Category: Appeals

India cyclone: lives saved, but livelihoods ruined

Kamala is 25 years old and is expecting her second child.

© IFRC/ Maude Froberg

Kamla is eight-months pregnant with her second child. When she heard Cyclone Phailin was approaching, she rushed to the nearby cyclone shelter. She says: “I acted as soon as I heard the early warnings from the Red Cross volunteers.

“That was the day before the cyclone was supposed to make landfall, but I went anyway – I didn’t want to risk anything. Then the cyclone and heavy rain hit the following night. I was scared, knowing I couldn’t move very fast.”

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Syria crisis: from Damascene lawyer to refugee

Jordanian Red Crescent volunteer talks to Syrian woman

©IFRC/Raefah Makki

This is a guest blog from Kenny Hamilton, a British Red Cross delegate in Jordan.

Not long after the sun has risen, I join volunteers and staff from the Jordanian Red Crescent on their way to the small office where they will distribute cash grants to Syrian refugees. There is already a throng of people waiting, and the crowd parts – unasked – to allow us into the building.

Outside, Syria is the only topic of conversation. Fragments of information from home are exchanged by people who have recently arrived. These are met with cautious requests for news from people who have left the country over the last few months.

Names are called by the volunteer at the door. Again the crowd parts to let people through – no scrum, no anxiety and no hostility. These are people who have learned to wait. People who know that – for them – change isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

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Photos: Red Crescent helps Syrians from besieged town

Two volunteers help move an elderly woman

©Ibrahim Malla/IFRC

Earlier this week, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent helped more than 2,000 people – mostly women, children and elderly men – as they left the town of Moaddamiyah in rural Damascus.

The civilians, who were given safe passage out of the besieged area by authorities, were met by Red Crescent volunteers. The volunteers took people to shelters in the nearby town of Qudsaya and provided them with first aid, food, water and other emergency supplies. More

Syria: three generations of refugees

Young Syrian refugees are taught breathing exercises.

©Ea Suzanne Akasha

This is a guest blog by Ea Suzanne Akasha, a Red Cross psychosocial delegate based in Lebanon.

“Let’s bring smiles back onto the faces of refugee children,” say Sami and Ghufran, two Lebanese Red Cross volunteers. Both volunteers have themselves fled Syria and are now refugees in Lebanon. When I meet them, they are being trained to deliver practical and emotional support to children. More

Syria crisis: refugee camps in Lebanon at breaking point

Children in Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut

© IFRC/ Ibrahim Malla

Shatila camp is a shadowy place, even in bright sunlight. Many of the meandering alleys are so narrow that the sun never reaches the ground and should two people meet, they have to pass each other sideways. The poor sewerage system makes the streets slippery and smelly, and above this labyrinth of alleys hangs a tangle of electrical cables, looping down in dangerous swathes.

The camp lies on the outskirts of Beirut, in Lebanon, and used to be home to around 10,000 Palestinian refugees. But, with the dramatic influx of people from Syria in recent months, numbers have swelled to an estimated 16,000. Shatila’s infrastructure is weak and it is now on the verge of collapse. More

How I became an international aid worker: Tom Russell

Tom (right) in Haiti with a local Red Cross volunteer.

©Tom Russell

Tom Russell has just returned from a three-month posting in Beirut, Lebanon, where he was supporting our Syria crisis response.

What does your job involve?

A big part is meeting affected communities to learn about people’s lives and how a conflict or disaster has affected them. I then match their needs to services the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement can provide.

My technical area is relief and livelihoods. Do people need help with their animals if they’re pastoralists? Do they need support with their land if they’re agriculturalists? I’ll work up a programme around that – recruiting staff, working out the logistics and coordinating with other organisations. More

Photo gallery: Syrian refugees flood into Iraq



The UN today announced that the number of Syrian refugees has now topped two million. One of the places that has seen a huge rise in the number of people fleeing the violence in Syria is the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Thousands have begun to arrive in major cities including the capital of Kurdistan, Erbil and in Sulaymaniyah. The rise in numbers is caused by the reopening of the Peshkhabur border. In response to the sudden influx, temporary camps are being built.

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Syria infographic: the crisis and how we’re helping


Today’s news that one million Syrian children are now refugees serves as a stark reminder of the constantly growing humanitarian needs in the region.

This infographic highlights people’s needs, how we’re helping, and why we still need your donations:

Syria infographic

Please donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal today