On the occasion of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, the heads of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stand up together to reaffirm that the fundamental principles of humanity, neutrality and independence must guide humanitarian action in Syria more than ever.
“We cross the frontlines. We talk to everyone. We help millions of people affected by this conflict. We wouldn’t be able to do that if all involved in fighting didn’t consider our action as independent and neutral,” says Marianne Gasser who heads the ICRC in Syria. “In Syria, being everywhere for everyone matters and saves lives but it also means risking injury or death to provide the most urgent humanitarian assistance to people in desperate need.”
Since the conflict began more than five years ago, 53 Syrian Arab Red Crescent and eight Palestine Red Crescent Society volunteers and staff have been killed while providing basic services such as food, water, blankets or medical care.
Despite this heavy price, thousands of committed and relentless volunteers and humanitarian workers continue to bring hope and relief to millions who suffer from insecurity, hunger, cold and displacement.
“On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day this year, we celebrate the bravery and achievements of our volunteers and staff, whose life-saving and life-changing services ensure that we keep our commitment to humanity every day. We are local and international, independent and neutral, and we are everywhere for everyone,” says Dr Abdulrahman Attar, SARC President.
In a complex and increasingly vulnerable world – one that is troubled by health crises, protracted conflicts, migration, displacement, and increasing numbers of natural disasters being everywhere for everyone is a growing challenge. Syria is no exception and as vulnerabilities increase so will humanitarian needs.
Today in Syria, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement supports millions of people with food and shelter, health and first aid services, provision of safe water and livelihood projects.
Drawing from more than 150 years of humanitarian action, the Movement is committed to continue this important work in Syria – everywhere and for everyone.
For further information:
Pawel Krzysiek, ICRC Damascus, Communication Coordinator, mobile: +963 930 336 718
Louay Haddad, SARC Damascus, Head of External Relations and Communication, mobile: +963 965 555 497
Stephen Ryan, IFRC Beirut, Communication Coordinator, mobile: +961 5 428 438