Diana Shaw

Diana writes on Asia, the Middle East and all things Red Cross.

Posts by Diana Shaw:

Little food, no water and stifling heat: families trapped in the Syrian desert

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A two-year-old girl takes a bath in a plastic basin of dirty water outside Raqqa, Syria

© ICRC/ Ingy Sedky

While hundreds of thousands of people have managed to escape the fighting in Raqqa since April, the fate of tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the Syrian city remains unknown. Ingy Sedky, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, reports from the camps outside the forlorn city.

“Take a picture,” the man said to me as he took my hand. “Show the world how we are living.”

He brought me to see his young daughter, who was having a bath in a basin full of contaminated, muddy water.

This family once had a house with running water and clean clothes. They went to work and school, and ate good meals together.

Now, this is all they have, this is how they live.

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Back to the land: how gardening saves lives in Syria

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A wooden box with a handle is filled with vegetables harvested from an allotment in the UK

An allotment harvest in the UK © iStock

If you’ve ever obsessed over plant watering techniques, cursed an army of slugs or wondered what to do with a wheelbarrow of artichokes, chances are you’re an allotment holder.

Allotments are a UK institution. Waiting lists stretch from years into decades in some places as we hanker after the magic of growing our own food.

Over the next few months allotment owners will reap the rewards of their hours of toil as runner beans, potatoes and squash are ready to harvest. More

Sheep, medicine and food – how cash grants change lives in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, Naqeebullah holds a sheep while his young sons lean on his shoulders and one of the boys holds another sheep

Naqeebullah, his sheep and two of his sons © Pakistan Red Crescent

The Red Cross may be famous for our food parcels and more traditional forms of aid, but cash grants have long been an integral part of our work. Put simply, cash changes lives.

We’re working with the Pakistan Red Crescent to give cash to people in rural areas of Balochistan Province.

From buying sheep to feeding hungry children, cash gives people the independence to buy whatever they need and helps to stimulate the local economy.

Here are four ways people have used their cash grants. More

Cholera in Yemen: the numbers behind the world’s worst outbreak

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The statistics in this blog now cover the period to 31 July 2017

A baby with cholera in Yemen lies on a bed with an IV drip in its hand

© ICRC

Cholera is killing people in Yemen.

Shocking statistics from the ground tell the terrible story of the world’s worst cholera outbreak.

Around 390,8600 people have already been infected and more than 1,860 have died.

The following graphs and facts illustrate the rise of this unprecedented outbreak over recent months. More

Pride: how promoting diversity helps people in crisis

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A sticker reading 'All Different British Red Cross' is affixed to the palm of a hand

Being inclusive is a Red Cross value © British Red Cross/Diana Shaw

If you’re going to Pride this weekend, look out for the British Red Cross and say hello! Evy Bauwens and Olivia Cummins, who will be at Pride in London, explain why they are going.

“One of the Red Cross’ core values is to be inclusive,” Evy said.

“I think Pride is a key way to show our staff, volunteers, service users and donors – and the world – that inclusion is really important to us.”

Pride is an annual celebration for every part of the LGBT+ community and everyone who supports them.

Pride events throughout the UK give people the chance to celebrate what the LGBT+ community has achieved and what is yet to be done. Events include people of every race and faith, and disabled and non-disabled people.

Around 30 British Red Cross staff and volunteers from across the UK are coming together at the London Pride parade. More

Mosul: snapshots from a city in torment

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In darkness, light shines on a man carrying another person with a leg wound on his shoulders as they flee Mosul at night

Escaping by night © A. Liohn/ICRC

For centuries, armed conflicts were fought by armies on vast battlefields. Even if cities were besieged or sacked, fighting rarely took place in the streets.

In the 21st century, wars are being fought in cities.

From 2010 to 2015, half of the civilians who were killed in armed conflict died in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

And 70 per cent of these people lived in cities.

Almost nowhere is worse affected than the Iraqi city of Mosul.

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Children hit worst in Yemen’s cholera epidemic

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Ragdad, a young girl with cholera in Yemen, likes on a bed with her eyes half closed and an IV line draped across her body

Ragdad, a young cholera patient in Yemen © ICRC

The statistics in this blog were updated on 25 July 2017.

“She is unable to eat. She vomits everything and diarrhoea is constant,” said Ahmad.

He is worried about his two-year-old daughter Ragdad.

Like over 390,860 others in Yemen, Ragdad has been infected with cholera. More than 1,860 people have already died from the disease.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 suspected cases per day have been reported in the past week alone. And around half of those infected are children

Cholera in Yemen has become an unprecedented public health crisis.

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