The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued a ‘Call for Support’ which will provide resources towards an appeal launched by the Palestine Red Crescent for $9.3 million which is needed to continue their critical relief services for the next six months.

The International Federation is seeking 5.4 million USD (EUR 4.2 million/Swiss francs 6.5 million), taking into account that the ICRC has committed $3.9 million (EUR 3 million/Swiss francs 4.5 million).

The Federation said in a press release this situation has arisen because the Palestine Red Crescent relies partly on funds provided by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). However due to funds being withheld from the PNA since recent elections, as a consequence, the Palestine Red Crescent is no longer able to maintain its services.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) plays a vital role, in addition to the PNA, in the areas of health, ambulance services, disaster management and rehabilitation. It employs 4,200 people in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. It also has a volunteer network of 20,000 people. The PRCS is the largest provider of health services for 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon.

This crisis prompted the PCRS to launch its appeal on April 19. The appeal will fund the provision of health services, including five hospitals and nine primary health care centres in Lebanon, and the running costs for Red Crescent branches in Syria and Egypt. In addition support for disaster management and co-ordination will be covered by the appeal, it adds.