Red Cross doubles Syria budget

Red Cross doubles Syria budget

GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Confronted with what it describes as a “major humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria, the Red Cross yesterday urged donors to more than double its budget this year to address the conflict in and around the war-torn country.

The International Committee of the Red Cross appealed to donors for an additional 62.3 million Swiss francs (50.5 million euros to help it step up its response this year to the conflict inside Syria and in neighboring countries.

The additional amount brings the organization’s total budget for the area this year to 101.3 million Swiss francs, “making it the largest ICRC operation worldwide,” said Robert Mardini, who heads the ICRC’s Near and Middle East division. “Our plan to step up our response is modest if we look at the needs, yet ambitious if we look at the reality we are facing on the ground,” he told reporters in Geneva.

Mardini added that the additional funds would be used to among other things help provide clean water to some 12.5 million people across Syria and boost its support for health infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Marianne Gasser, who returned earlier this month from Syria, told reporters yesterday that the needs in the country “are really growing by the day.”