160 Anniversary of serving humanity

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a press briefing on 20 March to mark its 160th Anniversary, as the committee has offered its generous services to humanity, and has an outstanding relationship with Kuwait.

The Regional Head of Delegation of the ICRC for GCC Countries Mamadou Sow told the media gathering that the committee had an excellent track record of providing humanitarian aid and supporting victims of war and disasters.

He noted that the ICRC was active in Kuwait since after the liberation of Kuwait and has a strategic partnership with Kuwait in leading efforts to provide relief in disaster struck places around the world.

He also stressed on the recent role of the committee in supporting the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, noting that the committee established concrete humanitarian action by assisting these victims.

He further praised Kuwait and the Red Crescent’s contributions in providing support and assistance in all aspects to those displaced around the world.

Sow pointed out that there were many conflicts around the world that need humanitarian assistance giving examples of Yemen with the population is around 30 million people, almost 24 million needed humanitarian assistance. He also said ICRC was present in Gaza and the West Bank to continue supporting Palestinians, despite their suffering is no longer in the news like before. Moreover, 15 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, because on top of 12 years of war, a massive earthquake affected them too, so ICRC is there to help and alleviate their suffering. 

Sow also mentioned Afghanistan, saying Afghanistan’s infrastructure has collapsed. Thus, ICRC has taken it upon itself to operate more than 30 hospitals. “These are only a few examples of crises that the world is facing. There are also situations in different parts in Africa regarding food insecurity, and the list goes on, especially since the guns are not silent in Africa,” he said. Sow assured that ICRC will continue standing on the side of people who are suffering around the world as it has been doing for the last 160 years.

Sow also highlighted the importance of the relationship between ICRC and Kuwait and GCC countries. “ICRC’s office in Kuwait is the regional office. We have also opened offices in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and we will visit Bahrain. So, we are present here in the GCC because we think that the GCC is a very important place for ICRC, not only to do humanitarian action, but also to partner with many parties and governments to support people in need globally,” he said.

He further emphasized that ICRC did a lot of teaching on international humanitarian law, because people had to recognize this law in order to respect it. “If it is not respected, it will not save lives. But people will not respect it if it is not known. That is why you find us in different places like the military academy, at diplomatic institutes, at universities, to make sure that humanitarian laws are known.”

Elaborating on the issue of the missing persons and the efforts to resolve this issue he pointed out that last year through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the tripartite committee concerned, 60 cases of missing persons were closed during 2022.

In conclusion Mamadou Sow expressed his gratitude to H.H the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, and  the Crown Prince, the Kuwaiti government and people, for their constant support to the victims of crises and disasters.

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