The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is appealing to its donors for 24.5 million Swiss francs (nearly US $27 million / 20 million Euros) to help the tens of thousands of people affected by the fighting in Syria. This will in effect almost triple the ICRC's budget for the crisis.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been selected as an official honoree by the 16th Annual Webby Awards for its short documentary depicting the dangerous conditions faced by doctors, nurses and ambulance workers operating on the front lines of Libya's recent armed conflict.
Geneva (ICRC) - ICRC spokesperson Carla Haddad Mardini confirms that today aid has reached Hama, a town in west central Syria badly affected by the fighting, "they have food for around 12,000 people, they have blankets, hygiene kits, the food should last for one month" says the ICRC.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteers currently in Homs have started evacuating women and children from Bab Amro, the neighbourhood most affected by the violence in the city. Both ICRC and SARC had arrived to Homs early afternoon today and have been negotiating with the Syrian authorities and the opposition in order to evacuate all persons in need of help without exception.
The ICRC is calling on all sides to agree to a halt in the fighting for two hours each day to allow humanitarian assistance in. The Geneva based organisation is negotiating with the Syrian authorities and with the opposition to try to get agreement to this daily pause in the fighting. " What we want is an immediate halt in the fighting so we can access Homs and the other affected areas to deliver much needed humanitarian aid," says ICRC spokesperson Carla Haddad.
Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, working in completely unpredictable situations, do not hesitate to put their own lives at risk to save the lives of others. After one of them lost his life a few months back evacuating an injured person in an ambulance, his fellow volunteers became more determined than ever to continue to perform their life-saving tasks. That kind of commitment is usually hard to make, since each of the volunteers has a family, a mother and a father, and children.
This series of unique interviews was filmed with Red Crescent volunteers, giving an insight into their hopes, fears and motivation.