Dr. Fawzi Amin, head of International Federation of Red Cross delegation (IFRC), and Red Crescent Societies in GCC, said that the Red Crescent Societies in GCC perform a tremendous role in supporting national, regional and global efforts to combat corona pandemic (COVID-19),
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Dr. Amin, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS) and the first Bahraini to hold the position of head of mission, added,
“Although the corona pandemic presented an uncommon and emerging challenge to the theories and applications of relief and humanitarian work, GCC’s Red Crescent Societies were able to provide a prompt response to confront this pandemic, and the efforts of the societies had a significant impact in reducing the negative effects of the pandemic
While noting the role that the BRCS played specifically in this context, he drew attention to the various initiatives undertaken by GCC’s Red Crescent Societies, including volunteering initiatives to support the health sector and fulfill its urgent needs, distributing in-kind aid, spreading awareness of the virus and precautionary measures to prevent it, organizing blood donation campaigns, and providing financial support for global relief efforts.
“Many of GCC’s Red Crescent Societies made generous donations to the IFRC and Red Crescent, which supported it to improve the provided services around the world in light of the corona crisis. Most of the GCC’s Red Crescent Societies assumed their full responsibility in preparing quarantine places and food catering especially for foreign labor,” Dr. Amin confirmed.
by providing more electronic channels to communicate with the public, collecting and providing donations, and other aspects of providing relief and humanitarian services.
“These societies, in light of the corona crisis, continued their work and activities, especially the training aspect. All the routine tasks that the societies carry out, such as first aid training and natural disasters’ preparedness and training and many others, are related to corona crisis, so these societies continued playing their role in providing volunteers and training them and building their capabilities. This is expected because in the event of disasters, it becomes of the utmost importance to provide volunteers to the responsible government agencies,” Dr. Amin explained.
In the same context, Dr. Amin pointed out that the current corona pandemic contributed to raising volunteering’s percentage in GCC countries.
“We have witnessed a great demand from GCC youth to volunteer in the National Red Crescent Societies and others, even many of them are currently working as a substitute for foreign labor in some jobs such as working in the hypermarkets and waste collection, showing great courage and a firm commitment to implementing precautionary measures against the virus, and this is something we are proud of and makes us optimistic about the future of voluntary and humanitarian work in GCC countries,” Dr. Amin added.
He said that the qualitative government initiatives in GCC countries to tackle the coronavirus, in addition to the efforts made by volunteers, contributed to limiting the spread of the disease.
“We started observing the numbers to follow the updates and we found that coronavirus death rates in GCC countries range from 22 death in the UAE or 30 in Kuwait per million of the population, while the global ratio reaches 40-45 at the world level, while the proportions in USA and Europe are exceptionally high. In USA about 250 death per million and in Europe the most elevated rates of 400-500 per million of the population as what happened in Spain. We thank God as the situation in GCC countries is considerably better,” Dr. Amin confirmed.
In another context, Dr. Amin revealed that the mission of the IFRC and Red Crescent Societies in GCC countries will focus more during the coming period on addressing the issue of foreign employment in these countries in terms of housing, transportation, health awareness and others, and added, “The conditions of foreign workers’ housing will remain a source of concern in the event of a second wave of the coronavirus or another epidemic, and solving this issue ensures our countries are immune from epidemics or keep the virus spread in the narrowest possible range.”
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