COVID-19: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals for 3.1 billion Swiss francs

28 May 2020
COVID-19: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals for 3.1 billion Swiss francs
Assistance, distribution of hygiene kits in Mali. ICRC

Geneva, 28 May 2020 – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for 3.1 billion Swiss francs (3.19 billion US dollars) to urgently scale up its global response to curb COVID-19's rapid spread and assist the world's most vulnerable people amid the pandemic.

This coordinated appeal builds on the previous one launched on 26 March 2020 and aims to increase life-saving services and support to address both the immediate impacts of the pandemic and its long-lasting social and economic repercussions.

Five months since it began, the pandemic has threatened every aspect of peoples' lives, amplifying inequalities, destabilizing communities and reversing development gains made in the past decade.

Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC secretary general, said, "In fragile humanitarian contexts, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new vulnerabilities for people who are already most at risk. We now face a crisis on top of a crisis with worsening poverty and food insecurity alongside crippling economic conditions and a lack of public health services, safe water, sanitation and hygiene."

"National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' local volunteers and staff are delivering life-saving services and equipment to contain the spread of the pandemic and address the deterioration in vulnerable peoples' livelihoods and socio-economic situations. Protecting and supporting these communities requires a sustained and coordinated scale-up of Red Cross and Red Crescent local action alongside ongoing global response efforts."

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement consists of three parts: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Robert Mardini, the ICRC's director-general, said, "This pandemic is creating crisis-level needs that will endure long into the future, whether for mental health support, conflict zone medical aid or livelihood assistance. The ICRC is working hand in hand with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, at the intersection of the pandemic, armed conflict and violence to ensure that we assist both now and beyond the pandemic's immediate effects to help families in the long-run."

  • The IFRC is appealing for CHF 1.9 billion (USD 1.95 billion) to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in providing health care, water and sanitation, and mitigation against the socio-economic impacts for the most vulnerable people. The funds will also strengthen National Societies' capacities as key local actors to deliver these critical services and programmes and ensure their volunteers/staff are protected and supported during this crisis. Out of the CHF 1.9 billion, CHF 450 million will be raised through the IFRC Secretariat in support of National Societies.
  • The ICRC is appealing for CHF 1.2 billion (USD 1.24 billion) to respond in places of conflict and violence, to support medical facilities and places of detention, curb the spread among and ensure medical access for displaced people and detainees, and to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their response. This includes CHF 366 million to support its critical and immediate response to COVID-19, and CHF 828 million to support activities to address the broader impact of the pandemic. The ICRC seeks to address the most pressing needs, including ensuring access to clean water and sanitary living conditions; supporting the safe and dignified management of human remains; and enabling communities at risk to have access to life-saving services and information.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Movement has supported National Societies to increase their health care services, community engagement and pandemic preparedness activities for vulnerable populations. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the world have scaled up their response to address the different health and socio-economic needs in their countries. Frontline volunteers are also helping to trace contacts, isolate and treat people with COVID-19.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world's largest humanitarian network. Its community-based volunteers and staff help the world's most vulnerable people, including those living in countries with under-resourced health and social welfare systems; people recovering from recent disasters; migrants and displaced people; those in conflict zones and who face ongoing violence; people in urban slums; detainees; and people suffering from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.


For more information:

ICRC: Ewan Watson, Spokesperson, +41 792 446 470,
Jason Straziuso, Spokesperson, +41 79 949 3512,
Chris Hanger, Spokesperson, +41 79 574 06 36,

IFRC: Laura Ngo-Fontaine, Spokesperson, +41 79 570 4418,
Matthew Cochrane, +41 79 708 43 67,