Today, on World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is joining a global celebration of the work and bravery of Red Crescent volunteers, and the diverse humanitarian services they offer in communities everywhere.
"Our volunteers live in the communities they support, from the smallest and most remote villages to the largest cities," said Ali bin Hassan Al-Hammadi, Secretary-General of QRCS. "Our services are tailored for local needs and delivered in local languages".
"Today is when the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement comes together to thank our volunteers who give their time and their expertise here in Qatar, and all over the world," he added.
QRCS reaches out to more than 7 million people every year, with a diverse range of services tailored to local needs. From emergency relief, health care, food, water, and shelter to disaster resilience and livelihood, it helps people to prepare for, cope with, and recover from crises.
Every year, around the world, the Movement supports more than 160 million people affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other emergencies, through its network of around 14 million volunteers and 450,000 staff.
Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are as diverse as the life-saving services they provide through 190 National Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This local action is supported by the global reach of IFRC, ICRC, as well as partnerships with sister National Societies across the world.
Mr. Al-Hammadi said: "Whatever you are living through – a natural disaster, a health crisis, the effects of conflict or violence – we are here to support you".
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is celebrated every 8 May – the birthdate of the Movement's founder Henry Dunant. It recognizes the bravery and dedication of volunteers and staff members around the world. 2018 is the 190th anniversary of Dunant's birth, mirroring the 190 National Societies providing humanitarian support in communities large and small every day.
In a joint statement, Francesco Rocca, President of IFRC, and Peter Maurer, President of ICRC, addressed a message to Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers:
"Every day, you work with people facing the worst moments of their lives - crises, war and disaster. You are the first responders and frontline ambassadors of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The growing strength and reach of our global network is because of you: around the world, in dangerous and unstable places, neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian action has the best chance to reach those most in need.
"On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we want to voice our gratitude for your work, and our indebtedness to your service.
"Doing what you do isn't easy. You're subject to threats and attacks. Every year, tragically, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are killed. We are haunted by the empty spaces that they leave behind.
"And still, the work continues. You work in increasingly protracted crises, with extremely complex dynamics. You know that the people you serve are no longer in tough situations for a couple of months, but for years. And yet, you accompany them. From urgent, life-saving assistance, to recovery and resilience programmes, you are there".