Category: Emergencies

Little food, no water and stifling heat: families trapped in the Syrian desert

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A two-year-old girl takes a bath in a plastic basin of dirty water outside Raqqa, Syria

© ICRC/ Ingy Sedky

While hundreds of thousands of people have managed to escape the fighting in Raqqa since April, the fate of tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the Syrian city remains unknown. Ingy Sedky, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, reports from the camps outside the forlorn city.

“Take a picture,” the man said to me as he took my hand. “Show the world how we are living.”

He brought me to see his young daughter, who was having a bath in a basin full of contaminated, muddy water.

This family once had a house with running water and clean clothes. They went to work and school, and ate good meals together.

Now, this is all they have, this is how they live.

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Back to the land: how gardening saves lives in Syria

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A wooden box with a handle is filled with vegetables harvested from an allotment in the UK

An allotment harvest in the UK © iStock

If you’ve ever obsessed over plant watering techniques, cursed an army of slugs or wondered what to do with a wheelbarrow of artichokes, chances are you’re an allotment holder.

Allotments are a UK institution. Waiting lists stretch from years into decades in some places as we hanker after the magic of growing our own food.

Over the next few months allotment owners will reap the rewards of their hours of toil as runner beans, potatoes and squash are ready to harvest. More

Yemen crisis: an urgent plea for change from the Red Cross

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A young girl in Yemen stands on a steep pile of rubble holding a doll

© ICRC

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, spent this week meeting people in war-torn Yemen. He has released the following statement calling on all parties to the conflict to take steps now to alleviate the dire situation. 

I am leaving Yemen profoundly concerned for the plight of its people. The cholera outbreak remains alarming.

With the rainy season approaching, we expect more than 600,000 cases by the end of the year. This is unprecedented.

This outbreak is manmade. It is a direct consequence of more than two years of warfare. The health-care system has collapsed, with people dying from easily-treatable chronic diseases.

Key services like garbage disposal have ceased to function, as I saw all too clearly in Taiz.

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Cholera in Yemen: the numbers behind the world’s worst outbreak

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The statistics in this blog now cover the period to 31 July 2017

A baby with cholera in Yemen lies on a bed with an IV drip in its hand

© ICRC

Cholera is killing people in Yemen.

Shocking statistics from the ground tell the terrible story of the world’s worst cholera outbreak.

Around 390,8600 people have already been infected and more than 1,860 have died.

The following graphs and facts illustrate the rise of this unprecedented outbreak over recent months. More

Meet the Lord lacing up his boots for the Red Cross this summer

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Michael and Xuelin

“When I was young I used to want to ‘be’ something – an MP, a minister. But as I get older I realise that the greater responsibility is not ‘to be’ but ‘to do’. This is why I walk.”

Today Lord Michael Bates is setting off on a 625-mile trip. On foot.

The Minister of State at the Department for International Development, and member of the House of Lords, will walk from London to Edinburgh via Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast, raising money for the Red Cross.

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‘We all have to work together’ – teaming up with local volunteers after Grenfell Tower fire

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Photo credit: Matt Carter / British Red Cross

Tanya Hedges sorting through donations at the Westway Centre. Photo credit: Matt Carter / British Red Cross

In the shadow of the Grenfell Tower is Westway Sports Centre, where people affected by the fire have been receiving support.

Two weeks after the fire, families are still coming to the centre to get the emotional and practical help they need.

Standing side-by-side with them are community volunteers like Abraham Chowdhury, who have helped collect donations and distribute to help the victims and their families.

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