The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is now 150 years old.
In all countries where the Committee operates, various events were organised in recognition of what the humanitarian organsation has done since its formation in February 1863 by a group of citizens of Geneva in the United States.
In Rwanda, the event organised to celebrate 150 years of the organisation’s existance was held at Rwanda Red Cross (RRC) headquarters in Kacyiru, where representatives from the private and public institutions as well as government officials were invited.
“As we mark 150 years, we need to look around and find solutions to actions that leave the population with no option but to their respective native countries to other countries where they stay as refugees,” said Jaky L. Villettaz, head of the delegation of ICRC.
Giving examples like Syria where political conflicts have left many dead and others displaced and homeless, Villettaz promised that the organisation will continue supporting in such situations.
He called upon political and opinion leaders as well as governments to take action in ensuring the safety of their citizens.
Speaking on behalf of Rwanda Red Cross, Apollinaire Karamaga, the organisation’s secretary general, said that efforts are directed towards empowering the public with skills that can enable them to support themselves in the most difficult moments.
“In addition to working with the government to support refugees, especially Congolese refugees, we also come in to support those who suffer natural disasters.
We are now training locals and more volunteers to attend to others in such situations,” Karamaga said.
The Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, commended works by RCC and the ICRC, saying that they are partners with the government.
She also promised that the government would continue working hand-in-hand with the organisations to reach out to the public in the most efficient manner.