The Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) says lack of budgetary support is hindering the effective running of the institution particularly in swiftly responding to emergencies and disaster cases.
Secretary General Gregory Blamoh, addressing a media briefing on Thursday, May 11, disclosed that there has been no direct government support in the last five years to the Red Cross to adequately build strong resilience in vulnerable communities.
He criticizes the government for being complacent in providing support, reminding that the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) was established in 1919 and reaffirmed in 2008 by an act of the National Legislature to assist with humanitarian services to vulnerable people and communities in Liberia.
Since its formation, the LNRCS has been a voluntary humanitarian organization, buttressing government’s efforts to deliver services to the most vulnerable during emergencies, including disasters and conflict.
The Red Cross is represented in each of the fifteen counties by a chapter and in districts by a branch.
SG Blamoh says at this critical juncture, it is imperative that Liberians come together to address pressing humanitarian challenges that require concerted efforts.
“We need to invest in innovative approaches that build resilience and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind, which includes prioritizing access to basic needs such as food, water, and shelter as well as providing critical health care services”, he adds.
As part of this year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent month and official celebration, which is being held under the theme: ‘Everything we do comes from the heart’ Blamoh told a press conference on Thursday that there is a need for support, coordination and combined efforts and consolidated resources to demonstrate exceptional kindness toward humanity in response to the immense needs of the most vulnerable.
The pledge for continued efforts comes on the heels of the observance of this year’s Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Day.
Disclosing its activities for this year’s celebration, Mr. Blamoh said, “The LNRCS team will focus on people in communities, the next door, who often are the first to step up and support those in need around them.”
He says the LNRCS will visit homes of people with disabilities, orphans and those with special needs to present food and essential non-food items.
“Volunteers will also engage in community services by cleaning the homes and rendering domestic services to people in need of our help.”
May of each year is known as World Red Cross and Red Crescent Month and an official celebration is held on May 8 to commemorate the birthday of the movement’s founder, Henry Dunant. This year’s celebration is under the global theme: “Believe in the power of kindness.”