Lebanese Red Cross praised for professionalism, neutrality during Beirut demos

Publié: 19 octobre 2015 10:51 CET

By Soraya Dali-Balta, IFRC 

For the past weeks, many Lebanese citizens have been taking to the streets of the capital Beirut to protest the trash crisis and the living conditions in the country. But the sit-ins have frequently turned into clashes between some demonstrators and state forces, leaving dozens of people from both sides with minor to severe injuries.

Through it all, the Lebanese Red Cross has been present on ground, deploying numerous teams of Emergency Medical Technicians, headquarter staff, dispatchers, along with a fleet of several ambulances, a Mobile Command Vehicle, and a Mobile Dispatch Unit. The National Society also placed several additional teams and ambulances on standby, in case the situation on ground unexpectedly escalated.

Mr Abdullah Zgheib, the head of emergency teams at the Lebanese Red Cross, said of the intervention: “In addition to the teams present on ground, a field hospital was set up to treat all people injured during the protests.”

Red Cross volunteers were involved in the treatment of dozens of injured people on site, while others were transported to nearby hospitals.

“Respect for the National Society and its acceptance by all factions facilitated our work in the field during the latest demonstrations,” noted Mr Zgheib.

The Lebanese Red Cross has always been one of the most respected organizations in the country, often applauded for its professionalism, effectiveness, humanitarian approach and its neutrality towards all political events in Lebanon.

And the recent demonstrations and their resulting clashes have demonstrated once again the highly ethical and purely professional values of Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and staff; protesters, bystanders and state forces have all praised the National Society’s assistance to the wounded without any discrimination and its readiness to interfere and provide help whenever needs rose.