GENEVA, Nov.29,2017-- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has asked its donors for more than 2 billion Swiss francs (about 2.04 billion U.S. dollars) to fund its field operations in 2018 to assist and protect millions of people affected by conflict and other situations of violence, according to an ICRC press release on Tuesday.
The appeal marks an 11.6 percent increase in the ICRC's 2017 field budget, and will allow the organization to continue responding to the most urgent needs of people caught up in conflict in the world's most challenging hotspot such as in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, DR Congo and Yemen.
"The ICRC is deeply concerned by the number and scale of protracted conflicts the world is facing today. Both their immediate and longer-term consequences on the millions of people affected should alarm us all," said ICRC President Peter Maurer.
"While some of these conflicts are often in the news, many are overlooked, out of the public spotlight. We are appealing for donors' support to make sure these people are not forgotten," he added.
The majority of the ICRC's activities remains focused in increasingly complex conflicts, supporting basic services and support systems that are vital to the lives of the general public. The challenges are particularly acute in cities, where schools, hospitals, water and electricity systems are often damaged and destroyed over years of fighting.
"With its privileged access to militaries and armed groups, the ICRC works to prevent violations of international humanitarian law and to protect civilians from the worst impacts of conflict," Maurer said.
He also underlined the need for funding to remain flexible and non-earmarked, to ensure the ICRC can continue to deliver aid purely on the basis of need.