The Red Cross said Monday that shrinking funding would force it to make further cuts, after already slashing 1,500 jobs this year, amid efforts to avoid reducing humanitarian assistance.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it expects to have to make cuts due to a 13-percent smaller budget for 2024 than its already shrunken 2023 one.
"We live in an era of declining budgets," ICRC director-general Robert Mardini said, pointing out that the organisation's forecast was the consequence of shrinking humanitarian assistance budgets globally.
"The paradox," he told reporters at ICRC's headquarters in Geneva, is that the cuts are "taking place at a time where global humanitarian needs have never been higher".
The organisation had announced in April that it needed to save 430 million Swiss francs ($474 million) globally by early next year, resulting in around 1,500 job cuts worldwide.
The cuts, it said at the time, would mean that "at least 20 of currently 350 locations around the world will close".
But on Monday, it said that would not be enough.
An initial forecast for 2024 indicated it would need to decrease its budget by an additional 13 percent next year, it said, estimating a budget of 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion).
That compares to the 2.4 billion revised budget for this year.
"Adjusting to this economic reality will unfortunately entail further significant staff reductions in some locations," ICRC said in a statement.
It voiced concern "about the impact that reduced humanitarian assistance will have on people living through armed conflict and violence".
The full global impact of the cuts will not be known until the 2024 budget plans are completed in November, but ICRC said it already knew that around 270 positions would need to be cut at its Geneva headquarters, out of 1,400 people currently employed there.
When asked about cuts expected in the field, Mardini acknowledged they were likely to be "significant".
Prior to the cuts announced this year, ICRC employed around 20,000 staff spread across more than 100 countries.
ICRC, which was founded 160 years ago, is facing several simultaneous challenges, with a number of pledges not materialising even as costs have risen more than expected due to inflation, and the imbalanced focus on Ukraine at the expense of other conflicts.
Earlier this year, it said that out of its 10 biggest operations -- Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen -- only Ukraine appears set to be fully funded this year.