Geneva, Switzerland, 12 August 2022 – The Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has voted to suspend the membership of the Peruvian Red Cross. The extraordinary decision—which takes effect today—comes after the Red Cross society was unable to take the necessary actions to remove the Peruvian Red Cross President from his position of power and address its institutional crisis.
The suspension follows a months-long investigation into the Peruvian Red Cross. The IFRC’s Compliance and Mediation Committee performed an extensive investigation into the accusations and provided detailed reports that confirm abuses of power by the Peruvian Red Cross President. The committee recommended a mediation process and removal of the Peruvian Red Cross President—neither of which have come to pass.
The decision also means that the Peruvian Red Cross President is sanctioned from holding any governance position at the IFRC.
Transparency and integrity are essential to the delivery of the Red Cross Red Crescent mission, which is why IFRC—the world’s largest humanitarian network—has protocols in place to sanction individuals and National Societies who do not live up to its principles. Though rare, these decisions ultimately make the Red Cross Red Crescent mission stronger.
In announcing the decision, Francesco Rocca, IFRC President, said:
“Suspending a Red Cross society’s membership is not a decision we take lightly. After extensive efforts to mediate the situation—and after an investigation found misuse of power by the President—we have no choice. We have an obligation to ensure the Peruvian Red Cross governance takes the necessary steps to rebuild.
“Let me stress that IFRC’s commitment to the people of Peru remains strong. IFRC will work to ensure that this decision does not compromise Red Cross support to communities in need.
“Peruvian Red Cross volunteers work tirelessly to help communities prepare for and respond to crises. While their lifesaving activities have been hindered by these administrative challenges, IFRC is hopeful that this decision will help them move forward in delivering our mission.”
IFRC will help develop a transition plan to ensure that services to vulnerable communities do not suffer.
IFRC has recommended the Peruvian Red Cross institute a plan of action to address its institutional crisis, which includes the following elements:
- Put in place a transparent process for hiring an executive director in line with the statutes and regulations of the Peruvian Red Cross;
- Hold elections at the branch level in a timely manner;
- Revise the statutes of the Peruvian Red Cross through an inclusive process in consultation with branches and Board members;
- Hold elections at the national level once the revised statutes of the Peruvian Red Cross have been approved in timely manner and as agreed between the National Society and the IFRC; and
- Put in place a plan of action to address the recommendations of the audit report carried out for the years 2017-2019.
IFRC will lift the suspension if and when the Peruvian Red Cross takes the necessary steps to comply with recommendations and begins implementing an action plan to restore its integrity.
IFRC remains committed to supporting the renewal of an effective, vibrant, and viable Peruvian Red Cross—and encourages Peruvian Red Cross volunteers and members to remain engaged in the renewal of their National Society.
In the Americas: Susana Arroyo Barrantes - Communications Manager Americas, [email protected]
In Geneva: Jenelle Eli – Media Relations – [email protected]