Red Crescent societies of the Gulf Cooperation Council agree to boost support for refugees, host communities in the region

Published: 14 November 2014 14:04 CET

 By Soraya Dali-Balta, IFRC

Senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Red Crescent societies vowed on Wednesday to strengthen their role in alleviating the suffering of displaced populations in the Middle East and to increase their contribution to humanitarian missions in the region.

The GCC Red Crescent representatives’ pledge came during their biyearly meeting, which was held in Kuwait and was hosted by the Kuwait Red Crescent Society. The conferees discussed, in particular the situation of Syria’s refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as host communities’ ability to cope with the influx of displaced populations.

“We have agreed to scale up our support to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and continue our aid programmes targeting the most vulnerable,” announced Mr Khalid Al Zaid, the head of Public Relations at the Kuwait Red Crescent, explaining that increasing the support of the Red Crescent societies of GCC members aims at accurately assessing the situation of refugees and accordingly, providing aid to them and to their host communities.


In a related matter, the GCC Red Crescent representatives highlighted the success of several National Society initiatives in host countries which served thousands of displaced Syrian families, such as Kuwait Red Crescent’s recently founded bakeries in Lebanon and Jordan.


The situation in Iraq and of the country’s internally displaced people was also on the meeting agenda of the GCC Red Crescent officials who agreed on the importance of unifying the stance of the Gulf Cooperation Council states at regional and international platforms in this concern.


Moreover, the participants in the Kuwait meeting addressed the security situation in Yemen amid the country’s ongoing crisis, noting the need to cooperate with the Yemen Red Crescent Society to acquire an accurate evaluation of the needs of vulnerable people who were affected by the turmoil.

 The meeting concluded with an agreement on the importance to foster GCC Red Crescent societies’ humanitarian efforts in the region and to conduct field visits and participate in joint trainings to become ready for an effective disaster response, said Mr Al Zaid.

 The GCC Red Crescent societies’ top officials meet twice every year to discuss different issues related to their work and to the situation in the Middle East and North Africa region. They then refer their conclusions to a higher meeting by the GCC Red Crescent chiefs.

National Societies in the GCC region have always been at the forefront of humanitarian activities in the Arab world, particularly in the last few years when violence has ravaged several countries and put the lives of millions of civilians at risk.