GENEVA — The Red Cross is preparing to launch a new website to help reunite families ripped apart by conflicts and natural disasters all around the world, it said Monday.
"War, disaster and migration separate thousands of family members every year," the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement ahead of Tuesday's launch of its "Restoring Family Links" website.
People searching for their missing family members can soon put a request on the new website, and "dedicated specialists ... will provide personal follow-up on enquiries," said Olivier Dubois, the deputy head of ICRC's Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division.
Relying on a vast network of volunteers already on the ground, integrated into communities basically all over the world, the ICRC and national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies is able to actively search for the missing people, he said.
While the website is the first focused on crises worldwide, the ICRC has previously launched a total of 23 websites focused on specific crises -- the first one during the Bosnian conflict in 1996, and most recently after last year's earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.