The Kabul Times.
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ICRC; world’s largest humanitarian committee

8 May coincides with World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, coinciding with the birthday of Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip, Dunant was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern-day Italy where deadly battles happened between Austria and France and the death toll in the battles reached to 50,000 people. Dunant recorded his memories and experiences in the book ‘A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863.
The World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is marked to honor the founder of the Red Cross and recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. It is a day to recognize employees and volunteers working within the network and trying with full devotion to reduce the pain of human beings across the world.
A round the globe, Red Cross and Red Crescent helps nearly 1 in 25 people every year. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity, especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. It is present in every country and supported by millions of volunteers.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has delivered services for the past 150 years, while the committee started its operation in Afghanistan 30 years ago. The committee is operating in 17 provinces of the country. The committee is responding to the Afghanistan war by helping wounded and disabled people, supporting hospitals, making prison visits and helping detainees maintain contact with their families, monitoring the conduct of hostilities and preventing IHL violations, improving water and sanitation, promoting IHL and supporting the Afghan Red Crescent Society.
Currently, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has suspended its operations in the country following the Taliban threat. The committee says efforts are underway for negotiations with the Taliban group to resume its operations in Afghanistan.
An ICRC spokesman Robin Waudo has said that the organization has suspended its relief work because of the withdrawal of security guarantees by the Taliban. “Therefore, we are now in the process of contacting the Taliban group to initiate a bilateral and confidential dialogue in view of the Taliban statement,” Waudo added. Meanwhile, a number of Afghan politicians say this act of the Taliban group will harm the ongoing peace negotiations. According to civil society organizations, the decision of the Taliban group for suspension of the committee’s operations in thecountry will seriously harm peace negotiations. Last year, Taliban took similar act and criticized the ICRC’s operations in Afghanistan, which results in suspension of the committee’s operations for two months.
Currently, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world and the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is marked every year for creating a peaceful environment worldwide.
Lailuma Noori

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The Kabul Times.