Humanitarian aid vital to tackle COVID-19
TDT | Manama
In today’s unprecedented times, there should be no restrictions on global humanitarian aid and “protected areas and facilities must be expanded to include medical factories, masks factories and quarantine areas,” said Bahrain’s Justice Minister yesterday. He called for global cooperation in directing humanitarian aid efforts considering the current situation triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and National Committee for International Humanitarian Law (NCIHL) chairman, Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, was speaking at a global symposium, titled “International Humanitarian Law in the Era of COVID-19”, organised by the Judicial and Legal Studies Institution (JLSI) in cooperation with the NCIHL and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS) participated in the symposium, which focused on the humanitarian situation in the world, especially in conflict areas during the coronavirus pandemic. It explored the roles of the Red Cross international movement, armed forces in assisting national authorities during efforts to tackle COVID-19, and Bahrain’s legislative system in light of the new emblem law.
BRCS director general and acting general secretary, Mubarak Al Hadi, said that the repercussions of the global pandemic might fuel further conflicts and wars in the world. Therefore, he believed that humanitarian and relief organisations have an important role in reducing its negative effects by providing effective responses to the repercussions.
He highlighted the impact of the pandemic on people living in conflict areas, who were burdened by years of war and destruction and the deterioration of essential services and displacement. “International humanitarian law provides critical guarantees for those affected by armed conflict, even in light of the pandemic outbreak,” Al Hadi added.
“Rather than declaring a state of emergency and closing borders, collective international action by activating the principles of international humanitarian law is necessary,” Al Hadi said.