Apr 09, 2020 05:12 UTC
  • Red Cross allocates 500,000 Swiss francs in donation to Iran amid coronavirus fight

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Tehran says the organization is making efforts to create a financial channel for Iran to receive international humanitarian aid amid its battle against the new coronavirus.

According to Press TV, Barbara Rizzoli made the remarks in a meeting with the Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), Karim Hemmati, in Tehran on Wednesday.

She also announced the organization’s decision to allocate 500,000 Swiss francs in donation to Iran as the first step to support the country in its fight against COVID-19.

“As the first step, the International Committee of the Red Cross has donated 500,000 Swiss francs to support the Iranian Red Crescent Society in its efforts to confront coronavirus [which] is in progress,” she said.

She also expressed her condolences over the deaths of Iranians, including medical staff and relief workers who were at the forefront of fighting the pandemic.

“The Iranian Red Crescent’s request to have a financial channel for receiving humanitarian aid is a rational and basic request in order to help Iranian people, especially in the situation of coronavirus crisis, and the ICRC, in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), will make every effort from its Tehran delegation to Geneva Headquarters to respond to this request,” said the ICRC head of Tehran delegation.

Touching on the effect of the US sanctions against Iran, the ICRC official said, “We understand the serious concerns about the impact of sanctions on the import of medicine and medical equipment into Iran.”

“Basically, the medical supplies should be exempt from sanctions, but sometimes it is difficult to transfer the cost of medicines through bank channels. In this regard, the ICRC is negotiating not only in the regional level, but also in Geneva and with related organizations. And we are looking at all options and we will not miss any solutions,” she said.

The Red Cross would also seek to interact with Swiss companies to provide some of the special medicine needed by Iran, she added. “In addition to financial support and efforts to activate the Swiss channel, we would like to cooperate with the IRCS in field of communication and sharing experience of other countries with regard to confronting coronavirus,” she noted.

Praising the officials and all IRCS staff for their special work in the front line of confronting coronavirus, Rizzoli added, “We are closely following the IRCS operations such as information campaigns and supporting the needy, relief work and fever surveillance on roads, and other efforts to protect the health of Iranians during the corona outbreak and other incidents, [and will] inform the ICRC Headquarters in Geneva of such services.”