison conditions, provide mental health support and help people bury victims of the pandemic.

Front-line aid workers need to implement measures to control infections and detect people who have caught the disease, the ICRC added.

Another concern is protecting doctors, nurses, pathologists and morticians in conflict and disaster zones and refugee camps.

The families of Covid-19 victims also need support. “A failure to adequately plan for mass-casualty situations risks people being buried in mass graves, causing suffering to families who may not know where their relatives are buried,” the statement read.

Launching the appeal, Mardini said: “This pandemic is creating crisis-level needs that will endure long into the future, whether for mental health support, conflict zone medical aid or livelihood assistance.”

Jagan Chapagain, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) added: "In fragile humanitarian contexts, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new vulnerabilities for people who are already most at risk. We now face a crisis on top of a crisis with worsening poverty and food insecurity alongside crippling economic conditions and a lack of public health services, safe water, sanitation and hygiene."

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement consists of three parts: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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