Beirut, 10 August
As delivered by Mr. Robert Mardini, ICRC Director-General
Thank you, Mark.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak at this important event on Lebanon.
As you may know, after the very first minutes after the tragic explosion in Beirut last week, partners in the Red Cross-Red Crescent Movement were responding to the situation, working robustly in a coordinated way.
The Lebanese Red Cross (or LRC) led the way mobilizing hundreds of staff, deploying dozens of ambulances, establishing first aid stations, organising blood donations and giving support wherever support was needed.
The International Federation has subsequently launched an emergency appeal in support of the LRC. As a whole, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is seeking 40m Euros to support the immediate humanitarian response.
At the ICRC we’ve worked closely with our colleagues in the National Society, pooling resources and expertise. We’re providing emergency medical supplies to a dozen hospitals; supporting specialist centres for those with lower limb injuries; providing food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable. And we continue to search for the missing and support in the dignified management of the dead.
Along with the LRC, we’re assessing needs in the fields of health, protection and the provision of water services and livelihoods. And we shouldn’t underestimate the psycho-social impact on the people of Beirut.
As the Red Cross-Red Crescent Movement has come together so it’s vital that we, in the international community, do the same to show that Lebanon does not stand alone.
The conference hosted by President Macron yesterday was a welcomed start. Participants agreed on the importance of providing assistance in a timely and efficient way, consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, and directly to the people themselves.
Excellencies, we all know the severe challenges that Lebanon is facing, and has faced for some time. The country is in an extremely fragile state. Whatever the politics of the situation, there is no doubt that the humanitarian situation requires immediate, sincere and wholehearted support. Right now.
Source : Icrc