Statement by the IFRC Secretary General at France’s International Humanitarian Conference on the Civilian Population in Gaza

IFRC flag

IFRC flag

Photo: IFRC



No words adequately capture the depth of human suffering in Gaza.

In this conflict, civilians, particularly children and women and healthcare workers pay the heaviest burden, some losing their lives, casting a lasting moral shadow upon us all for generations to come.

This suffering must end. Now.

Israel has suffered heartbreaking human loss, including the taking of hostages which must end now.

Magen David Adom in Israel is providing vital assistance, ambulance and health services.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society is working around the clock with all affected communities in Gaza to provide vital humanitarian assistance and psychosocial support. They do so fearlessly with unseen dedication in extremely dangerous situations.

The ICRC is playing a critical role, and we are coordinating closely as a Movement.

Today I am here with Dr Younis Alkhatib, President of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. PRCS is the leading Emergency Medical Service provider and is central to the receipt, delivery and coordination of aid in Gaza. However, they operate under constant threat to their lives, lack of access and inadequate relief and medical supplies.

In these difficult situations, the role of the local actors like the Red Cross and Red Crescent becomes central as they have the trust of the communities and of the authorities.

We see this in the work of the Egyptian Red Crescent as well as in the preparatory work of National Societies in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and more.

The IFRC is supporting and coordinating these national efforts while working hard to augment their capacities as well as partnering with ECHO for a humanitarian air bridge for Gaza.

Today we call for three things and ask for your influence to–
  1. Protection to ensure neutral, independent humanitarian action of our member National Societies at local level as per IHL.
  2. Access to ensure unhindered and safe access for National Societies to reach all parts of Gaza including the north. 
  3. Assistance to scale up aid efforts unconditionally so that hospitals, ambulances, water facilities, and waste management can function.

No matter how dark the hour, we must support one another and be a collective beacon of hope.

Thank you.