Accountability

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12/08/2022 | Press release

Statement on suspension of the Peruvian Red Cross as a member of IFRC

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. Media contacts In the Americas: Susana Arroyo Barrantes - Communications Manager Americas, [email protected] In Geneva: Jenelle Eli – Media Relations – [email protected]

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15/07/2022 | Basic page

Annual Report

In 2021 the IFRC network played a critical role in bringing help and hope to the world’s most vulnerable people. Delve into our latest annual report to learn about our achievements, our progress against our strategic priorities and how we used donor funds in 2021.

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10/06/2021 | Basic page

Trust and accountability

Trust is the foundation of humanitarian action. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement depends on trust—of the people and communities we serve, of our donors and partners, and between each other—to deliver our lifesaving work.

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03/12/2020 | Article

4 months since the Beirut explosion: Lebanese Red Cross Secretary-General explains the situation now

On the 4th of August, a massive explosion occurred in the port area of Beirut, capital of Lebanon, injuring more than 6500 people and affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands. Four months later, a lot has been done but the work is far from finished. Secretary-General of the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), Georges Kettaneh, what are the needs of the affected people four months after the explosions? [caption id="attachment_70771" align="alignright" width="200"] The Lebanese Red Cross Secretary-General Georges Kettaneh[/caption] People need three things: cash, health services and reconstruction of their houses. We are supporting with the minor repairs and providing cash assistance to the families assessed to be in the most vulnerable situation. We continue the lead in the ambulance services and blood transfusions. We are active in primary health care services, providing mental health support, restoring family links and dead body management. We are also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways. How was the situation when the explosion happened on the 4th of August? We had, and still have, an emergency contingency plan to manage unset emergencies. But the Beirut Port explosion was something we had not prepared for or even imagined in our wildest risk assessment exercises. We acknowledge that the humanitarian needs were too big for us to manage completely. In 2 minutes, the blast caused devastation beyond imagination. People lost their lives, homes, loved ones. When we went to the streets to assess the needs, we found bodies of people laying on the ground. We started our needs assessment as soon as possible to have the data that helped us to set priorities. Many people left their houses that were destroyed so we could not reach them. Now, they are coming back to us asking to be included. We had to evacuate people affected by COVID-19 and other patients from the destroyed hospitals to the ones that remained functional, either in Beirut or outside the capital. How is the mental health of the Lebanese Red Cross staff and volunteers? We Lebanese often like to project a positive image about ourselves pretending that we are doing fine. But in reality, we have been shaken to the bones. Our volunteers and staff need psychological support as all Lebanese people do. Personally, I went through many challenging situations throughout my 20-year career as a humanitarian. During the war in Lebanon, I evacuated 21 bodies in 1986 in an explosion in Northern Beirut. I was kidnapped many times. I was under fire from snipers several times. All of this affected me for sure. But the Beirut explosion has been by far the most difficult thing to witness. When the blast took place, people called me on my mobile screaming that they were injured pleading me to evacuate them. We mobilized all the ambulances and volunteers we could, even the retired ones. Some of the ambulances were not able to reach people because the roads were blocked by the rubble. Paramedics were hearing injured screaming under the rubble of their houses but they were not able to reach them. As a humanitarian, this is your scariest nightmare.This affected me a lot. Some of my acquaintances and friends died. We all need mental health support in this situation, and the Lebanese Red Cross is doing as much as possible to provide it to everyone willing to receive it. What have you learned from the explosion and the response operation? The explosions were a force majeure. We were not prepared for such a thing. We didn’t envisage an explosion in the port. We were fully stretched by the COVID-19 as well as in providing first-aid, COVID-19 awareness and responding otherwise to the demonstrations in various parts of the country. No matter how overwhelmed we might be, we should always be prepared for the worse. Another learning we got when we started to distribute relief item boxes. At first, we had 400 boxes but only 100 people showed up at the collection points. The community members that were affected by the blast, did not come to the street to receive the relief items they urgently needed. Culturally, coming to the public for the aid was hard for them. We realized we need to adjust our approach to fit the sensitivities of the community. We decided to distribute the relief items from door-to-door even if it meant more work for us. Then, people were very happy to receive the aid as their dignity was intact. Does the Lebanese Red Cross have enough resources to help the people in need? We have gotten enough donations to provide cash assistance for 10,000 families. We are providing 300 US dollars per month to the most vulnerable affected families to cover their basic needs. You can read more about the cash assistance on the Lebanese Red Cross website. The demand would go beyond the 10,000 families but we don’t have resources for more. We are thankful for all the donations and support we have received from IFRC, ICRC and Partnering National Societies as well as other partners. We have worked together as one in the response to the explosion. From the Lebanese diaspora and companies, we have received more than 20 million USD as they regarded us as a neutral and trusted organization. What comes to the economic crisis in Lebanon, we don’t have enough for responding to that in long term. For example, we need to provide livelihood support and shelter for the people, including the Syrian refugees. In this situation, being transparent and accountable is crucial. Therefore, we have hired an international audit company to monitor our performance and to be as transparent as possible. [box] Key figures 3,741 Individuals treated & transported by ambulance 14,499 individuals received primary health support 13,895 blood units distributed to hospitals 22,001 households with 110,005 individuals received food parcels & hygiene kits 49,127 door-to-door household assessments completed 6,019 individuals affected by COVID-19 transported 16,437 individuals received psycho-social support 9,744 vulnerable families received cash assistance [/box] [box] Appeal Update: The Lebanese Red Cross launched an appeal for 19 million USD to continue providing emergency medical services and relief operations during the first three months. IFRC, in support of LRC plan, has appealed for 20 million Swiss francs (21.8 million US dollars) to scale up health, shelter and livelihood support over the coming 24 months. Read more on the Lebanon Red Cross website. [/box] Media contacts: In Beirut: Rana Sidani Cassou, +961 71802779, [email protected]

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