Category: International

A dark day in the history of the Red Cross

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©ICRC/AbdulazizAl-Droubi

©ICRC/AbdulazizAl-Droubi

We cannot accept attacks on aid workers, says British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson. 

I received a message around lunchtime yesterday informing me that six of our colleagues from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been killed in Afghanistan in an apparent deliberate attack by unknown armed men. Two colleagues are still unaccounted for.

A matter of hours later I was told that one of our aid distribution centres, near Aleppo, Syria, had also been attacked. One staff member from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) was killed. Two other people, who had come to the centre to receive aid, were also killed.

These developments highlight a profoundly worrying escalation in loss of life of humanitarian workers. They risk marking the moment that the death of people who should be protected under the international rules of war became the norm. We cannot accept that.

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When the monkey shakes its tail in Mongolia

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An old postage stamp from Monglia showing a money scratching its head and a space probe

© ConradFries

The people of Mongolia will soon welcome in the year of the rooster. At the same time, the year of the monkey will draw to a close.

And it will leave behind one of the coldest winters so far this century.

In the Mongolian astrology system, every year – running from around February to January – is represented by one of 12 animals.

People born in the year of the monkey are thought to be clever and playful.

But there is an ancient saying in Mongolia: when the monkey shakes its tail, it will bring on a dzud.

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The Lake Chad crisis from Cameroon: “Home is home. We want peace.”

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lake-chad-ben-blog-721

Modou, pictured centre wearing a yellow shirt and blue trousers, fled when his village was attacked.

There is a crisis in the Lake Chad region. Years of conflict have forced people to leave their homes and search for safety and food. In many areas, cut-off from the outside world, the extent of human suffering remains largely unknown, but predictably desperate.

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Thirteen pictures from a land without rain

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halima profile

Most of Halima’s children are too young to remember how things used to be.

She remembers though. And each year she sees the determined march of the desert into her once rich pastoral lands, it brings a sense of foreboding to her village.

They have lost livestock to the drought – a barometer of wealth here – and people’s health is starting to fail.

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Returning home in Syria: two sheep to welcome you back

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A newborn lamb stands and rests its head on its mother's back in Homs, Syria

© IFRC

What does going home mean to you?

Maybe a warm welcome, familiar surroundings and a good meal with the people you love?

Ahmad and his family could not rely on any of those things when they returned to their devastated village near Homs, Syria.

But thanks to two pregnant sheep, this is about to change.

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Together at last: Syrian father reunited with his son in Heathrow

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Khaled and son

© Philip Coburn / Mirror 2016

Tens of thousands of people arrive at London Heathrow every day. Recently the Channel 4 documentary, Arrivals, told the story of Khaled, a Syrian refugee who met his son at the airport after a year apart. The British Red Cross helped to reunite father and son in emotional scenes. This is their story.

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Iraq’s forgotten children looking for home

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In Iraq, three girls sit on the ground in Khazer camp with Red Cross and Red Crescent food parcels

© IFRC/Safin Ahmed

These children should be at school. Instead, they spend their days behind a wire fence.

Since October, over 200,000 people have fled fighting in Mosul, Iraq.

As of February, over 152,000 people still can’t go home.

That’s almost as many people as live in Brighton in the UK.

It’s even more shocking that around half of those people are children.

The conflict destroyed their homes, devastating whole neighbourhoods.

Many families have taken refuge in Khazer camp, about 50 miles from Mosul.

Life here is busy and cramped. Since the battle for Mosul started, the camp’s population has swelled to more than 30,000 people.

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