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29 June 2023
DToday, the Luxembourg Red Cross presented its activity report for 2022, which highlights the important humanitarian work carried out in aid of the victims of the conflict in Ukraine. It is also an opportunity to underline the extent to which the most vulnerable people in Luxembourg have suffered from the consequences of this crisis as well as the coronavirus crisis that preceded it. Younger people were particularly affected by the psychological impact of these events.
Michel Simonis, Director General of the Luxembourg Red Cross, emphasises “how important it is to understand that the most vulnerable are on the front line when it comes to dealing with the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, while some of the long-term effects of the pandemic are still being felt. After two long years of various restrictions, we might have hoped for an easier situation, but Ukraine has added economic challenges to the psychological and health consequences of Covid-19.“
“The most vulnerable are on the front line when it comes to the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.”Michel Simonis, Director General of the Luxembourg Red Cross
Mireille Neuen, Director of the Child and Family Support Department , explains that “children, adolescents and young people have suffered during the pandemic and some have developed insecurities and anxieties. And just when the horizon brightened a little, the conflict in Ukraine added new stress factors. In today’s world, it is becoming more and more difficult for young people to find their path and to have a clear idea of their future or even to develop a positive life plan.”
“In today’s world, it’s complicated for more and more young people to find their path.”Mireille Neuen, Director of the Child and Family Support Department
Nadine Conrardy, Director of the Social Action and Health Department , adds: “For many families and single people on a tight budget, the rise in prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine has made things even more complicated. People teetering just above the threshold for accessing social assistance have started to contact our services. While extraordinary state support helped many families to get by, single-parent families and people living alone in particular have continued to feel the impact of the crisis. Against this backdrop, our social grocery shops, whose activity increased significantly over the last 9 months of 2022, have all the more fulfilled their role in the fight against precariousness.“
“Single-parent families and people living alone in particular have continued to feel the impact of the crisis.”Nadine Conrardy, Director of the Social Action and Health Department
The most complex situations arise when difficulties of several kinds accumulate: “When a person has a health problem, it’s possible to help them,” explains Michel Simonis. “When they have an economic or financial problem, there are mechanisms to support them. When they have a psychological problem, there are professionals to support them. When, however, problems arise in two or three of these areas at the same time, it becomes very complicated to cope. And that’s where we come in most of the time.”
The last few months have also demonstrated the relevance of the Luxembourg Red Cross’ 2030 Strategy, presented last year. Alongside housing and health, Michel Simonis highlighted the ambitions in the field of volunteering: “Society is becoming increasingly fragmented. This is a challenge for us, given that solidarity is at the heart of what we do. There are so many people who need help – and so many others who don’t want to accept to leave the most vulnerable behind. Volunteering is a way of enabling those who wish to do so to make a real commitment to helping others.“
This desire to get involved took concrete form in the context of the conflict in Ukraine. Michel Simonis continues: “There was an incredible wave of solidarity. People made accommodation available, others made donations, others gave their time. We acted together and proved that solidarity exists. This is a reason to be optimistic and to continue to mobilise not only donors and volunteers, but also public institutions and businesses.“
To consult the Croix-Rouge en chiffres 2022, go to our publications page.