International Red Cross Day: Belgium supports the mobilization of the Red Cross community against the coronavirus crisis
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo expresses his explicit support for the work carried out by the Red Cross on this International Red Cross Day. He would like to thank each member of the Movement for the partnership that has existed for years and for the mobilization during this coronavirus crisis. Our country is pledging 5 million euros in the fight against Covid-19 to the International Federation of the Red Cross.
“For years, the International Committee of the Red Cross has been an important humanitarian organization partnering with Belgium. It carries essential work on the front lines. It protects war victims and has exceptional access to conflict zones. The ICRC also plays a vital role in promoting international humanitarian law and respecting the Geneva Convention, ”said Alexander De Croo.
In recent years, our country has increased its annual contributions to the ICRC under the impetus of Minister De Croo to a stable 23 to 25 million euros per year. Most of those are general contributions, but some support specific projects such as targeting gender-based violence and helping people with disabilities due to landmines. Our country also grants the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) an annual contribution of 1.5 million euros.
Today, the ICRC and the IFRC play an important role in many countries in the fight against coronavirus. Also, in our country, the Red Cross federations are battling against the virus with more than 25,000 volunteers. To help it fight the virus internationally, Belgium has pledged € 5 million to the IFRC. With its 13 million volunteers and more than 160,000 offices worldwide, it is in well placed to help and protect people and communities during this difficult time.
Vigilance is required
“We have seen in recent months how quickly the virus is spreading. As long as new viral outbreaks keep flaring up and we don't have a vaccine, the international community has to stay vigilant. Caution is required, especially in conflict zones and in countries with poor health systems. The international Red Cross Movement plays a major role in this regard. It works in difficult conditions on the ground and is playing a vital role to stem the global pandemic. Belgium wants to support them in this endeavor”, concludes Minister De Croo.