Caracas/Panama/Geneva, 29 March 2019— The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has announced that IFRC will have unhindered access to bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela to support a major scale up of medical care and other assistance by the Venezuela Red Cross.
The announcement comes after a series of meetings this week in the Venezuelan capital Caracas with institutions and humanitarian, social and political groups.
Speaking at a press conference in Caracas, IFRC President Francesco Rocca said:
“The IFRC will be able to scale up health activities across the country in a manner that is independent, neutral, impartial and unhindered, reaching more vulnerable people.”
“In a country torn apart by the struggle between powers, the power of humanity has prevailed. This is a crucial step forward in expanding humanitarian services in Venezuela, with a specific focus on health, saving more lives, and alleviating the suffering of vulnerable people who are facing a dire situation.”
With IFRC support, the Venezuelan Red Cross currently runs a network of 8 hospitals and 33 medical clinics. It also offers community-based medical screenings, consultations and disease prevention and hygiene programs. The Venezuelan Red Cross has more than 2,600 volunteers working across the country, including 500 who deliver first aid.
“As we scale up our operations, we can count on the committed Venezuelan Red Cross volunteers to reach people in need, whoever they are and wherever they are, with health care as the priority,” said Mr Rocca.
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