The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for solidarity with people affected by crises everywhere as the response to the conflict in Ukraine shows the way. The support from people and donors around the world demonstrates what is possible and illustrates the good practice essential in any humanitarian crisis. At the same time, the massive differences depending on where a crisis occurs and who it affects have been thrown into stark relief.
Secretary-General of the IFRC, Jagan Chapagain, says: “The immense suffering experienced by so many people in Ukraine is unimaginable for some. Unfortunately, for many others around the world, the loss and pain are all too familiar. In Syria for example, 11 years after the conflict began needs in the country are at an all-time high. In Tonga, tens of communities are still to recover from the devastating volcanic eruption in January. In the horn of Africa, millions of people are currently experiencing one of the most dramatic food crises in years, away from the eyes of the world. These are but a few examples. We call on donors and partners to ensure that we can support everyone in need, no matter where no matter who.”
The situation in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are critical as these countries are facing a fourth consecutive drought along with the impacts of COVID-19, conflict in the region, and escalating food prices due to heavy reliance on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia. With 14 million people currently in need of urgent food assistance – a number that is expected to reach 20 million this year – IFRC has launched emergency appeals for a total of 39 million Swiss francs to provide life-saving assistance. This also includes longer-term support for sustainable livelihoods adapted to the increasingly negative effects of climate change to help strengthen communities’ resilience.
Every day, in every community around the world, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers continue to respond with an impartial needs-based approach to people affected by crises everywhere, regardless of their status, nationality, ethnicity, religion, or any other criteria. While National Societies are working hard to provide the humanitarian services necessary in Ukraine and surrounding countries, it is critical to ensure a continuing focus on other crises as well as on preparing for those that will happen next.
“IFRC with its network of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is well placed to channel solidarity and mobilize support to respond to all crises and disasters that are happening concurrently around the world. But to be able to do this, needs-based support and funding are essential,” concluded Mr. Chapagain.
IFRC currently has 29 emergency appeals open for big and complex disasters, from Afghanistan to Madagascar. For the increasing number of smaller climate-related disasters, the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) is the most efficient and transparent way to get funding directly to local humanitarian actors. At present, there are 42 active DREF funded responses around the world, including in Ethiopia, Palestine, and Ecuador.