Statement by ICRC president Peter Maurer upon ending his 5-day visit to Damascus and north-eastern Syria

ICRC - News Release No. 19/09
22 March 2019

I have seen the dire conditions and witnessed the efforts to manage the tens of thousands of people pouring into the camp – now hosting over 74,000 people. The needs are huge and the camp is overwhelmed. 

Media attention has focused upon the fate of the foreign fighters. But these are a small percentage of those in Al Hol and the other camps. Around 90% of those arriving are women and children, many of whom have been through extremely traumatic experiences. Dozens of children have died because of the cold and conditions in Al Hol in the last weeks.

Understanding and working with communities is essential to end Ebola, says IFRC Secretary General

Kinshasa/Nairobi/Geneva, 20 March 2019 – The Secretary General of the world’s largest humanitarian network has called on organizations responding to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to place more emphasis on deepening understanding of communities and partnering with them to respond to their needs.

Speaking at the end of a three day visit to the DRC, Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:

“Communities are key to ending Ebola. Only with their engagement and active participation will we be able to stop this outbreak. Fear, resistance and even denial are often encountered when people are overwhelmed by shocks, hazards and epidemics; but they can be overcome building on community norms, values and social capital.”

“Mistrust, coupled with violence and insecurity, challenge our response; so we welcome the growing concerted efforts to actively listen to communities and accompany them to be part of the solution,” said Mr Sy.

Mozambique: Full extent of humanitarian emergency still emerging

Beira/Nairobi/Geneva, 19 March 2019 — With reports that at least 400,000 people have been made homeless in central Mozambique, the world’s largest humanitarian network is warning that the full extent of the “humanitarian catastrophe” caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai may take days to become clear.

Jamie LeSueur, who is leading response efforts in Beira for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:

“This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s recent history. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Central Mozambique. Large parts of Beira have been damaged, entire villages and towns have been completely flooded. Rescuers are scrambling to pull people trapped on rooftops and in trees to safety. Many, many families have lost everything,” LeSueur said.

Syria conference: “This humanitarian emergency is not over”

Brussels, 14 March 2018 – The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has told a major international conference that although fighting in Syria has decreased over the past 12 months, humanitarian needs continue to grow.

Speaking at the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, IFRC President Francesco Rocca said:

“This humanitarian emergency is not over. Even though the overall level of fighting has reduced, new needs are emerging. In fact, improved access in some areas is actually increasing demand for Red Crescent services and support.”

Mozambique: Emergency teams on alert as “dangerous and powerful” Tropical Cyclone Idai looms

Nairobi/Geneva, 12 March 2019 — Mozambique is on high alert as Tropical Cyclone Idai barrels towards the country’s central coast. Red Cross disaster response teams in Zambesia and Sofala provinces are readying response plans in anticipation of the cyclone’s landfall towards the end of the week.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Regional Director for Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:

“This dangerous and powerful cyclone could pose an extreme risk to tens of thousands of people in Mozambique. Our teams are on high alert in anticipation of a potentially destructive landfall.

A speech on the Geneva Conventions

delivered today by ICRC President Peter Maurer to the Human Rights Council in Geneva

26 February 2019

Dear colleagues,

A few weeks ago I visited Mosul, the site of an emblematic battle in the war in Iraq. The physical destruction was immense, and while not visible it was also palpably clear that the social fabric is disintegrating.

This is true for communities affected by conflict and violence worldwide - in Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar and beyond. Conflict shatters communities to their core.

Heads of UN, Red Cross/Red Crescent pledge to step up action on sexual violence in conflict

The full press statement delivered today to UN correspondents in Geneva by ICRC President Peter Maurer

ICRC - News Release No. 19/06
25 February 2019

Geneva – The United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement today pledged to step up action to prevent, end and respond to sexual and gender-based violence in and around conflict.

Through their work in conflict zones around the world, the two organizations see the enormous and lasting damage caused by sexual and gender-based violence, which is used as a tactic of war to dehumanize victims and destabilize entire communities and societies.  

“Too often sexual atrocities are accepted as an inevitable by-product of war. This must end. The law is clear: rape and other forms of sexual violence are a violation,” said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, speaking on behalf of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. “Today we pledge to do better for the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. We demand an end to sexual atrocities used as a tactic of war; and we demand a change in attitudes that blame survivors, not the perpetrators.”

Is the world ready to face a nuclear war? No. So let’s ban the bomb

ICRC - News Release No. 19/05
07 February 2019

Geneva (ICRC-IFRC) – Seventy-four years after nuclear weapons obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the risk that nuclear weapons will again be used is growing. Far from taking steps to fulfil their long-standing nuclear disarmament obligations, nuclear-armed States are today upgrading their arsenals, developing new kinds of nuclear weapons and making them easier to use. And military incidents involving nuclear and nuclear-allied States are occurring with alarming frequency. 

Iraq: Massive challenges still prevent Iraqis from returning home, ICRC president says

ICRC - News Release No. 19/04
04 February 2019

Baghdad/Geneva (ICRC) – Rebuilding Iraq’s social fabric is key to ensuring that the country can leave its violent past behind, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said during a four-day visit to the country, which included Mosul, Baghdad and Erbil.

ICRC President Peter Maurer highlighted the extraordinary challenges that communities across the country continue to face, including the fact that 1.8 million people remain displaced within Iraq more than a year after major combat operations ended, with nearly one in three still living in camps.

“The magnitude of the destruction in Iraq doesn’t get any less shocking, but what’s less visible are the social scars that run deep in Iraq today,” Mr Maurer said.

Red Cross urges public to check on people during big freeze

Budapest/Geneva, 1 February 2019 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on people to check on neighbours, relatives and friends - especially older people - who may be at risk as freezing temperatures hit Europe.

With severe weather warnings in place in several countries for this weekend, Red Cross volunteers are ramping up their support for vulnerable people in need, and specialist Red Cross rescue teams are on standby.

©2019 Rdeči križ Slovenije Oblikovanje in izdelava spletne strani Kabi d.o.o.

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