International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals for 3.1 billion Swiss francs (3.19 billion US dollars) to curb COVID-19’s spread and assist world’s most vulnerable amid the pandemic

Photo: Uganda Red Cross Society

Geneva, 28 May 2020 –-The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for 3.1 billion Swiss francs (3.19 billion US dollars) to urgently scale up its global response to curb COVID-19’s rapid spread and assist the world’s most vulnerable people amid the pandemic.

This coordinated appeal builds on the previous 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.

Five months since it began, the pandemic has threatened every aspect of peoples’ lives, amplifying inequalities, destabilizing communities and reversing development gains made in the past decade.

Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Secretary General said: “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.”

“National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ local volunteers and staff are delivering life-saving services and equipment to contain the spread of the pandemic and address the deterioration in vulnerable peoples’ livelihoods and socio-economic situations. Protecting and supporting these communities requires a sustained and coordinated scale-up of Red Cross and Red Crescent local action alongside ongoing global response efforts.”

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.

Robert Mardini, ICRC’s Director-General, 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. The ICRC is working hand in hand with the Red Cross 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.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Movement has supported National Societies to increase their health care services, community engagement and pandemic preparedness activities for vulnerable populations. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the world have scaled up their response to address the different health and socio-economic needs in their countries. Frontline volunteers are also helping to trace contacts, isolate and treat people with COVID-19.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian network. Its community-based volunteers and staff help the world’s most vulnerable people, including those living in countries with under-resourced health and social welfare systems; people recovering from recent disasters; migrants and displaced people; those in conflict zones and who face ongoing violence; people in urban slums; detainees; and people suffering from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.