Category: Emergencies

Nature's power unleashed!

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Red Cross helping wounded in Qishan, Taiwan

If like me you’ve been following the television pictures of torrential rain, buildings collapsing and villages being swept away you’ll have been mesmerized by what nature can do. Typhoons, flooding, landslides, earthquakes (in Japan) – it’s been a tough week for many in East Asia caught up in these and an especially busy week for local Red Cross volunteers and staff as they’ve worked all hours to respond. We in Britain complain if More

On this day in history

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According to the BBC On this Day feature, the following events happened on August 12:

  • August 12, 1964: One of the men involved in the Great Train Robbery escaped from jail
  • August 12, 1969: English police used tear gas for the first time
  • August 12, 1985: A plane crashed in Japan, killing hundreds.

While these are all sad news items to bring up, I’d like to take this opportunity to add a happy anniversary to the list. For millions of people around the world who have lived or are currently living in a conflict zone, today is a special day. Today is the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.

As Katrina and I mentioned before (here and here), the Geneva Conventions have been helping to protect victims of war. They’ve even been ratified by all 194 countries in the world. Leading up to this anniversary, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Red Cross asked to hear your views on the challenges to the conventions in the next 60 years.

Do you want to see what people had to say?

>>Check out the responses we got on the Geneva Conventions at 60 site.

Monday Movement update #18

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Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Rescuers try to reach a man clinging to a pole surrounded by waterTyphoon Morakot: The Red Cross has been distributing relief goods to families who were displaced by Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan, the Philippines and China (pictured right). The low loss of life in China is largely thanks to early warning systems. See a photo gallery on the Guardian’s website.

Turks and Caicos boat sinks: Volunteers handed out food, water, clothes and comfort to around 115 Haitian migrants after their overcrowded boat sank just off the Turks and Caicos Islands last week.

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Knee deep in the …

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temporary latrines - Zimbabwe cholera response… mire! Various other phrases jump to mind to describe the work our sanitation emergency response unit (ERU) do when called to a disaster somewhere in the world, but none seems to, er, stick like this one. The British Red Cross keeps on permanent standby several teams ready to apply their technical skills and this particular team of four have the crucial role of ensuring that disease, one of the potential killers following a large natural disaster, is kept under control through the provision of toilet facilities and education messages on personal hygiene practices.

I was outraged recently when one of my Aussie friends joked about the down under perception of Brits struggling to find the right end of the soap bar when it comes to personal hygiene! More

Guest blogging from St. Vincent Youth Camp – Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Did you know that the British Red Cross has several overseas branches in the Caribbean? As part of the work going on there, the Red Cross is hosting a youth camp for young Red Cross workers in the Caribbean to have an opportunity to interact. The whole idea is to create international friendships, learn from eachother, and work together for the greater good.

Below, are some blog posts sent to me by one of the participants– Jiva Niles of the Anguilla Red Cross. I know this post is quite long, but I hope that it is the most user-friendly way to share his story with you:

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Guest blogging from St. Vincent Youth Camp – Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Did you know that the British Red Cross has several overseas branches in the Caribbean? As part of the work going on there, the Red Cross is hosting a youth camp for young Red Cross workers in the Caribbean to have an opportunity to interact. The whole idea is to create international friendships, learn from eachother, and work together for the greater good.

Below, are some blog posts sent to me by one of the participants– Jiva Niles of the Anguilla Red Cross. I know this post is quite long, but I hope that it is the most user-friendly way to share his story with you:

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Monday Movement update #17

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Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Pakistan displacement video: This fantastic video shows a ten-year-old girl, Alina, telling the story of the explosion that changed her life. Watch the video here or read Alina’s story on the ICRC’s website.

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‘You’ve got a (flu) friend…’

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I have Swine flu tablet deliverya flu friend.

Granted, I don’t have any other friends – but one considerate soul has agreed to pop round and drop off the necessary Tamiflu / groceries / vomit bag supplies should I become stricken by the dreaded porcine illness.

Naturally, I’m very grateful. But even more impressive are the Red Cross volunteers – more than a hundred already and counting – who are already acting as flu friends to help people they don’t even know.

Here’s how it works: More