Appeals

Humanity at a crossroads: three journeys to Europe

montage of migrants holding maps

An exhausted 14-year-old boy waits for help in a dusty refugee reception area. He has open sores on his arms where he has been deliberately burnt with cigarettes.

An 11-year-old girl has left school, too depressed and withdrawn to continue after being raped three times in a matter of months.

A woman of 23 cradles her eight-month-old baby in a reception centre in Italy. She is waiting to hear whether the culmination of a seven-year journey during which she was raped, stabbed and imprisoned five times, will be a return to a country where she has no family, no money and no prospects.

These are just a few of the people travelling today across the central Mediterranean. Many will have left their homes months or even years ago.

They are moving for diverse reasons: some are fleeing conflict and persecution, others move because of poverty, loss of livelihood or lack of opportunity.

All of them have a story to tell.

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Seven things you didn’t know about Iraq

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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Why we’re rescuing refugees between Libya and Europe

rescue boat

Yesterday a staggering 6,500 people were rescued in the southern Mediterranean. They may have been fleeing from conflict, persecution, conscription or extreme poverty. No one risks taking this perilously dangerous and frightening journey unless they are fleeing from something even worse.

The boats these people were travelling on were in a variety of states of disrepair – from old wooden fishing vessels to inflatable dinghies. The vast majority were dangerously overcrowded and filled with women and children.

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

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.

A dream, a memory and a cash grant: how Syrian refugees keep going in Jordan

A young Syrian boy stands near clothes drying on a line outside a house in Jordan

In Britain, feelings about refugees are running high. But most refugees never even try to come to Europe.

The vast majority of Syrian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, including Jordan.

According to the UN, there are more than 657,200 Syrian refugees in Jordan. But the Jordanian government says there are nearly twice as many – around 1.3 million.

This means that approximately one in ten or one in six people in Jordan is a Syrian refugee – a huge percentage either way.

And, like in the UK, unemployment and increasing competition for jobs are issues in Jordan. Most refugees can’t work there legally and have to rely on humanitarian aid.

So, while life in Jordan is better than being bombed or hungry in Syria, it is often still hard.

The British Red Cross, with our partners the Jordan Red Crescent, has supported Syrian refugee families in Jordan since 2012.

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Surgery by head-torch: life as a doctor in South Sudan

Red Cross volunteers carry person on stretcher

Renewed violence in South Sudan has begun a fresh cycle of displacement for thousands of people.

Since December 2013, more than two million people have fled their homes. You can help them by making a donation to our appeal today.

Earlier this month, armed confrontations in the capital, Juba, forced many organisations to suspend their work.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides protection and assistance to victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence around the world. It is often the part of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which is first on the scene when fighting breaks out.

So it was for Colin Berry, an anaesthetist from Exeter who works with the Red Cross. Colin is recently back from a mission to the town of Raja in the north west of the country. Shooting and looting in Raja has recently injured many people and sent scores into the bush to hide.

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