Due to insufficient funding, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the world’s most important humanitarian organizations, announced on Tuesday April 4 that it would cut around 1,500 jobs. The board of directors of the ICRC, which employs 20,000 people in more than 100 countries, has approved spending cuts of 430 million Swiss francs in 2023 and early 2024.
“With foreign humanitarian aid budgets expected to decline over the next two years, the ICRC must more deliberately direct its efforts to programs and locations where they can have the greatest impact”Underlines a press release from the organization headquartered in the heights of Geneva.
The ICRC initially appealed to its donors for 2.8 billion Swiss francs (the same amount in euros), but like many charities Ukraine has had to find that donations have been reduced by significant funds spent by its partners to push back against Russia. . He increased his budget to 2 billion francs.
With regard to job cuts over the next twelve months, the ICRC wants to limit layoffs as much as possible by betting on hiring freezes and natural departures. At least 20 of the 350 sites currently inspected by the ICRC around the world will be closed. “For example, the area may be covered by another ICRC office or other humanitarian or development partners may take over”.
“We’re going to downsize and close some projects.”It included the ICRC without specifying which ones. “We’ll be the first to share information about these changes with those who will most affect them, such as affected communities, stakeholders and employees.”The ICRC explained.
While the committee stressed that it is not unusual for appeals for funding to not be fully covered at the start of the year, it recalls that things are a little different this year. “This year, we are facing simultaneous challenges”, the organization explained, citing commitments that the last quarter of 2022 did not reach the estimated level due to inflation and that costs in the last quarter of 2022 would be higher than expected. And mention:
“Due to these factors, we started 2023 with a deficit of around 140 million francs. »
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