Red Cross under pressure, needs millions of euros to do its work

The Dutch arm of the Red Cross needs hundreds of millions of euros to carry out its relief work because of a surge in violence and medical emergencies, the AD reports on Monday.

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa and violence in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq are stretching the organisation’s resources to the limit and staff are working round the clock to ensure help is offered to everywhere that needs it, spokesman Jurriaan Lahr told the paper.

‘There are so many wars. It is unheard of,’ Lahr said. ‘I have never experienced anything like it in the 10 years I have been doing this job.’

The lack of money is forcing the Red Cross to make choices about where it focuses its efforts. This means, for example, that some people get one food parcel a month when they should get one a week, the AD said.

‘Experience shows it is easier to raise money for natural disasters than for a long-term conflict,’ Lahr said. ‘I find that hard to deal with because to me a victim is always the same – someone who needs help.’

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