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ICRC appeals for record amount for humanitarian work in 2008

06-12-2007 News Release 07/129

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is asking donors for more than one billion Swiss francs to fund the organization’s humanitarian work in some 80 countries in 2008.


  ©ICRC/T. Gassmann /CER-E-00834    
  ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger at the press conference    
    .. “It is as crucial as ever that the ICRC respond to the needs arising from the full range of armed conflicts around the world – from acute to chronic crises – and their direct consequences, while focusing its efforts primarily on ongoing armed conflicts,” said ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger on launching the ICRC’s a nnual appeal to donors in Geneva. “In these ongoing conflicts especially, the ICRC’s independence and neutrality are vital to obtaining access to people in need of protection and assistance”.
The ICRC’s 2008 budget includes a record initial figure of 932 6 million francs for field operations and 161 5 million francs for support provided by the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. The initial field budget for 2008, at 89 million francs above the corresponding figure presented a year ago, is the highest ever. “This record amount is mainly due to the ICRC’s independent and neutral humanitarian approach, which has enabled it to gain access to certain conflict zones where the need for humanitarian aid is increasing,” said Mr Kellenberger.

Iraq will constitute the ICRC’s largest humanitarian operation, at an expected cost of more than 107 million francs in 2008. This amount reflects the organization’s renewed commitment to meet acute medical needs in Iraq and to aid large numbers of Iraqis displaced within their own country.

Other major operations include those in Sudan, with a budget of 106 .. 4 million francs, and Afghanistan, where the cost is expected to be 60 3 million francs – 25% higher than the initial budget for 2007.

Despite the immense problems of working in Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan, such as the difficulty of reaching certain areas owing to the security situation, the ICRC’s independent and neutral humanitarian approach has opened the way for concrete action to help those in need.

The sizeable increase in the overall field budget also reflects a special focus on protecting and assisting internally displaced people. “Parties to an armed conflict should make every effort to prevent displacement from occurring in the first pl ace. Abiding by international humanitarian law is one of the best means of achieving this,” said Mr Kellenberger. Acute or worsening violence in many of the countries where the ICRC is working, such as Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan, has triggered the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, with far-reaching consequences for the whole population. Assisting internally displaced people is a top priority for the ICRC and a core area of its humanitarian activities worldwide.

  For further information, please contact:
  Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel : +41 22 730 24 05 or +41 79 217 32 26 (English/French/Arabic)
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel : +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24 (Spanish/German)
ISDN line available for media interviews:
(kindly make an appointment)
  See also:
  Overview of the ICRC’s operations in 2008
  Key data for ICRC Emergency and Headquarters Appeals 2008

ICRC TV news footage report is available showing action undertaken by the ICRC to help displaced people in Iraq, Chad, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and interviews with ICRC Director of Operations Pierre Krähenbühl in English, French and Spanish.

The 7'51'' selection will be distributed worldwide on 6 December 2007 on Associated Press Television News at 12:15 GMT and again at 19:05 GMT, as well as on W1 and AsiaSat2 for non-AP clients (see below for satellite coordinates) and on Eurovision News Exchange.

Satellite coordinates 1215-1230 GMT on December 6:
  W1 F6 Mike
  U/L Freq: 14235.250 H
  D/L Freq: 12735.250 V
  SR: 4.167
  FEC: 5/6

  AsiaSat2 3B Bravo
  U/L: 5937.5MHz V
  D/L: 3712.5MHz H
  SR: 4.167
  FEC: 5/6