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Red Cross seeks US$3.2 billion to fight COVID-19 ‘crisis on crisis’

GENEVA: The Red Cross said Thursday (May 28) it was seeking US$3.2 billion for its COVID-19 crisis response – a huge increase on the US$825 million figure it sought when it launched its COVID-19 appeal in March.

The global humanitarian network said it needed to scale up its response urgently to assist the world's most vulnerable people during the pandemic – and, crucially, afterwards in tackling the "long-lasting social and economic repercussions".

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The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said the COVID-19 pandemic had amplified inequalities in society, destabilised communities and reversed development gains made in the past decade.

The movement consists of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and 192 national-level societies.

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"In fragile humanitarian contexts, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new vulnerabilities for people who are already most at risk," said IFRC secretary general Jagan Chapagain.

"We now face a crisis on top of a crisis with worsening poverty and food insecurity alongside crippling economic conditions and a lack of public health services, safe water, sanitation and hygiene."

The IFRC is appealing for US$1.95 billion to support national societies in providing health care, water and sanitation, and mitigation against the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic on the most vulnerable people.

Meanwhile, the ICRC is seeking US$1.24 billion in order to respond in conflict zones, support medical facilities and places of detention, and to curb the spread of the virus among displaced people and detainees and ensure they have access to medical treatment.

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