26-05-2011 | Africa , Asia & Pacific , Middle East , Europe & Central Asia , The Americas

ICRC Annual Report: Humanitarian needs reach unprecedented levels

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2010 to 2011 have seen a major series of crises which have affected ever increasing numbers of people. Demand for humanitarian assistance has reached an unprecedented level at a time when long term conflicts continue unabated, according to the ICRC's Annual Report launched in Geneva today (26th May 2011). The challenge for the ICRC in the year ahead will be to meet these needs while confronting significant financial pressure.

Pierre Krähenbuehl, Director of Operations at ICRC, said: "2010 was a year of major humanitarian needs worldwide. We were confronted with a combination of effects of protracted armed conflicts such as Afghanistan, Sudan, and Colombia and a series of new crises of which the one in Pakistan, with the combination of violence and floods, was a particularly dramatic one."

In 2010, ICRC distributed food to over 4.9 million around the world. Its water, sanitation and construction activities helped some 10 million people. Medical and health related activities continued to be a fundamental feature of the ICRC's work benefiting some 5.2 million people globally (a detailed analysis can be found in the ICRC Annual Report 2010 - http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/annual-report/index.jsp)

2011 began with two major crises: Ivory Coast and Libya as well as a range of other countries experiencing civil unrest and uprisings. Pierre Krähenbuehl said: "We had to rapidly deploy new staff, additional means and resources to respond to situations essentially from scratch, in addition to all the other commitments that we made for 2011 in many of the protracted situations of armed conflict around the world."

This high demand for humanitarian assistance comes at a time when the international donor community is under extreme economic pressure.

Pierre Krähenbuehl stated: "We anticipate all together lower levels of funding for international humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC. It's going to be a big challenge to secure the needed funding but we will make every effort in order to maintain our response in the many countries where we operate."

There will be a press conference in Geneva at 1300 GMT - 1500 CET 26th May.

Attached are 3 B-Rolls of the mentioned crises. Each B-Roll contains a short soundbite from Pierre Krähenbuehl, Director of Operations at The ICRC in the following languages:

Video 1: English
Video 2: Spanish
Video 3: French

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