Moscow/Geneva, 7 June 2017The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy, has concluded a two-day visit to Moscow aimed at strengthening cooperation with Russia to build resilience to crises in the country, the region and the world.

Mr Sy met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss ways IFRC and Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies can work together to support vulnerable people globally, particularly in complex emergencies and areas of conflict.

Humanitarian needs across the world are vast and growing, from the impact of conflict in Yemen and Syria to hunger and drought in parts of Africa,” said Mr Sy. “Working in partnership with countries like Russia to achieve a shared aim of reducing vulnerability, suffering and building stronger communities is vital.”

Mr Sy also met with Russia’s Minister of Emergency Situations, Vladimir Puchkov, to discuss enhanced collaboration between the IFRC and Russia in the field of disaster response and preparedness in the region. The meeting follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IFRC and the Ministry of Emergency Situations last October.

Deputy Health Minister, Dmitry Kostennikov, also met Mr Sy in Moscow.

Earlier, Mr Sy joined Russian Red Cross Society President, Mrs Raisa Lukutsova, volunteers and staff to celebrate the organization’s 150th anniversary and develop a roadmap for enhanced IFRC support to as the National Society looks to expand its work within the country.

Mr Sy said: “The Russian Red Cross has a proud history and has championed humanity through wars, conflicts, natural shocks and hazards for 150 years. We are committed to supporting our volunteers and staff as they continue working in communities across Russia to provide support in emergencies, as we have seen recently following major flooding in Siberia, but also through health programmes like HIV and TB prevention.”

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