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Get your questions in for the resilience conference


 A plant growing through the cracks in a pavement


This is a guest post by Alison McNulty, a Senior Researcher at the British Red Cross.

The British Red Cross is set to hold a conference in London next month that will bring together experts from many fields to discuss the best ways of putting resilience into practice.

Now you have an opportunity to put your point across and help shape questions for our panel members on the big day itself.


Red Cross helps women improve equality in their communities



Gulaim and her daughter standing in the snow outside their home. Mark Pengelly/BRC

Gulaim and her daughter standing in the snow outside their home.
© Mark Pengelly/BRC

This year on International Women’s Day (8 March), the Red Cross is highlighting its work with women to create change from within communities, promoting gender equality and inclusion.

The Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent runs a fantastic women’s programme, supported by the British Red Cross, which is helping women redress economic, political and social inequalities. In a society which traditionally believes a woman’s place is in the home, the programme is changing mindsets, attitudes and behaviours within individuals, families and communities.


How to tackle hunger and malnutrition – part two


Mary Atkinson in front of painting of the Red Cross emblem

© Matthew Percival/BRC

With around 925 million people going to bed hungry every night, Mary Atkinson, British Red Cross food security adviser, talks about the need to prioritise the issue of hunger and malnutrition.

1. Given the fact that more people die from hunger than HIV, TB and malaria combined, what priority does the British Red Cross place on addressing the issue?

The causes of death from hunger are usually to do with a combination of not eating enough nutritious food and disease. So it’s not just about access to food – we also need to address public health issues around clean water, sanitation, HIV, and so on. It’s important to consider all the factors both in responding to emergencies and through our longer-term work.

The reasons behind people’s vulnerability are complex and varied – poverty, drought, floods, natural disasters, conflict and inflation are all factors. At the Red Cross we take an integrated approach to try and understand all those risks, then look at how we can build people’s resilience to the issues that result in them going hungry. More

How to tackle hunger and malnutrition – part one

Mary Atkinson in front of painting of the Red Cross emblem

© Matthew Percival/BRC

Mary Atkinson, British Red Cross food security adviser, talks about hunger and malnutrition – an issue affecting more people than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization).

1. How is the British Red Cross tackling hunger and malnutrition?

As a food security adviser when I talk about hunger, it’s not the sort of hunger I feel when I haven’t had time for a lunch break – it is repeated feelings of hunger from constantly not having enough food and the worry that goes with not knowing where your next meal is coming from. It’s a result of people’s success or lack of it at generating enough income or growing enough food to meet their needs.

So we support people’s livelihoods, helping those in agriculture to grow food and helping people get better yields and better income from their outputs. We also support other income generating activities because hunger is mostly about access to food and not the amount of food that’s available. Most farmers still have to purchase the majority of their food. More

Red Cross helps Britons from Algeria hostage crisis


Sarah Davidson in Algeria

A British Red Cross psychosocial support team has returned to the UK after helping Britons involved in the Algerian hostage crisis. Team member Sarah Davidson reports back on what happened:

On 17 January 2013, militants overran a gas plant facility in eastern Algeria. The four-day siege and hostage taking resulted in the deaths of 37 foreigners of eight nationalities and one Algerian worker. Three Britons were killed and three others are missing and presumed dead.

Our team of six travelled to North Africa on 18 January to provide emotional support and practical help to British nationals caught in the situation, and their relatives. More

How I became an international aid worker: Helois Ellien


Helois in Cameroon

Helois Ellien works in Paris for the French Red Cross managing its emergency response unit (ERU). He answers five questions about life as an aid worker.

1. What does your job involve?

We are a general emergency desk, capable of working with different Red Cross partners and responding to complex disasters and ongoing crises that may not make the news. This involves using specific logistics expertise to support emergency relief operations, as well as transferring our skills to partners in the field. We have also started to work on environmental issues; logistics efficiency, green activities, environmental impact assessments etc.

Before joining the ERU desk in Paris, I had not worked with volunteers at a national level and I started to organise and manage the teams with my previous non-governmental organisation (NGO) experience and the idea of professionalising the rosters quickly to be more effective and enhance the French Red Cross’ ability to respond to disasters. This has been my main motivation; taking up the challenge of leading the change. I hope it will work. The following months are going to be crucial. More