May 10, 2022, 8:59 AM
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ICRC's Mardini hails IRCS' 100 years of sincere voluntary service

Tehran, IRNA – The director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Robert Mardini hailed all efforts made by the Iranian Red Crescent Society over the past century, terming it as "a hundred years of sincere voluntary service across generations."

Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA, Mardini said, "We are really proud and privileged to have such a partner such as the Iranian Red Crescent Society." 

"We have a long-standing partnership," he added.

Commenting on the main objective of his visit to Iran, he referred to the occasion of the Iranian Red Crescent Society’s 100th anniversary, describing it as "a hundred years of sincere voluntary service across generations." 

In answer to a question regarding the role of Iran – a major country in the region – in the Middle East where there are wars and crises, he termed the Islamic Republic of Iran as "a key state and player". 

When asked about the aid of the International Committee of the Red Cross to Afghan nationals in Iran, Mardini referred to the over 30-year-long presence of the ICRC in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the recent developments in Afghanistan, there has been an increase in the number of Afghan nationals who have immigrated to Iran, he speculated. 

The ICRC has enhanced the hospital capacity in Afghanistan, he said, adding that the service ranges from payment of salaries to health personnel to providing the citizens with medical supplies. 

He then pointed out that the ICRC has doubled its budget in Iran, mostly for health support, to protect those Afghan nationals who are vulnerable. 

The current budget is not enough, Mardini underlined, adding, "We cannot respond to entire problems [of those nationals]." 

He called on other organizations to take concerted action to this end. 

Earlier in a ceremony held on the occasion of IRCS' 100th anniversary in Tehran, he said, "We at ICRC dearly value our long-standing partnership with the IRCS in Iran."

"We would very much like to see our partnership with the IRCS develop and strengthen still further. There is no shortage of humanitarian challenges and opportunities on which we can build, together," he added.

"Responding to the protection and assistance needs of undocumented migrants who are continuing to arrive from Afghanistan is one. This builds on Iran’s long history and experience of hosting and helping millions of migrants," he underscored.

"Expanding and deepening our exchanges and discussions with the National Committee on Humanitarian Law of the Islamic Republic of Iran is another. And seeing how we can cooperate effectively beyond the borders of Iran is yet another," he further noted.

Robert Mardini is the director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a position he assumed in March 2020. As head of the ICRC’s executive body, he is responsible for steering the organization’s global humanitarian activities and its 20,000 staff in more than 100 countries.

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