Category: Appeals

Japan tsunami recovery: Kazuhiko struggles to get his life back

 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

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

Syrians: afraid to stay, afraid to go, afraid they may never return

Sir Nicholas Young in the ambulance dispatch centre

© Ibrahim Malla/ BRC

This is a guest blog by British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nicholas Young, who recently visited Damascus, Syria.

Today, Syria is a war zone. Even in Damascus, the skyline is punctuated by plumes of smoke from bombed buildings. The streets are quiet and the lights are out from early evening. The call to prayer is interrupted by the rolling boom of mortar and artillery attacks, and the shriek of war planes overhead.

Food is in short supply, and even bread is hard to find outside Damascus. The country can no longer produce its own medicines, as the pharmaceutical factories around Aleppo have been destroyed or damaged by fighting. Over a third of the country’s hospitals have closed down. Typhoid and hepatitis are spreading.

The UN estimates that over 4 million people in Syria need help. More

Aid in Syria: by truck, boat, or horse and cart

Aid convoy in Azzaz

© SARC – Azzaz

By now, you’ll probably have seen photos of Red Cross and Red Crescent trucks taking aid to vulnerable Syrians. You might also have read the blog by the British Red Cross logistics manager explaining how we source supplies and transport aid.

What you are unlikely to have seen are the innovative ways Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are distributing aid in hard-to-access areas of Syria. More

First aid volunteers in Syria: “It’s a wonderful thing to save someone’s life”



Volunteering with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent is a commitment. Shifts are long, and the work is hard and dangerous. Most of the Red Crescent’s first aid volunteers are in their 20s, and many are juggling university studies along with their duties.

Volunteers are trained by the Red Crescent for a year before they are qualified to join a first aid unit. Despite the conflict, the Red Crescent has been able to continue recruiting and training first aid and psychosocial support volunteers.

Although their job is often a dangerous one, volunteers speak about their work with passion and dedication.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal


West Africa update: supporting people affected by Mali conflict


This week sees the closure of our West Africa Food Crisis Appeal. However, with access to food remaining difficult – and conflict in Mali making humanitarian needs in the region worse – the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will continue to support people across the region.

71-year-old Thiombiano L’Oudalan, Burkina Faso

© BRC/ Henry Makiwa

The Movement has been working in west Africa for many years, and has been responding to the food crisis there since December 2011. More