Diana Shaw

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

Posts by Diana Shaw:

How Victoria Beckham’s shoes helped build a new future in the Philippines

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A boy looks out of the window of a house built by the Red Cross recovery programme in the Philippines

When the sun shines, rural Iloilo can feel like a tropical paradise. But when Typhoon Haiyan ripped into it, this province of the Philippines was anything but.

On 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest storms ever to make landfall, killed 6,300 people and left four million homeless.

As soon as we heard the news, people in the UK were ready to help.

Over the next few months, our supporters raised a staggering £13 million for the British Red Cross.

Three years later, recovery from the typhoon is complete in Iloilo and people have been left better able to cope with future storms.

Here is how you – and Victoria Beckham – helped to rebuild communities.

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Soap, ambulances and 32,000 loaves of bread: the kit that’s ready to help the people of Mosul

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iraq-men-wait-with-relief-supplies

Approximately a million people are trapped in Mosul, Iraq by a battle being fought around them.

This is roughly equal to the population of Birmingham.

Having lived under siege for two years, thousands face shortages of food, water and medical care. Some have already started fleeing to safety while others may hold out at home until the fighting ends.

Almost all will need help as soon as we can reach them.

The British Red Cross is part of the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Working with our partners, we are ready to help people as soon as they escape Mosul – or the fighting ends.

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Grants, ducks and cyclones: seven lessons from Bangladesh

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A man standing in a doorway holding a duck in each hand

What would you do if cyclones flooded the farmland you depend on every year?

Imagine living in an area that floods nearly every year.

For two to three months, you earn can no money and have to leave your home because it is surrounded by several feet of water.

Your house and farm animals can even get swept out to sea.

Despite working hard and saving between the cyclones, your family gets caught in this cycle year after year.

In 2013, the Red Cross, with our partner the Bangladesh Red Crescent, started supporting people in coastal villages in a new way.

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The power of a gran in Afghanistan

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Three women wearing Afghan Red Crescent pinneys and holding drawings of a mother and child sit on the floor in a row

If you were a granny in Afghanistan, you would be one of the most influential and respected members of your community.

“Afghan grandmothers are valued authority figures,” said Justin Dell, Afghanistan country manager at the British Red Cross.

“Many younger women in rural communities have to do what others tell them to do, particularly their fathers or husbands.

“But everyone will listen to grandmothers and follow their advice.

“This includes men, many of whom are the women’s own husbands, sons or sons-in-law.”

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Diabetes in a war zone: how the Red Cross helps in Yemen

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Close-up of Ayman, a boy with diabetes in Yemen

Ayman

What happens when you have diabetes and your country falls apart?

When your home is bombed, over half of hospitals and medical centres close and there is no clean water?

Living like this would be hard for anyone, but if your diabetes means you need insulin every day, it is catastrophic.

This is the situation in Yemen, where estimates say that 900,000 people have diabetes and most depend on insulin.

Yet a conflict that has been raging for more than 18 months has restricted entry of all medicine into Yemen.

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Seven things you didn’t know about Iraq

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A two-year-old girl who fled her home in Iraq sits on the floor next to a Red Cross food parcel

The people of Iraq have survived years of war, disease, shortages and chaos.

Yet the conflict and its impact on Iraq’s people get much less coverage than crises in other countries.

The Red Cross is one of the few organisations able to support people in need all over Iraq. Please support our Iraq Crisis Appeal.

Some of what communities and aid workers in Iraq deal with every day may shock you:

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Interactive map: a snapshot of our work in the Middle East

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For families forced to flee their homes due to conflict, each season brings new challenges and difficulties.

While many countries are known for being very hot, they also have bitterly cold winters.

Click on the map to find out how your support to our appeals for Syria, Iraq and Yemen helps us bring life-saving aid to people across the Middle East throughout the year.