The Red Cross appealed Thursday for nearly $825 million to help the world’s most vulnerable communities face the challenges posed by the new coronavirus pandemic.
It came a day after the United Nations launched its own COVID-19 humanitarian response plan calling for $2 billion to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that “while COVID-19 is already a global pandemic, it is still possible to reduce its spread and the number of lives lost by improving access to critical resources.”
The Geneva-based organisations launched their joint appeal for 800 million Swiss francs ($823 million dollars, 752 million euros) as the death toll in the global COVID-19 outbreak climbed towards 22,000.
“This pandemic is putting at risk entire health systems, and the situation will worsen in places where those are weak or inexistent,” IFRC president Francesco Rocca said in a statement.
“COVID-19 affects everyone equally, but migrants and displaced people, those who are homeless, and those in disaster-prone areas are among those most exposed to infection, least able to access health care, and most impacted by loss of income,” he pointed out.
The IFRC is asking for 550 million Swiss francs to support the work of national Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations.
The ICRC meanwhile is seeking 250 million Swiss francs towards its response in conflict areas, its support of medical facilities, and its work to curb the spread of the virus among displaced and detained people.
“The international community must increase support now to the under-resourced communities crippled by conflict,” insisted ICRC president Peter Maurer.
“Viruses know no borders; this is a global problem that will only be solved by global action.”