Statement from Canadian Red Cross on the Middle East Humanitarian Crisis

Topics: Middle East Humanitarian Crisis, Middle East and North Africa, International Humanitarian Law
Ottawa | March 08, 2024

The Canadian Red Cross remains deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold in the Middle East. Since the onset of the escalation of conflict in October, people living in the region have experienced persistent challenges and deteriorating living conditions. The depth of suffering is overwhelming and despite the dedicated efforts of humanitarian organizations including the Red Cross Red Crescent, the scale and scope of needs is beyond humanitarian actors’ capacity and resources under the current circumstances. A political solution to this crisis is desperately required. 
We continue to support our partners in the region who have been responding since the beginning of the escalation of conflict.
The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) continues to work in high-risk situations with dwindling resources. Adding to the complexity of their work is the danger they face, risking their lives daily. Sadly, 14 PRCS colleagues have been killed as they worked to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need. Despite the heightened risks, PRCS teams continue to respond.
The National Society partner in Israel, Magen David Adom (MDA) responded to thousands of emergency calls and mobilized 1,400 rescue vehicles on October 7. The lasting effects of the death of friends and colleagues, along with the ongoing distress caused by the hostage situation is devastating, and the lasting effects on people’s mental health will persist for years to come.
The Canadian Red Cross alongside Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners, reiterates the urgent need for:
  • the protection of civilians and aid workers from harm at all costs,
  • the dignified delivery of humanitarian services which includes the safe passage of aid, and,
  • a political resolution to ensure the sustained, safe and dignified delivery and distribution of aid.
Access for humanitarian actors to get aid into Gaza is a persistent challenge due to the devastation of infrastructure, in addition to the multitude of other barriers resulting in limited or no access, all of which significantly impairs the ability to deliver aid at the speed and scale that is needed.
As a neutral, impartial, and independent humanitarian aid organization, the Red Cross Red Crescent will continue to provide critical support to those in need.
@RedCrossCanada | |  
Red Cross donor inquiries: or 1-800-418-1111
About the Canadian Red Cross
Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 191 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to helping people and communities in Canada and around the world in times of need and supporting them in strengthening their resilience.
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