Red Cross, Red Crescent Day celebrated [Archives:2005/841/Community]

May 12 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)'s Office, in collaboration with the International Red Cross Federation, celebrated on May 8 the world day of the Red Crescent and Cross at the headquarters of the YRCS in Sana'a.

This day is the annual anniversary of the birthday of Henry Dunant, who was the first to have founded it in the 19th Century on the principles of the international movement of the Red Cross and Crescent.

Dr. Abbas Zabarah, YRCS Secretary General, pointed out in his speech the significance of the occasion and the voluntary efforts of YRCS since its establishment in the 60s of the last century as well as the cooperation between the YRCS and the ICRC.

“We must continue disseminating the ideology of protecting human dignity especially at times of war and conflicts,” he said. Mr. Martin Amacher, head of the ICRC delegation, explained ICRC commitments including following up the issues of lost people in armed conflicts, limiting disaster risks and consequences, and removing the stigma on AIDS patients.

He indicated their current activity in Darfur by providing help and protection from violence in coordination with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Sudanese national associations.

He called on governments to recognize neutral humanitarian activity and respect international humanitarian law.

Mr. Peter Kurlandsky, Sana'a-based representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross put forward the goals of next years: to strengthen the Red Crescent identity in the local community and to increase the number of volunteers and members.

At the end of the ceremony, Ahmed Nasser al-Hamati, Deputy Ministry of Information said that the YRCS, supported by the ICRC distributed foodstuff to the people of Maran in Sa'ada and the families affected by the war.

Despite the discrepancy between the roles of the YRCS and the ICRC, they have not done their duty well regarding the sad events in the Sa'ada province where clashes take place between the followers of Hussein al-Houthi and the government.