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Red Cross honors humanitarians

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Calls for increasing support to address local needs

The Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) today, 19 August 2021 joins the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s World Humanitarian Day (WHD) under the Global Theme: One Humanity. 

World Humanitarian Day is an international day dedicated to recognizing humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. 

The Liberian Red Cross in a special way acknowledges the bravery and dedication of all its volunteers, humanitarian aid workers, and health staff across the country and beyond. 

“We honor and appreciate all humanitarians and health workers for the sacrifices they make both personally and professionally, for their selflessness, and their unyielding commitment to saving lives,” the President of the Liberian Red Cross Jerome N.J. Clarke, II, has said. 

Health care workers and volunteer humanitarian aid providers are at increased risk of abuses, abduction, harassment, conscription, death, and infection. 

They are overwhelmed, sometimes working with limited resources, but many have chosen to remain away from their families so as not to expose them to potential infection. 

“They carry on their noble tasks of serving humanity, forgetting about the risks they are exposed to and putting their lives as shields to protect others, and in this case, we consider them as our real-life heroes,” Mr. Clarke added.

In Liberia, there are increasing humanitarian situations at the moment that demand urgent attention and swift response because there are devastating effects, and people and communities being affected need support to recover quickly. 

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has not stopped other disasters from occurring,” the Red Cross President noted. Last week the country recorded two major fire outbreaks in Monrovia and at the C.H. Rennie Health Center in Kakata. 

He added: “While we regret the situation, we also acknowledge the efforts and bravery of all those involved in responding to the situations on time so as not to cause further damage.”  

The Liberian Red Cross as part of the response to the fire outbreak in Kakata and its team of volunteers and ambulance helped in the process of evacuating four patients and provided first aid services to five responders who sustained injuries in the process of responding to the fire outbreak. 

The Red Cross is also part of the ongoing national efforts to end COVID-19 in Liberia. “We have provided assorted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Nimba County Health Team, distributed hundreds of handwashing buckets to communities and institutions, and set up handwashing stations at checkpoints and other crowded public places around the country to promote hand hygiene among others.”

“Our volunteers are constantly on their feet in the communities creating awareness and preventing themselves [from] COVID-19 vaccination”. 

From March to date, in partnership with the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) and the Government of Liberia, the Liberian Red Cross continues to provide humanitarian assistance including distribution of Core Relief Items (CRIs), and food and medical assistance to over 34,000 Ivorian refugees and persons of concern living in Liberia particularly in Montserrado, Nimba, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties 

Mr. Clarke, in a Press Statement, mentioned that beyond emergency, there are also critical humanitarian needs that require urgent attention to bring relief and build resilient communities. 

“Remote towns and villages in rural Liberia as well as slum communities in urban areas are in need of access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. Many disadvantaged groups including the physically challenged, visually impaired, single mothers, and abandoned pregnant women and children and others have special needs that require our urgent attention at all times” he pointed out. 

On this World Humanitarian Day, the Liberian Red Cross is not only honoring humanitarian aid providers and health workers, but it is also advocating for those in need of extreme humanitarian assistance by calling for increased support to the Red Cross to address some of these needs in the communities beyond emergency. 

“We need urgent actions from the Government, humanitarian actors, donors, and philanthropists in addressing humanitarian challenges affecting vulnerable groups and communities. We need a stronger commitment and practical actions from national leaders and corporate institutions to make a difference, offer hope and support, and put smiles on the faces of people in distress”, Mr. Clarke stated. 

The Liberian Red Cross calls for direct budgetary support from the Government so as to focus more on addressing critical humanitarian needs before arising from disasters, emergencies, and socio-economic vulnerabilities. This will help complement the support of donor partners and have a greater humanitarian impact in the country.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/red-cross-hss-liberia-provide-july-26-food-ration-for-vulnerable-people/ –Press release  

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