BUJUMBURA May 9th (ABP) – The Burundi Red Cross (BRC) and the International Geneva Committee (ICRC) proceeded in Bujumbura on Wednesday May 8, 2019, with the celebration the World Day of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, 2019 edition, under the theme “What do you like about the Red Cross?” The Head of ICRC Delegation, Mr. Philippe Beauverd, read a statement on the occasion of the day in which he stressed that for the year 2018, the staff of the Red Cross and the volunteers at the global level were able to come in help over 160 million people.

In Burundi, the Red Cross, through its vast network of more than 600,000 volunteers throughout the country, has helped 3,650 needy people. In the field of epidemic prevention, 54 village-level committees have been set up to fight against various epidemics such as Ebola, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as sensitization to fight against gender-based violence. Mr. Beauverd also reported that approximately 23,000 households have benefited from drinking water through rehabilitations of water points, occasional donations or structural support to the Water and Electricity Production and Distribution Authority (REGIDESO), to enable them to carry out their work in this area.

Regarding the economic health of households, small projects were developed in the villages where 1950 women and 1500 men benefited from the money to carry out those projects. Mr. Beauverd said that a special effort has also been made in promoting the rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to Burundi National Defense Forces, which are regularly deployed in peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and in Somalia (MINUSCA and AMISOM), as well as rules of international human rights law to the Burundi National Police.

Mr. Beauverd did not forget to stress that all the activities were carried out thanks to the humanity, the impartiality, the neutrality, the independence, the voluntary service, the unity and the universality which characterized the volunteers of the Red Cross. He took the opportunity to inform the Burundi government that the wearing of the emblem during operations is the only protection available to the staff of the Red Cross and the ICRC, arguing that this emblem must be respected and protected by all and in any circumstances, hence, he appealed to the Burundian authorities to introduce a law protecting the emblem of the Red Cross in Burundi.

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