Category: Appeals

Syria conflict: interactive photo map

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The map is for illustrative purposes only, and does not express a British Red Cross opinion.

Every day, in virtually every part of the country, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and staff are risking their lives to get aid to the most vulnerable Syrians – whatever side of the conflict they are on.

To ensure that they are reaching anyone who needs help, volunteers must negotiate their way through checkpoints, down roads fought over by armed groups.

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Volunteer doctor in Homs, Syria: ‘Maybe I will be arrested, and maybe I will die’

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This is a guest blog from Dr. Mohamed Noor Al Nassan, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer who visited London this week. He is the healthcare coordinator in the Homs branch.

My life has changed a lot. Two years ago I was with my family. But after about six months I couldn’t stay with my family – because it’s a hard job and it was a risk to go to my wife, to my home. So, since September 2011, I live in the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s Homs branch.

I see my family once a week, on Friday. I go home and have a dinner with my father and my mother. Then on the Saturday morning I’m back to the Red Crescent. It’s very difficult.

Fifty per cent of the team are now staying with the Red Crescent. Because our families are displaced people, some volunteers don’t have a home now. It’s very hard. More

Syria Interview: ‘people have paid enough with their fear and their pain’

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Dr. Attar outside the British Red Cross head office

©BRC

Dr. Abdulrahman Attar, president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, visited London this week. I spoke to him about the Red Crescent’s work in Syria and the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

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What is the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s role in Syria?
Dr. Attar: “The Syrian Arab Red Crescent was established in 1942. Since then, it has been fully independent and fully elected.

“Syria is about 180,000 km². We have 14 branches and 80 sub-branches, and our volunteers come from all those areas. Our volunteers come from the society – they know the ground, they know the geography, and it is easy for them to communicate with the people.

“But without partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Societies, we could not do our job – because the need has become more and more big, and resources within the Red Crescent are limited.” More

Japan tsunami recovery: Yoshiko gets over the trauma

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Yoshiko Sugawara with her husband in the waiting room of Motoyoshi hospital

© Masaki Kamei/ JRCS

Since the traumatic events of 11 March 2011, Yoshiko, 83, has had to visit her local public hospital regularly. She explains: “I’ve had lots of psychosomatic health problems – my daughter in law and grandchildren spent ages struggling in the water and my son’s home was 70 per cent destroyed.” More

Japan tsunami recovery: Kazuhiko struggles to get his life back

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 Kazuhiko Oikawa, 57, used to be a businessman

© Masaki Kamei/ JRCS

Kazuhiko, 57, used to be a businessman. Now, he’s working in a warehouse and living in a rented apartment. Pointing to the vista of foundations left behind by the tsunami, he explains: “It’s difficult for businesses to rebuild, because we still don’t know what is going to happen with this land.” More

Japan tsunami recovery: Kenichi rebuilds his restaurant

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Kenichi Murakami grills fish

© Masaki Kamei/ JRCS

The tsunami wiped out Kenichi’s restaurant. However, he has managed to rebuild his business in Kesennuma – a port famous for the ship that was grounded hundreds of metres inland during the disaster. His heavy burden of loans has been mitigated in part by funds provided through the Japanese Red Cross Society. More