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ICRC receives Better Bangladesh Foundation Award for 2014

22-04-2014 Feature

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was recently honoured with the 2014 Better Bangladesh Foundation Award for its outstanding efforts in extremely challenging circumstances during Bangladesh's 1971 conflict.


Christine Cipolla, head of the ICRC delegation in Dhaka, accepts the award from the Foreign Minister Mr. A. H. Mahmud Ali MP. © ICRC/R. Sircar

 

At a ceremony attended by many public figures, Foreign Minister, Mr. A.H. Mahmud Ali bestowed the award on the ICRC, four other organizations and an individual.

"We are honoured and delighted to receive this award and would like to thank the hosts for arranging such an event," said Christine Cipolla, head of the ICRC delegation in Dhaka, who accepted the award on behalf of the ICRC.

"We are committed to working within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to build a stronger, more relevant and united network, whose sole ambition is to save lives, relieve suffering, protect livelihoods and build resilience, genuinely and with humility, with and for the people we serve," she added.

The ICRC carried out extensive humanitarian activities in Bangladesh in 1971 to alleviate the plight of conflict victims. By registering people who were eligible for repatriation it facilitated the return to their home countries of 118,070 Bangladeshis and 117,727 Pakistanis. Between 1972 and 1975, it collected and distributed 2.8 million Red Cross messages (containing brief family news) between members of dispersed families that eventually resulted in several hundred families being reunited. In addition, during the post-war crisis it initiated a large-scale relief operation for survivors. In recognition of these actions during and after the liberation war, the Bangladeshi government bestowed the Friends of Liberation War Honour on the ICRC in 2012.

This is the first time that the awards have been made by the Better Bangladesh Foundation. "The Better Bangladesh Foundation feels extremely privileged to honour the humanitarian support and cooperation of the ICRC during and after the liberation war in 1971," said Masud A. Khan, the foundation chairman. "We will never forget the contributions made by the ICRC. We congratulate the organization on winning the Better Bangladesh Foundation Award for 2014."

The foundation was launched in 2009 with the goal of improving the well-being of poor people in Bangladesh through its activities in the fields of education, health, poverty alleviation and human rights.