Red Cross Memorial Peace Appeal

9 June 2021

This emergency appeal, drafted by Rev Feargus O’Connor (Golders Green Unitarians), is being launched in response to truly unprecedented global crises. It honours and implements our 2021 General Assembly resolution in support of the Red Cross Memorial Peace Appeal, which funds Red Cross lifesaving worldwide appeals.

Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel Crisis Appeal

As a result of the recent armed conflict 6,794 Palestinians have been injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 7 killed. In Gaza 242 Palestinians, including at least 66 children, have been killed and 1,948 people have been injured.  Residential buildings, water and electricity infrastructure and medical facilities have been seriously damaged or destroyed. The Hala Al Shawwa primary health centre, which provides COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, was destroyed. In the midst of the pandemic the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is struggling to supply soap, bandages, antiseptics and antibiotics as well as specialist lifesaving treatments such as those used for children with severe injuries and burns.  According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in Gaza alone more than 77,000 were displaced and over 2500 made homeless by the destruction of their homes. 

In Israel 12 Israeli citizens have been killed and hundreds injured by rockets fired by Hamas.  Medical and other essential humanitarian aid funded by this emergency appeal will be channeled through the Palestine Red Crescent Society and Magen David Adom, the Israeli Red Cross.

Global Coronavirus Emergency Appeal

Right now in war-torn Yemen two million children are suffering acute malnutrition.  Yemen faces the threat of the most devastating famine in decades.  In Syria over 5 million people have fled the country since 2011.  Over 6 million people have been internally displaced. According to UNICEF, 90 per cent of Syrian children are in need of food, medical and other humanitarian aid.  In both countries millions of children suffer acute psychological distress resulting from continued exposure to violence, shock and trauma.

A surge in coronavirus infections is devastating India and spiralling out of control.  Cases are surging by as many as 400,000 a day. The total number has skyrocketed to more than 18 million. The death toll is steadily increasing.  Hospital beds are full and there is an acute shortage of oxygen nationwide. There is a desperate need to provide essential medical supplies and treatment facilities.  The Indian Red Cross is working round the clock to provide urgent support where it is most needed, particularly in India’s most vulnerable communities.

This appeal not only honours our 2021 GA resolution but is truly in the spirit of, and builds upon, our 2011 GA resolution affirming the Charter for Compassion, our 2013 one proclaiming global interdependence and the interconnected web of all creation, the 2014 one in support of Red Cross lifesaving emergency appeals and our 2016 resolution calling for urgent humanitarian aid to millions of victims of war and destitute refugees whose lives remain in acute and immediate danger. You can find a list of these previous resolutions here.

It is being supported by our GA President, Anne Mills, our Chief Officer, Elizabeth Slade, the editor of The Inquirer, M. Colleen Burns, the Global President of the IARF, Robert Ince, our elected Executive Committee, and the Unitarian Peace Fellowship.

If you wish to make a donation please make it payable to the British Red Cross and send it to the charity’s offices at 44 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AL and kindly specify the appeal to which you wish to donate. Or phone 0300 023 0811. Or donate online here.

The British Red Cross warmly thanks all committed and generous Unitarian donors who have contributed £115, 104 to Red Cross emergency appeals since April 2012, both to the Clara Barton Appeal and its interfaith successor, the Red Cross Memorial Peace Appeal, an umbrella appeal for these donations, which can be sent to the Red Cross emergency appeal of the donor’s choice. No money is kept in any fund and there are no administrative charges of any kind as all donations go directly to the British Red Cross.