Category: Appeals

Syria conflict: scarce bread, deserted streets and the noise of war

Central dispatch in Damascus


This is a guest post by the British Red Cross programme manager for the Middle East and north Africa, who recently visited the Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters in Syria.

We arrived in Syria from Beirut in the late afternoon and got to Damascus as dusk was falling. On the Lebanese side of the border, we could see many people leaving Syria.

Over the road, at the office processing entrances to Syria, it was another story. The waiting room in the border office was desolate, with a few – mainly male – travellers getting their documentation approved to go back.

The road from the Lebanese border had not changed much since the last time I’d been here – over four years ago now – with rolling red hills leading down to the city of Damascus. However, as we entered the capital, we passed long queues outside two bakeries. Bread is now a commodity that Syrians cannot take for granted. More

Photo gallery: how we are helping people in Syria


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been working in Syria since before the unrest began. It has now scaled up its response and is providing medical care and supplies, water, food, blankets, sleeping mats, candles, and hygiene items, and evacuating wounded people to hospitals.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal

See below how Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been helping people in Syria.[easyrotator]erc_16_1359717145[/easyrotator]


Three years on: a multi-coloured path to the future in Haiti


As the Red Cross helps regenerate a community devastated by the Haiti earthquake on 12 January 2010, it is taking an innovative approach, ensuring the people affected are in the driving seat.

View over Delmas 19 neighbourhood in Haiti

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement launched its biggest disaster relief operation ever in a single country.

As the emergency phase shifted into longer-term recovery, the British Red Cross provided support for shelter, livelihoods, health, water and sanitation, helping more than 340,000 people.


Violence in Syria: A volunteer’s view

Two volunteers by the doors of an ambulance

© Ibrahim Malla / Syrian Red Crescent

As violence brings death and destruction to the people of Syria, a volunteer ambulance driver has described his life-saving work during fighting at the Yarmouk refugee camp.

On December 17 2012, Hamza  – a Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer – was called to help people in desperate need of treatment at the camp in Damascus.

Violence had left its hospitals completely overwhelmed and unable to take in all of the injured. The 22-year-old student spent the day taking wounded people for urgent treatment outside the camp before eventually returning to base, washing the blood from his ambulance – and heading back to Yarmouk the next day. More

Fear plagues refugees of Syrian conflict

Jordan Red Crescent Society officer Hibah El Hadid visiting the Syrian refugee family in Amman.

© Johanna Lassy-Mäntyvaara

This post is a based on an article by Johanna Lassy-Mäntyvaara, a journalist who recently visited Jordan.

Worry for loved ones left behind in war-torn Syria weighs down people who have fled to Jordan. Not knowing what the future holds, some of them dare not even register as refugees.

Winter is severe in Amman, Jordan, and in the coldest months the temperature drops below freezing. Many inhabitants cannot afford gas to heat their houses, least of all the families who have fled the violence in Syria. More

Syria conflict: how we get humanitarian aid to people in crisis

Truck in Dubai is loaded with aid for Syria


This is a guest blog by Claire Durham, our logistics manager. She explains how the latest shipment of British Red Cross aid will reach Syria and help displaced people as winter worsens.

Many people are still inside the main cities in Syria, living in bomb damaged houses or moving in with family or friends when it’s too unsafe to remain at home. Seeking refuge from the conflict thousands of people have also fled to neighbouring countries, where many of them are living in tents.


Haiti: Red Cross canal prevents flood of sewage during Sandy



A guest post by Adrian Thomas, our head of media and external relations, who recently visited Haiti. There, he discovered how a project helping people recover from the 2010 earthquake also made a huge difference during Hurricane Sandy.

Throughout Port-au-Prince there are ‘canals’ for drainage. These are often no more than open sewers that run through the narrow streets and close-crowded houses. Sanitation is a challenge – these canals flood on a regular basis and people get raw sewage flowing into their homes.

During previous storms and hurricanes – weaker ones than Hurricane Sandy – up to 1.5 metres of ‘water’ from these open canals would gush through the streets of Delmas 19. But thanks to our work to improve the local canal system, it hardly flooded at all during Sandy. More