International Red Cross chief calls for humanitarian aid

International Red Cross chief calls for humanitarian aid

Robert Mardini, the director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC during an interview with AFP in Tehran on May 9, 2022, was quoted as a gesture by the director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC. PHOTO AFP GENEVA - With the world currently facing multiple crises, including climate change, armed conflicts and COVID 19, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC has called for humanitarian aid.

Robert Mardini, director-general of the ICRC, praised China's role in international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

In an exclusive interview with the organization's headquarters in Geneva, Mardini told Xinhua that the world is not in a good place.

Mardini said Ukraine is the biggest operation of the ICRC this year. He also noted that there are currently more than 100 other armed conflicts across the globe.

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He said that all of the conflicts are under the radar of the international community.

Most of them are in places where people and communities are hard hit by the effects of armed conflict, climate shocks as a result of climate change, socio-economic consequences of COVID 19, and now the global knock-on effects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Mardini has called China a key player in the international arena and has played a positive role when it comes to advocating for humanitarian access at the UN Security Council in New York.

He said that China has been advocating for the protection of civilians in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia armed conflict.

He noted that the ICRC and China engage in dialogue on international humanitarian law, humanitarian access and development priorities because of the long-standing dialogue with China and in many African countries where ICRC is present.

Around 60 countries where the ICRC has large operations are located along China's Belt and Road Initiative, Mardini said. The vast majority of these countries are affected by armed conflict, climate change, and socio-economic disruptions. On Friday, the Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by the ICRC with the Red Cross Society of China.

Mardini said that it will be important to further the discussion on the importance of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.

While the number of violent and armed conflicts is growing around the world, the fundraising environment for non-profit organizations is becoming more difficult and budgets are shrinking.

Mardini said that the ICRC funding appeal for 2023, at 2.8 billion Swiss francs $3.05 billion, is the highest ever. This is a huge challenge both for fundraising and delivering humanitarian aid, according to Mardini.

He noted that the challenge lies in places such as Afghanistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Lake Chad region and Syria, which are key hotspots for the work of the ICRC.

The ICRC was established in 1863 to help people affected by conflict and armed violence, and promotes laws that protect victims of war.

It is funded mainly by donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.