Papua New Guinea: World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2021

Together we are #unstoppable.

PNG, 8 May 2021 – Today, we are celebrating World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, a day dedicated to recognising the impact of Red Cross staff and volunteers.

This year the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is recognising the role staff and volunteers have played in reaching and supporting people affected by COVID-19, especially in places of detention, remote parts of Papua New Guinea and hospitals in the 20 provinces where the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS) volunteers are actively working and committed to giving support to local communities in an unstoppable manner.

In PNG, alongside the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Cross staff and volunteers have been supporting local communities through awareness-raising on prevention measures and providing hygiene and sanitation assistance for communities.

PNGRCS secretary-general Uvenama Rova said the PNGRCS team and volunteers value every life, and this drives their efforts to protect and save the vulnerable threatened by disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic. "The PNGRCS also remains vigilant, resilient, strong and focussed in supporting the Government to fulfil its auxiliary role by reaching to the people in need with relevant help and support. Our commitment is unstoppable," he said.

Further to this, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) head of country delegation Dr Ghulam Muhammed Awan said COVID-19 has impacted the entire world including PNG. "Our joint approach to supplement the efforts of PNG government in its fight against the pandemic are highly commendable," he said. "During these challenging times, resilience, and dedication of our volunteers remained unstoppable to reach out communities living in far-flung areas of the country."

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) head of mission in PNG Dominik Urban added that the impactful COVID-19 response of the Movement has helped communities have access to the information they need and hygiene materials.

"The COVID-19 preventive and responsive endeavour was an opportunity for the Movement to prove again its capacity to be in the first line to help people protect their lives, even those living in remote areas and in difficult conditions including places of detention," said Urban.

Globally, the Movement has reached 650 million people with health and hygiene promotion activities, 106 million people with water and sanitation, have given food or in-kind assistance to some 79 million people and more than one million people were connected with their families through phone or video calls, written or verbal messages.

They work relentlessly, with and for communities to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the worst of situations...

— Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC

President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca said, "There are many serious global challenges to address, such as COVID-19, the climate crisis, and support for people on the move.

"But today we have some 14 million reasons to celebrate: our unstoppable volunteers," she said. "Every individual act of kindness and support matters – regardless of how small it may seem. This collective local action has a massive global impact every day." 

President of the ICRC Peter Maurer said, "Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are on the front line of every crisis, sometimes at risk to their own safety. They work relentlessly, with and for communities to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the worst of situations, in armed conflict, disasters and other humanitarian crises.

"World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is our opportunity to pay them tribute, they are making a difference all over the world every day and ensure no one is left behind."