Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Sam brings you the latest stories, interviews and updates about British Red Cross work in Syria, Africa and the Americas.

Posts by Sam Smith:

A dark day in the history of the Red Cross

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©ICRC/AbdulazizAl-Droubi

©ICRC/AbdulazizAl-Droubi

We cannot accept attacks on aid workers, says British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson. 

I received a message around lunchtime yesterday informing me that six of our colleagues from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been killed in Afghanistan in an apparent deliberate attack by unknown armed men. Two colleagues are still unaccounted for.

A matter of hours later I was told that one of our aid distribution centres, near Aleppo, Syria, had also been attacked. One staff member from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) was killed. Two other people, who had come to the centre to receive aid, were also killed.

These developments highlight a profoundly worrying escalation in loss of life of humanitarian workers. They risk marking the moment that the death of people who should be protected under the international rules of war became the norm. We cannot accept that.

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The nomadic tribe facing up to climate change in Namibia

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©NikkiBidgood/GettyImages

©NikkiBidgood/GettyImages

Climate change and El Niño have led to widespread drought across southern Africa. Remote tribal communities in Namibia are having to adapt their way of life to survive, as Luke Tredget reports.

When we landed in the Namibian capital city, Windhoek, it was hard to imagine we were in a country where the government had recently declared a state of emergency.

We encountered busy supermarkets, chain cafes, and all the vestiges of an advanced economy that you’d expect from a country that spent decades as a province of neighbouring South Africa.

But, as with so many places in Africa, it is a different story when you leave the capital. More

10 photos from a forgotten crisis in Africa

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©MackenzieKnowles-Coursin/ICRC

Two-year-old Amahani, who has been sick for one month, rests in her hut – ©MackenzieKnowles-Coursin/ICRC

The crisis in Africa’s Lake Chad region continues to get worse and continues to be ignored.

These striking images give an insight into this vast emergency.

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Q&A – The Lake Chad crisis explained

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Conflict, acute food shortages, disease and widespread displacement have conspired to leave millions of people in need of help in Africa’s Lake Chad region.

This dire humanitarian crisis has not happened overnight. Conflict has plagued the region for several years. People in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger are all suffering the consequences.

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A mapping revolution that is saving lives

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haiti-maps-blog

How can you improve women’s health in Guinea? Or help people in Haiti who have lost everything after Hurricane Matthew?

You could give to an emergency appeal to fund our life-saving work. But if you’re after something with a bit more direct involvement, then taking part in a mapathon could be the answer.

Missing Maps is a volunteer-led project that sees people from across the world create maps that could help people survive and recover from crisis. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. More

Cholera Q&A – The deadly disease explained

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Millions of people across the world contract cholera every year. Estimates suggest that more than 100,000 lives are lost every year to the disease.

The destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti has led to fears that there could be a deadly surge in cases.

In this blog, British Red Cross health adviser Greg Rose explains the threat posed by this potentially life-threatening disease.

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Homeless and hungry – life after Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

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Elmita Nodeis sits on the ground in the school courtyard with a few buckets in front of her.

The school, in the southern Haitian town of Les Cayes, is being used as an evacuation centre in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. It has become home for Elmita and her family.

“My home has been destroyed and I haven’t eaten since yesterday, so I started washing people’s clothes for a bit of money,” said Elmita. More

Seeds of change – making the most of El Niño in Kenya

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kenya-kitui-2Few kind words have been written about El Niño – that dreaded bearer of floods and droughts. Yet a bit of planning and investment has seen communities in Kenya benefit from the weather phenomenon, as Sarah Barr from our international team explains.

The semi-arid landscape of Kitui County hides no secrets. Droughts in the dry season, floods during the rainy season, it’s little wonder that farmers face such difficulty growing crops in a climate that fluctuates so wildly.

Most people here do some form of agriculture, whether it’s simply growing enough food to feed their families, or to sell at market for a modest income.

Changes in weather patterns can lead to food shortages, impacting people’s livelihoods and health, so we were following El Niño very closely.

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