International

Humanity at a crossroads: three journeys to Europe

montage of migrants holding maps

An exhausted 14-year-old boy waits for help in a dusty refugee reception area. He has open sores on his arms where he has been deliberately burnt with cigarettes.

An 11-year-old girl has left school, too depressed and withdrawn to continue after being raped three times in a matter of months.

A woman of 23 cradles her eight-month-old baby in a reception centre in Italy. She is waiting to hear whether the culmination of a seven-year journey during which she was raped, stabbed and imprisoned five times, will be a return to a country where she has no family, no money and no prospects.

These are just a few of the people travelling today across the central Mediterranean. Many will have left their homes months or even years ago.

They are moving for diverse reasons: some are fleeing conflict and persecution, others move because of poverty, loss of livelihood or lack of opportunity.

All of them have a story to tell.

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Seven things you didn’t know about Iraq

A two-year-old girl who fled her home in Iraq sits on the floor next to a Red Cross food parcel

The people of Iraq have survived years of war, disease, shortages and chaos.

Yet the conflict and its impact on Iraq’s people get much less coverage than crises in other countries.

The Red Cross is one of the few organisations able to support people in need all over Iraq. Please support our Iraq Crisis Appeal.

Some of what communities and aid workers in Iraq deal with every day may shock you:

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Why we’re rescuing refugees between Libya and Europe

rescue boat

Yesterday a staggering 6,500 people were rescued in the southern Mediterranean. They may have been fleeing from conflict, persecution, conscription or extreme poverty. No one risks taking this perilously dangerous and frightening journey unless they are fleeing from something even worse.

The boats these people were travelling on were in a variety of states of disrepair – from old wooden fishing vessels to inflatable dinghies. The vast majority were dangerously overcrowded and filled with women and children.

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Five ways to support the Red Cross with your bank holiday weekend

Use your bank holiday for good with these five ideas – from donating unwanted clothes to a day out near you. Take your pick.

1. Gardens galore

British Red Cross Open Gardens ambassador Tamsin Westhorpe in her garden

Get out and about this bank holiday by visiting an Open Garden or share your own outdoor space with friends, family and neighbours with Proud of Your Garden.

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World Humanitarian Day: meet the people we all rely on

Today is World Humanitarian Day. Many aid workers are risking their lives to help people in dangerous places from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan and Afghanistan. Others are volunteering their time and skills to help others in their communities. Join us on a trip around the world to meet the people who are always ready to help in a crisis.

Italy
Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean.

Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean. The work on board the rescue boat is relentless as hundreds of people are rescued from the water every day. Aid workers like Daniela ensure people feel safe and protected. (Photo: Jason Florio / MOAS)

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Ukraine: two women’s stories from a forgotten conflict

Rayisa in front of house

Rayisa stares through her brightly coloured window frames. They cling on to her home – which now stands in ruins. They remind her of a happier, safer time.

The eighty-year-old was napping in her living room when three bombs tore through her home.

“I did not think I would survive it,” she said.

One left a crater in her garden. The other two smashed into the building – burying her in rubble.

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Interactive map: a snapshot of our work in the Middle East

For families forced to flee their homes due to conflict, each season brings new challenges and difficulties.

While many countries are known for being very hot, they also have bitterly cold winters.

Click on the map to find out how your support to our appeals for Syria, Iraq and Yemen helps us bring life-saving aid to people across the Middle East throughout the year.