Category: Appeals

One in 100: the odds of being a forced migrant

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Syrian migrant carries her belongings in Jordan

© Ibrahim Malla/ BRC

Over 70 million people are forced migrants according to the Red Cross’ World Disasters Report, released today. That’s more than one in every 100 people in the world.

Across the globe, people are being displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters and other factors. In many disasters we have responded to recently, migration has been a key issue. More

Video: the difference Red Cross support to east Africa has made

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Kenyans by a well in Garissa

© Minna Passi/ Finnish Red Cross

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been able to help millions of people affected by the 2011 food crisis in east Africa.

The Movement provided communities with immediate relief, and is investing in solutions to help people in the long-term. More

Cold front: Syrian refugees face second freezing winter

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Syrian refugees

© Ibrahim Malla/ BRC

A guest post by Penny Sims, British Red Cross senior press officer, who went to Jordan recently to visit Syrian families displaced by the conflict.

It’s that time of year. The nights are drawing in, winter wardrobes are coming out, and soon the Sunday supplements will be full of warming winter stews and the latest scarves and coats.

No-one likes to be caught off-guard by our changeable weather. So imagine how you’d cope if you’d run for your life with only the clothes on your back, and were now contemplating a freezing cold winter. More

Leaving Syria for Jordan: safety is not the end of the story

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People who have fled to Jordan from Syria

© Ibrahim Malla/ BRC

A guest post by Penny Sims, British Red Cross senior press officer, who went to Jordan last week, to visit Syrian families displaced by the conflict.

“How did you cross the border?”

I heard this question a lot last week. When you learn about a refugee crisis you may think about the numbers, what makes people decide to leave, or how little people may have been able to bring with them – but the journey involved in leaving isn’t something you necessarily hear about.

The Jordanian Red Crescent are supporting over 11,000 families displaced by the conflict in Syria – over 50,000 people. These are not the people living in Zatari camp; these are some of the many thousands living in towns, cities and villages right across Jordan. More

Pakistan floods survivors need your help

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Elderly people and children are rescued from Pakistan floods by boat

Back to work with a bang after the summer holidays.  While I was enjoying some south coast sunshine with my family, thousands of Pakistani families have been struggling through chest-high flood waters trying to salvage what’s left of their belongings.  Sadly, those could be said to have been the lucky ones.

The team in the office here had already begun the British Red Cross response, but the true scale of the disaster only became apparent this morning.  That’s why we’ve upped the ante, released an initial £50,000 from our Disaster Fund and launched the Pakistan Floods Appeal.

I’ve said this before, but it’s impressive when our media and fundraising teams work so closely alongside us to publicise this appeal and give people the opportunity to respond.  Media outlets want to know what the Red Cross has got to say about disasters of this scale and it’s a part of the job to fit these in among the more routine aspects of decision-making around what form our support is going to take.

Today for me it’s been ITV and BBC News 24, and already some of the more difficult questions are emerging around access to regions where there has been fighting in recent years.  It’s important to remember that these floods have affected a huge part of the country, covering a variety of different challenges.  With our partner, the Pakistan Red Crescent, having branches and volunteers throughout the country, they have been well placed to respond.  Indeed, they have a long history of utilising our neutrality to work in even the most difficult locations, including those affected by conflict.

With more rains forecast, we’re worried about the risk of diarrhoea and cholera. We’re also worried that – with so many roads and bridges damaged – aid is going to be difficult to move around.

What I do know is that the local team on the ground will be doing everything to find a way around these problems. Using helicopters will be one pricey, but probably needed option to reach those who desperately need our help.

I would never wish a disaster like this on anyone, but it’s given me an immediate reminder about why we work in disaster response, rather than the usual post-holiday blues.

Donate to the Pakistan Floods Appeal or text DONATE to 70700 more info here: http://bit.ly/bmqcu3

Read more about the Pakistan floods

Image © REUTERS/Adrees Latif/courtesy www.alertnet.org

How would you respond to the Haiti earthquake?

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haiti blog picHave you ever wondered what disaster response experts do when disaster strikes around the world?

At this very moment the Red Cross along with other aid agencies are in Haiti, where last week’s earthquake has caused massive devastation and loss of life.

Our Haiti Earthquake appeal has raised an amazing £2 million so far, and the Disasters Emergencies Committee  (DEC) appeal, which the British Red Cross is a part of, a whopping  £23 million. Apart from raising these vital funds though we must also ensure we use them wisely and reach those most in need.

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How your donations help when disasters strike

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The difficult process of recovery has begun in Cumbria following the recent destruction caused by flooding. We think it is really important to emphasise how, with your donations, we were able to respond to the floods and how our funds are used to help when disasters strike. So, here is a brief outline of the way our funds work: More