Category: Appeals

Shot in the leg at seven months old, the nightmare reality of Syria’s conflict

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In Syria, a seven-month-old baby lies on an examining table while an adult hand lifts up his leg to show scars from a bullet wound

Fatma’s seven-month-old grandson was shot in the leg © SARC/Tareq Mnadili

The last thing Fatma expected was for her seven-month-old grandson to be shot in the leg while lying in his bed.

And yet, such is the indiscriminate brutality of Syria’s conflict, Fatma watched this improbable nightmare unfold before her eyes.

“My daughter-in-law had laid the baby on the bed at home and the bullet just came through the window,” Fatma said.

“When we saw what had happened to him we were so angry, we cried.

“We just fled the situation, it was very bad, there was shooting and bombing.”

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‘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

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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‘The big fear is cholera’ – South Sudan’s refugees stalked by threat of famine and disease

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South Sudan refugees

600,000 people have fled South Sudan to Uganda due to violence – ©IFRC/TommyTrenchard

Think of famine in East Africa and you’ll likely picture desperate people queuing in arid and dusty lands.

Yet behind the drought that has taken hold in the region is an often forgotten and equally pernicious driver of hunger: conflict.

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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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Syria’s children and the mental scars of conflict: ‘I only do sad drawings now’

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syria-children-art

The physical trauma of the Syrian conflict will forever be etched in our minds: images of entire towns razed to the ground; people with life-changing scars; the millions forced to flee across borders in search of sanctuary. Yet the psychological trauma of war – particularly for the millions of children caught up in the conflict – is harder to see.

Recognising this, the British Red Cross has been working with our partners, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to make sure children and adults receive emotional and psychological support.

Hiba runs a Red Crescent community centre in Dweila, in rural Damascus. It hosts a psychosocial programme that simply offers children a chance to do normal childhood things and to express themselves through art.

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