Statutory Meetings 2022

2022 Statutory Meetings of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement 


Intervention by CRCS First Vice President, Ms Leda Koursoumba, on "Towards a Movement Strategy on Migration" during the Council of Delegates (23 June 2022)

"Madam Chair,

In our role as an auxiliary body to the public authorities, we carry out a number of programmes to respond to the humanitarian needs of migrants arriving in Cyprus.  Monitoring and promoting respect of their human rights is a top priority. Particular attention is paid to the most vulnerable ones: children, women, elderly persons and persons with disabilities. 

Our staff and volunteers address the needs of migrants residing at the four Government-operated Centres, as well as those living in the community, who apply to our district Branches with requests for assistance. This includes the provision of food, clothing and other necessities, medicines (upon medical prescription) not covered by the NHS, psychosocial support, counselling and Restoring Family Links (RFL). 

[Cyprus, being at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia and the outer border of the EU, is strongly affected by the constantly increasing migratory flows in the South-Eastern Mediterranean.  Τhe latest figures indicate that migrants in our country, constitute a 7% of the population, which represents the highest percentage across all EU states, way surpassing the 2% limit set by the Union.]

[It is indicative to know that, in the last three years, the influx of migrants arriving in Cyprus has been tremendously increasing, reaching an all-time record, last year. 

To demonstrate the magnitude of the challenge, please allow me to give some statistics. In 2019, the newly arriving migrants reached 1,6% of the population; in 2020 they reached 2,8% of the population; while in 2021 they reached 4,9% of the population. In the first four months of 2022 there was a 120% increase, compared to the same period of 2021.]

In this context, I would like to mention with gratitude that, since 2019, the CRCS has received support from the Movement through the Disaster Reduction Emergency Fund-DREF twice (2019 & 2021), the COVID-19 Support Fund (2020) and the Migration case for Support (May 2022), out of which for migration purposes, a total of CHF 404,423.52.

We have also had repeated assistance by the Hordaland Branch of the Norwegian Red Cross and the Swiss Government, and also from the Monaco Red Cross, in kind. To all we express, once again, our grateful thanks.  

In carrying out our mandate, we work in collaboration with the state authorities, UN agencies and NGOs, in a climate of mutual trust and within a frank and constructive dialogue. Recently, a mechanism was put in place to hold monthly monitoring meetings between the core institutions that offer their services inside the migration Centres. 

Our goal is to continue improving and reinforcing the services provided to this vulnerable group of people. For this, a needs-based research has been instituted in order to identify new areas of interest and design new programmes.

Madam Chair,

As envisaged in the “Towards a Movement strategy on migration” draft resolution May 2022, we would like to see a more holistic and coordinated commitment by the Movement, which will aim at investing more in longer-term sustainability and support, particularly for those National Societies in countries like ours that have been disproportionally affected by migration flows, to enable them to more effectively respond to the humanitarian problems affecting migrants.

In concluding, the CRCS fully supports this resolution for the development of a Movement Strategy on Migration to enhance coherent and coordinated actions for the support of migrants. 

I thank you, Madam Chair"





Intervention by the First Vice President, Ms Leda Koursoumba, on "Growing gaps in health and well-being" during the 23rd IFRC General Assembly (21 June 2022)



"Mister President,

For the last two years, the entire planet has been experiencing devastating socio-economic consequences of unparalleled proportions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Responding to this unprecedented crisis, which was compounded by global uncertainty, has been a major challenge for our National Societies.


The CRCS, in its role as an auxiliary body in humanitarian matters and fully supporting the efforts of the Government to deal with this unprecedented situation for the survival of the people, was from the first moment at the front line to support the vulnerable groups. We immediately modified and adapted existing services and programmes and created new ones, to respond to this emergency, in particular the limitations on the movement of people and the lockdowns.


Emergency Service for the support of elderly people and vulnerable groups:

Within this framework, during the lockdown periods, it was deemed necessary to implement a programme of home delivery of food and other necessities for elderly people and other vulnerable groups, who had no supporting environment. Thus, the “Emergency Service for the support of elderly people and vulnerable groups” (Emergency Service) was set up on 19 March 2020. The Programme operated on an island-wide basis under the management of the CRCS Headquarters and in cooperation with our district Branches, ensuring uniformity of guidelines and treatment of people in need on a pancyprian basis. This enabled us to take decisions and adapt procedures with no delay, so as to meet the needs of the day and serve the people in need in the best and most efficient way. Through this Programme, food, other supplies and medicines (on medical prescription), as well as certain personal services, were provided to vulnerable people. All in full respect of the hygiene protocols of the Government, being concerned about the health of the people to be served as well as our volunteers and staff.


Volunteers proved, once again, to be our strongest asset. Their response to our appeal for help throughout Cyprus was impressive. Together with our staff, who put countless hours of voluntary work, work selflessly around the clock, when needed, to respond to the requests of the people for help.


When the lockdown was over, it was considered that this Service should continue in relation to people in need, but could be operated at the local level by the Branches through their Social Welfare Programmes. To this effect, a training – brainstorming online seminar was organized, attended by all Branches to ensure continuity of the uniformity of the treatment of people and application of the guidelines, including hygiene protocols.


A highly important feature of this Service is the database that was created for the purpose and continues to be kept with all relevant data (particulars of the applicant such as, sex, age, ethnicity and of the kind of assistance given). This enables us to have, at any given time, an accurate picture of the assistance given during the pandemic and to this date. Furthermore, it is conducive to transparency and accountability, very important factors for our National Society. It enables us to account in detail to our numerous donors, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to provide this assistance to people, and to the society at large, how the grants for the purpose were used.  


We feel proud and content to know that, from 19 March 2020 to May 2022, the CRCS responded to 28.866 requests providing humanitarian assistance in kind to more than 91.000 people. This number corresponds to more than 10% of the total population of the country.


In conclusion, the pandemic has been another challenge which proved the importance of the auxiliary role of our National Societies in the principle of Humanity; and also proved the invaluable asset of volunteerism. A lesson that can be learned is that, it is of the outmost importance to continue to invest in local action with capacity building of our National Societies and also in volunteerism.


I thank you Mister President."

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