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Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
29 September 2004

29-09-2004 Press Release 04/54
ICRC renews funding appeal for 2004 field operations
Geneva (ICRC) – As the final quarter of 2004 approaches, the ICRC still requires 132 million Swiss francs (Sfr) to cover its planned operations. This shortfall, which amounts to almost 20 per cent of its Sfr 790 million field budget, remains a concern for the ICRC as it strives to fulfil its humanitarian commitments for the year.

Presenting the 2004 renewed emergency appeal from ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Pierre Krähenbühl, director of operations, underlined the importance of sustained donor support: “It is vital for the ICRC to be able to respond impartially to needs when and where they arise. The impact and credibility of our action depends on our capacity to support people and communities caught up in armed conflicts and internal violence around the world.”

The ICRC currently runs a wide range of humanitarian operations from its delegations in 80 countries. Although many of these operations require additional funding, the organization's appeal draws special attention to the following places: Afghanistan, Angola, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Russian Federation (primarily the northern Caucasus), Serbia and Montenegro, the southern Caucasus, Sudan and Uganda.

In many of these places, people are suffering the effects of protracted conflicts, including a lack of basic services and ongoing insecurity. In others, where the fighting has ended and the population is working to consolidate peace and bring about stability, the ICRC is striving to address the long-term effects of past conflicts.

Public attention and the commitments made by the international community have not yet resulted in sufficient support for the ICRC's operations in places like Sudan (Darfur and the southern part of the country), where the organization is Sfr 20 million short of its funding goal of Sfr 77 million, or Afghanistan, where it requires another Sfr 30 million to cover its initial budget of just over Sfr 47 million. In Israel and the Palestinian territories, the ICRC's Sfr 40 million budget is underfunded by Sfr 28 million. In the Russian Federation, where it is one of the few organizations that remain operational throughout the northern Caucasus, the ICRC needs another Sfr 14.5 million to cover an initial budget of nearly Sfr 36 million. For its operation in Colombia, the ICRC has so far received only Sfr 9.2 million of its Sfr 28.3 million budget. As for Uganda, where a largely ignored crisis has engendered urgent humanitarian needs, just over one million francs have been received to meet a field budget of 6.7 million.

“The ICRC continues to rely on timely, quality contributions from its donor community to pursue its activities,” concluded Pierre Krähenbühl. “While the overall level of donor support for our work has been remarkable, major humanitarian operations nevertheless remain significantly underfunded. This financial shortfall needs to be redressed if the ICRC is to remain effective in providing assistance and protection for the victims of armed conflict around the globe.”

For further information, please contact:
Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, tel.: ++4122 730 2282

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