“Tomorrow, May 8, will be World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day and never as this year can I be proud of the incessant work of the largest humanitarian association in the world. 14 million volunteers globally, in times of pandemic made a difference, carrying out an extraordinary and incessant service on the front line. In Italy the numbers are creepy: 150 thousand volunteers, together with the approximately 50,000 people who applied to join the ‘temporary volunteer’ program, totaled in one year and half over a million and a half days of volunteer work. An impressive number that says it all “. So to Andkronos Francesco Rocca, president of the Italian Red Cross and of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Red Cross did not stop only at the Covid-related emergency. “Absolutely – explains Rocca – our volunteers have given an immediate response, in addition to the health crisis, the economic consequences of the virus, vulnerable people, young people, communities on the margins. Without stopping. It is no coincidence that we have chosen this hashtag, # unstoppable. In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, the work of the Red Cross has been unstoppable. In addition to the enormous activity on the Coronavirus front and the current commitment to the vaccination campaign, it has delivered over 160,000 food and almost 35,000 deliveries of shopping vouchers to needy people and families “.” And again, in 90 Italian municipalities the Street Units have worked in support of homeless people, even more on the margins due to the pandemic. blood, the clowning activity in hospitals, even at a distance. Our National Response Center has listened to and supported over 160,000 requests which, added to the activities of the Committees, reaches over 500,000 services provided and registered. There was never a lack of training for our volunteers and youth campaigns for correct lifestyles and to combat phenomena such as bullying and cyberbullying, especially in the Dad period “. On the concerns related to vaccines, Rocca says that” Currently, as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, we are supporting immunization efforts in more than 152 countries. However, we are very concerned about the real risk that many millions of people could die in the coming months, particularly in countries where vaccines may not be available and in those fragile contexts where blockages will lead to further poverty and food insecurity. Vaccines offer a glimmer of hope but, sadly, hope is not for everyone – there is a deadly gap in distribution. Yet fair distribution is not just a moral imperative, but the only way to truly defeat the virus. Another fundamental issue is vaccine patents “.” According to the WHO – adds Rocca – out of almost 900 million doses of vaccine administered globally, over 81% went to high or middle-income countries, while those in low income received only 0.3%. It is necessary to revoke the intellectual property protections for the Covid-19 vaccines, the only tool to accelerate the end of the pandemic. We need to loosen global trade rules to allow more countries to produce life-saving vaccines. Because this is a global health crisis and the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic require equally extraordinary measures. “” How will we celebrate our day? This year we will not be able to celebrate these goals in the presence – the words of the Cri president – but we will do something the same: thanks to the Anci, outside the municipal buildings throughout Italy, the flags of the Red Cross will be waved. On May 8, some public and historic buildings will be illuminated with ‘red Cri’. With the support of Grandi Stazioni Retail, the #Inarrestabili campaign will be “on air” from Milan to Palermo, from Venice to Naples, from Turin to Rome, passing through Genoa, Florence, Verona, Bari and Bologna and involving all the major Italian stations for thank the work of the volunteers. We launched “On the ground: Humanitarians in Action”, the four-part docu-series produced in collaboration with IFRC, British Red Cross, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Australian Red Cross and Land Rover, in which the activities of the Red Cross volunteers in different countries of the world, in an unprecedented winter like the one just past “. Finally,” tomorrow there will be the evening event and benefit concert in streaming ‘Many Hearts One Love’, which will be attended by important names of the culture and art such as Milo Manara and Michelangelo Pistoletto and entertainment such as Malika Ayane, John Mclaughlin, Ermal Meta, Paolo Fresu & Bebo Ferra, Olivia Trummer, Enrico Ruggeri, Tosca and many others. The objective of the event is to support and support the 14 million volunteers of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, spread over 192 countries “, he concludes.