TEHRAN, 8 May 2020 (IRCS) – On the occasion of May 8, World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, Dr Karim Hemmati, IRCS President, Atta Durrani, IFRC Programme Coordination and Cooperation Manager for Iran and Daniel Munoz-Rojas, Head of ICRC Delegation in Tehran, responded to reporters’ questions in a joint press conference.
Red Crescent continues to buy and import vaccines into the country
Referring to the importance of vaccinating people against the coronavirus in the current situations, IRCS president said that the lack of access to frozen assets made it difficult to get the vaccine, but despite the problems caused by the sanctions, we were able to get vaccines and vaccinate high-risk target groups.
“Some countries with friendly relationship with Iran have promised to cooperate in providing the vaccine. Therefore, the corona vaccine is received by the Red Crescent for the target groups in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Dr Hemmati.
He stressed the need for having a resilient society in disasters, and said: “For this purpose the idea of establishing Khanehaye Helal (literally, Red Crescent Houses) in remote and deprived regions was set in motion back in 2015, with the prospect of establishing 37,000 Khanehaye Helal across the country, and was seriously considered last year.”
“So far, 5,400 mostly-equipped Khaneye Helal have been established throughtout the country,” he added.
“Khanehaye Helal have the capacity to bring different groups together and form a small Red Crescent in deprived areas through small communities.”
IFRC backs IRCS against sanctions
Atta Durrani, IFRC Programme Coordination and Cooperation manager for Iran said: “All Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies around the world are one team and must support each other. This support is even more vital at this time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus because no one in the world has been immune to the disease. Today, we must stand together to face this global epidemic.”
Praising the establishment of Khanehaye Helal because of their utility, he added that today, Iran is affected by sanctions that have made it difficult to provide aid and services in some areas.
*“We will work to alleviate the hardships of these embargoes,”*added IFRC Representative in Iran.
ICRC appreciates IRCS’ volunteers efforts
Furthermore, Daniel Munoz-Rojas, Head of ICRC Delegation in Tehran said: “This year we would like to dedicate this event to the admiration and appreciation of the unparalleled sacrifice and commitment of all those who respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we are working together to respond to this pandemic and we are unstoppable.”
He added: “We must commend and appreciate the valuable commitment and dedication of the volunteers of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, as well as the medical and health staff who are at the forefront of the response to Covid 19. The committed and courageous staff of the Iranian Red Crescent Society and other national communities around the world are risking their lives to help their communities. It is important to recognize their key role in this response and to provide them with full support for the rescue services they are offering. We are ready to support the Iranian Red Crescent Society and its role in the national vaccination program.”
According to the IFRC, The the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement comprises 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with 160,000 local branches and around 14 million volunteers worldwide, the ICRC, and the IFRC.
It’s estimated that one in every 636 people in the world is a Red Cross or Red Crescent volunteer.