More than 40 percent of the 988.7 million Swiss francs ($1.06 billion) the International Committee of the Red Cross is seeking for its field operations in 2013 will be spent on Africa. This is, however, not surprising given the multiple crises and unresolved conflicts that has befallen the continent this year.
Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Mali and Niger will remain ICRC’s priority countries in Africa next year. The organization’s emergency appeal for its 2013 operations in the continent is 426.7 million Swiss francs. Of these, 66.15 million Swiss francs will go to Somalia, 58.82 million Swiss francs to Congo, 39.02 million Swiss francs to Sudan and 37.49 million Swiss francs to Niamey on the Mali-Niger border.
In Somalia, Red Cross will focus on assisting internally displaced people, providing them food and long-term support for self-sufficiency. In Sudan, ICRC will continue to help reunite families separated by conflict and prevent violations to the international humanitarian law, among others.
The organization’s largest operation, however, will still be in Afghanistan. With a budget of 86.5 million Swiss francs, ICRC will continue to address the health needs of Afghans across the country. ICRC supports 47 Afghan Red Crescent clinics, providing them financial and technical assistance as well as medicines and medical supplies. Its current operations in the country include assisting the wounded and people with disabilities, providing hospital care and assisting detainees.
Iraq comes in second at 66.5 million Swiss francs. While the country, according to ICRC, has “disappeared from the centre of public attention,” its needs “remain very significant.” Red Cross’ work in Iraq includes assisting IDPs and women-headed households, supporting health care centers, helping improve water sources and clearing unexploded munitions.
Countries that grabbed headlines this year — Syria, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Yemen — also form part of ICRC’s top operations in 2013. In Syria, ICRC’s focus is still on the provision of emergency health care and first-aid services. The organization’s emergency appeals for these three are 51.2 million Swiss francs, 46.9 million Swiss francs and 34 million Swiss francs.
“Our budget fully reflects our objective of taking action and attending to needs in the most suitable and meaningful ways,” ICRC President Peter Maurer said during a news conference on the launch of the organization’s emergency appeals in Geneva, Switzerland.
“For the ICRC, 2012 was one of the most challenging years ever in terms of security. In 2013, striking the right balance between the risks undertaken and the scope of the humanitarian response will remain no easy task.”
The ICRC has 80 delegations and missions around the world. The emergency appeals were based on identified needs in October 2012, according to the 2013 operations document.
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