International Committee of Red Cross releases 2009 Annual Report

International Committee of Red Cross releases 2009 Annual Report
# 21 May 2010 08:47 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released 2009 Annual Report, press service of the ICRC office in Azerbaijan told APA.
The annual report points out that the victims of many modern-day armed conflicts face a complex set of pressures and problems linked to ongoing insecurity – from short-term and often recurrent needs, like safety, food, water, shelter and medical help – to chronic challenges, such as poverty, malnutrition, and a lack of schooling, work or health care.
"This report offers just a snapshot of the decades of suffering people have faced in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and the occupied territories, Somalia, Sudan, Colombia and the Philippines," said the ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger.

“When you look back at our annual reports from 10, 20 or even 30 years ago, you find that many of these same contexts were already embroiled in or on the brink of fighting. What worries me most is the devastating, cumulative effect this particularly pernicious set of conflicts is having on whole generations,” he said.

Mr Kellenberger said that by being "in it for the long haul" and maintaining an ongoing presence on the ground, the ICRC was able to understand and respond more effectively to both the acute and persistent needs of people in conflict-plagued countries.”

As part of its response in 2009, the ICRC strengthened its field-based cooperation with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which are rooted in local communities, ensuring closer proximity to those in need, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Presenting the annual overview in Geneva, Mr Kellenberger called on governments to redouble their efforts to minimize the humanitarian impact of armed conflict and other violence on civilians, adding that more pressure had to be brought to bear to ensure that warring parties adhered to international humanitarian law.
In total, the ICRC spent 1.06 billion Swiss francs in 2009, down just slightly from an all-time high of almost 1.1 billion francs in 2008.