Diana Shaw

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

Posts by Diana Shaw:

In Mongolia, beware of the dzud

Oyunbatt stands outside a snow-covered log house

Oyunbatt outside his home

No, that’s not a typo. It’s a rather dramatic weather event.

People in Mongolia are used to harsh winters. But this year the winter is even worse than usual: the country is in the grip of a ‘dzud’ (pronounced zood) – a hot, dry summer followed by a freezing, windy and snowy winter.

Temperatures average lower than -40° Celsius at night. Can you imagine?


Nepal: Keeping warm and supporting choice this winter

A Red Cross worker checks details written on an envelope while watched by a man and woman who will received it

People receiving their cash support from the Red Cross ©British Red Cross/Mark South

Just before Christmas, an orderly queue stretched for hundreds of feet from desks where men and women sat with paper, pens and envelopes of full of cash.

But this was not a holiday celebration: it was a Red Cross support programme for 17,000 families affected by earthquakes in Nepal’s Kathmandu valley. The worst in 80 years, the quakes destroyed over half a million homes last April and May.

Nepal’s destroyed houses typically had thick walls to withstand the winter weather and many people no longer have this protection. With political issues also leading to a steady rise in the price of heating fuel, keeping warm has become a challenge.


Supporting displaced people through Iraq’s harsh winter

Iraqi family sitting in a makeshift tent

Millions of Iraqis are living in difficult conditions after fleeing their homes ©ICRC

Imagine the population of Birmingham – around one million people – having to flee their homes and live in tents, abandoned buildings or temporary shelters. Now imagine this happening at the same time in Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

This is the reality in Iraq right now. There are over three million displaced people in Iraq ­– families who have been forced to move to other parts of the country to escape intense fighting.


When Facebook saved lives in Nepal

Men use ropes to move boulders in a destroyed building

5.6 million people were affected by the Nepal earthquake © Palani Mohan/IFRC

This is a guest post by Ruth Newman, Nepal programme officer for the British Red Cross

When the massive earthquake struck Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley last April, I was about to board a plane on the other side of the country. Not knowing about the quake, I landed in Kathmandu less than two hours later surrounded by panic and devastation – buildings had crumbled, people were trapped, and electricity supplies and mobile phone networks were down.

But there was a wifi connection so I quickly logged onto Facebook on my phone to tell family and friends that I was OK.


How one challenge led to another: climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for the British Red Cross

Rachael trekking in Nepal

Rachael trekking in Nepal

This is a guest post by Rachael Fisher Hart, a British Red Cross supporter

On 29 January I’ll be facing one of the biggest challenges of my life: climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the British Red Cross.

Another challenge, and the British Red Cross worker who supported me when I needed it most, inspired me to take on this hard but rewarding adventure. More

We’re helping one little girl in Yemen – but for how long?

Hayat and her brothers in their bombed house in Yemen

Hayat and her brothers in their bombed house in Yemen © Hassan Al-Najjar/ICRC

Three-year-old Hayat’s name means life, yet she almost lost hers when her family’s home in Yemen was bombed on 24 September. Her sister Dunia was killed and Hayat’s foot was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated.

“Catastrophic” humanitarian situation

The sisters are casualties of Yemen’s nine-month-old civil war, which has plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis. More

I’m dreaming of a Red Cross Christmas


Christmas is a time for giving and receiving – and you can enjoy both through our wide range of Christmas events and shopping opportunities.

Unique and delicious shopping days

Get inspired by the fashion show at the City of London Christmas market or sample Gluhwein and Bratwurst at the Christmas food market in Guildhall Yard. Across town in Kensington, taste some luxurious but fat-free chocolates at the London Christmas Fair.

Want to try your luck in a raffle for a fabulous hamper? Then visit the Hexham Christmas Fair where you can shop for unique presents.

If you love Christmas carols, join us for songs by the Bedford Prep School and Pilgrims School choirs while browsing the stalls at the Bedfordshire Christmas Fair.

And if all of this Christmas shopping makes you feel hungry, stop into a Co-op store ­where their range of festive sandwiches will support us to provide health and social care services in the UK.  More