Foundation joins FIA and motorsport community in #RaceAgainstCovid with €1m support for IFRC

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Red Crescent volunteers organising COVID physical distancing in a Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp. (photos courtesy of IFRC)
Red Crescent volunteers organising COVID physical distancing in a Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp. (photos courtesy of IFRC)
An ambulance of the Italian Red Cross in one of the countries so far worst hit by the virus.
An ambulance of the Italian Red Cross in one of the countries so far worst hit by the virus.
Red Cross food distribution is vital for isolated and vulnerable people.
Red Cross food distribution is vital for isolated and vulnerable people.

The FIA Foundation is providing €1 million to the COVID-19 response by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The donation is a contribution to an integrated COVID-19 partnership between the IFRC and the FIA, which will include an online #RaceAgainstCovid auction of motor sport memorabilia, conducted by auction house RM Sotheby’s and involving Formula One and other leading motor sport drivers.

The FIA Road Safety Grant Programme and Sport Grant Programme, both supported with Foundation funding, will strengthen an existing cooperation between FIA Member Clubs and Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies on road safety, by also scaling up interventions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With 243 Clubs in 146 countries representing 80 million road users, the FIA has a worldwide presence in motor sport and automotive mobility activities. With 192 national societies and nearly 13 million volunteers, the IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world have been engaging with their governments on how to best support the response to COVID 19. They complement governmental action plans and fulfil their auxiliary function. National Societies go the last mile, ensuring that affected communities and particularly the most vulnerable, are not left without support. The continuation of essential Red Cross and Red Crescent services, such as ambulance and blood services, is also critical to maintain a rapid response capacity and a safe and adequate global blood. The IFRC works closely with member National Societies in countries experiencing and preparing for active outbreaks, with an emphasis on those countries and vulnerable communities most at risk of experiencing significant impacts from the outbreak.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are providing essential services such as:

  • Providing direct medical services and healthcare to those impacted by COVID-19
  • Supporting quarantined communities with education, care, shelter, and feeding
  • Delivering psycho-social support to the self-isolated, caregivers and others
  • Giving durable and non-durable medical supplies and equipment to those in need, including Personal Protective Equipment, and essential blood and plasma
  • Preparing at-risk communities for responding to disasters and shocks during a pandemic including the most vulnerable communities.
  • Sustaining health care services for ongoing health conditions – (for malaria related-services, immunization, water, sanitation and hygiene) and help avoid the sudden disruption to lifesaving medicines (for epilepsy and NCDs)

FIA Foundation Chairman Lord Robertson of Port Ellen said: “The IFRC is playing a vital role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with practical interventions across the world. The FIA Foundation is proud to support these efforts and to join forces with the FIA, our member clubs, and the wider motor sport community to meet this challenge. Our support to the IFRC is part of a wider package of COVID-19 actions the Foundation is funding with other specialist organisations, including for transport logistics, vaccine and antibody research, community healthcare and PPE production.”

FIA President Jean Todt said: “Following a six-year partnership aimed at improving global road safety, FIA and IFRC are now entering a new phase in their collaboration. Indeed, in these difficult times, health, mobility and sport must walk together. We join forces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and our FIA Sport and Mobility Clubs’ network will play an important role in this reinforced cooperation”

IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said: “IFRC’s long partnership with FIA to improve road safety has turned into a race against COVID-19. Stopping the spread of this coronavirus requires teamwork and our partnership reflects our strong and collective commitment to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s global response to ending this pandemic.”

For more information on the IFRC’s global response to COVID-19 see https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/emergency/global-covid-19/