Middelburg/Geneva (IFRC/ICRC/The Netherlands Red Cross) - The International Four Freedoms Award 2014 has been presented today by the Roosevelt Foundation in Middelburg, Netherlands, to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, and the Vice-President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Francesco Rocca.
The Foundation has awarded this prestigious prize in recognition of the ‘enormous and unremitting dedication’ of the ICRC and the IFRC, their members, volunteers and supporters “to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and disasters”. In its citation, the Roosevelt Foundation commented that, in humanitarian operations all over the world and in conflict areas such as Syria, volunteers and staff from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the ICRC work, often under very difficult conditions and circumstances, to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
“This prize is a great encouragement for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a whole” commented ICRC President Peter Maurer. “I would like to dedicate it our 17 million active volunteers and 80 million members across the world, and all those of them who risk their lives every day in order to prevent and alleviate human suffering. These include the 34 staff and volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the five from The Palestine Red Crescent Society who have been killed in the line of duty in Syria since the beginning of the conflict, as well as, more specifically, to the three ICRC staff who have been captive in the country for 224 days now.”
“The world in which the Red Cross and Red Crescent operate today is radically different from the one in which our founder Henry Dunant envisioned the idea of the Red Cross,” said IFRC Vice-President Francesco Rocca. “It is, however, a world still marked by vulnerability, poverty and conflict, and in which we are needed more than ever. As the communities we serve face unprecedented challenges like climate change, growing migration flows, increasing unemployment rates and weakened health, we must be ready to change and adapt our action in order to continue to be relevant in a rapidly-changing humanitarian scenario.”
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network. It has three main components: the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Every year, it acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies, in times of peace and in conflict, to meet the needs and improve the lives of people who are in situations of vulnerability. It tackles some of the most acute humanitarian challenges around the world and help communities strengthen their resilience. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions.
For more information, please contact: ICRC: David-Pierre Marquet, Public Relations Officer, + 41 22 730 2502 IFRC: Giovanni Zambello, Senior Communications Officer, +41 79 708 3394 The Netherlands Red Cross: Eva Smits, Senior Media Relations Officer, +31 6 20 95 94 78