Diana Shaw

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

Posts by Diana Shaw:

‘You can’t leave your house’ – health care in danger in Yemen

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Close-up of Mukhtar Ismail, a 20-year-old man in Yemen, lying on blankets on a bed

Mukhtar Ismail © ICRC

“I have nothing,” said Mukhtar Ismail.

“I cannot cover the costs of the medicine. Before being injured, I used to work, walk and do everything. Now I cannot move or even stand up. I cannot breathe.”

Mukhtar is one of thousands of people injured during Yemen’s two-year conflict.

Like many, the 20-year-old needs urgent medical treatment.

But fighting and severe shortages of medical supplies mean that fewer than half of Yemen’s hospitals are fully functioning. More

“He was always looking after us” – Lee’s journey from Tunisia attacks to London Marathon

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Lee Stocker, wearing a British Red Cross vest top to train for the London Marathon, sits next to his wife Nicole

Lee Stocker and his wife Nicole © Evening Standard

“Without him, I don’t know how we would have coped.”

Lee Stocker is talking about Dr Howie Fine, a British Red Cross psychological and emotional support volunteer.

Lee’s parents Janet and John Stocker were among the 38 people killed during the beach attack in Sousse, Tunisia, two years ago.

To remember his parents and those who died, and to say thank you for Red Cross support, 38-year-old Lee is running the London Marathon.

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Baking bread and colouring hair – Syrian women take charge

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In Syria, Amani and Rouda stand next to each other next to a shelf of beauty products and a mirror

Amani and Rouda in their salon in Damascus, Syria ©IFRC

Syria remains the world’s largest and most complicated humanitarian crisis. As governments and international organisations gather to discuss the coming year’s aid to Syria, the Red Cross is helping people to return to a more normal life.

You wouldn’t usually find a fully-fitted beauty salon inside a small rented apartment in a suburb of Damascus, Syria’s capital.

But Amani and her friend Rouda set up just such a salon six months ago after attending a hairdressing course run by our partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

For Amani, becoming a hairdresser was a chance to pursue a dream and to support her family after losing her husband and home.

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Escaping Mosul: the youngest and oldest speak out

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A child looks over his mother's shoulder in Mosul, Iraq, as people arrive at a camp

©Tommy Trenchar/ Panos Pictures

“Planes were shelling, bombs were exploding: we fled from death.”

Stark words from a stark place: western Mosul in Iraq, where fighting has forced thousands of families out of their homes.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent are providing essential food, water and medical care to tens of thousands of people in camps and host communities.

This includes 30,000 hot meals and 40,000 pieces of fresh bread in one day.

But who are these people? What have they suffered? What do they want next?

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Sarah: a day in the life of a Syrian refugee in Lebanon

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Sarah sits in her tent with her daughter on her lap and her sons sitting on either side of her

© Andrew McConnell/British Red Cross

Sarah* is only 30 years old but her eyes tell of a hard life.

“I can’t think of anything that’s good that happens to me in my day,” Sarah says.

She has lived in Tripoli, Lebanon, in a makeshift tent for five years with her three children, two boys and a girl.

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Millions going hungry in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen: how you can help

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A woman in South Sudan holds a huge bag of Red Cross food on her head as two other people stand near her

Red Cross rations are helping to keep people alive in South Sudan – © Alyona Synenko/ICRC

You may have seen the news reports of famine in Africa and the Middle East recently.

Millions of people in four countries are facing relentless, crushing hunger.

Most have not had enough food for months or even years.

Parents are watching their children go hungry.

Here’s how you can help.

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Food, water, health care: five things you didn’t know about Yemen

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A man holds his young daughter as they stand outside their destroyed home in Yemen

This family is one of millions in need of help – © Thomas Glass/ICRC

After nearly two years of conflict, 18.8 million people in Yemen need humanitarian aid.

That’s more than in any other country, even Syria.

Over 14 million people don’t have enough food or water. Seven million of them are classed by the UN as ‘severely food insecure’.

This means that that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from and risk starvation.

A full-scale famine is possible in Yemen this year.

But how did things get so bad?

And what are the Red Cross and others doing about it?

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When hunger threatens lives – Q&A on malnutrition and famine

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A man, woman and two children sit in front of a makeshift tent in a barren landscape in Yemen. The family may be facing famine.

Conflict has devastated Yemen and left millions in need of food – © Mohammed Yaseen Ahmed Ibrahim/ICRC

The word ‘famine’ conjures up images of emaciated people clinging on to life. It is a deeply sensitive term and should never be used lightly.

The United Nations has appealed this week for funds to avert famine in Yemen, a country left decimated by conflict.

But Yemen is not the only country in the world facing famine: severe food shortages in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia are also putting lives in danger.

More