USD3.19B appeal to help vulnerable people amid COVID-19 pandemic

James Kon

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for USD3.19 billion to provide urgent needed assistance to the world’s most vulnerable people amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press statement, the fund 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. The coordinated appeal builds on the previous one launched on March 26, 2020.

According to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, five months since it began the pandemic has threatened every aspect of people’s lives, amplifying inequalities, destabilising communities and reversing development gains made in the past decade.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretary General Jagan Chapagain 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 people’s livelihoods and socio-economic situations. Protecting and supporting these communities require a sustained and coordinated scale-up of Red Cross and Red Crescent local action alongside ongoing global response efforts,” he added.

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

ICRC Director-General Robert 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. The 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.”

The IFRC is appealing for USD1.95 billion to support the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in providing healthcare, water and sanitation, and mitigation against the socio-economic impacts for the most vulnerable people. The funds will also strengthen national societies’ capacities as key local actors to deliver these critical services and programmes and ensure their volunteers/staff are protected and supported during this crisis.

The ICRC is appealing for USD1.24 billion to respond in places of conflict and violence, to support medical facilities and places of detention, curb the spread and ensure medical access for displaced people and detainees, and to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their response.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the movement has supported national societies to increase their healthcare services, community engagement and pandemic preparedness activities for vulnerable populations.

The 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.