ICRC makes emergency appeal for $1.2 billion
The International Committee of the Red Cross made an emergency appeal for $1.2 billion Thursday, saying the Arab uprisings had put severe strain on its resources.
"Unexpected and simultaneous humanitarian crises put the ICRC to the test," its president Jakob Kellenberger told journalists in Geneva of the year past.
He made an appeal for 1.15 billion Swiss francs (930 million euros/$1.2 billion) to deal with acute crises -- citing "sudden emergencies in the Middle East and North Africa" that killed, wounded and caused suffering to tens of thousands of people in countries like Lybia, Syria, Somalia and Ivory Coast.
The ICRC's 2012 budget included 970 million Swiss francs for field operations and 181 million for support provided by its headquarters in Geneva.
"In 2012, Afghanistan will be the ICRC's largest humanitarian operation in budgetary terms, with an expected expenditure of 89 million Swiss francs," Kellenberger said.
"Other major ICRC operations include those in Somalia, with a budget of 70.2 million francs, in Iraq, with a planned expenditure of 67.3 million francs, and in Sudan, which is expected to cost 55 million francs."
In Libya, an ICRC team was deployed to the eastern city of Benghazi just a few days after violence erupted in February, said Kellenberger.
"The fact that we had personnel on the spot was essential in facilitating dialogue with all parties to the conflict and in obtaining enhanced and more secure access to the people who most need our help."
© 2011 AFP