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Syria crisis: a grave would be better than this life

Syria crisis winter

©AbdulazizAl-droubi/SyrianArabRedCrescent

Cold, lonely, hungry and surrounded by conflict. There is little to cheer for Mohamad.

All he has is hope. Hope that one day the guns in Syria will fall silent and that life will return to normal.

“What is this war? We cannot understand it,” he said.

The stories and photos that have emerged from Madaya in recent days have highlighted the plight of those left behind in Syria.

And while much of the focus has been on the besieged town near Damascus, the sad truth is that millions of people across Syria are in exactly the same position.

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Syria crisis: “Heartbreaking” scene in Madaya

Madaya Syria aid

Conditions in the Syrian town of Madaya have been described as “heartbreaking” and “desperate”.

An aid convoy reached the besieged town near Damascus yesterday – the first time aid has been able to get through since October.

Pawel Krzysiek, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was in the convoy.

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Refugee crisis: “We are all the same”

Refugees-Grande-SyntheOn one side of the road, a French suburban estate with large detached houses and family cars in pristine driveways.

On the other side of the road, armed police stand in front of a dirt track. Scores of muddied refugees, poorly dressed against the wet winter weather, mingle around them.

Welcome to Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, a place where worlds collide.

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UK floods – tales of hardship and hope

UK-Floods-Dec-web

British Red Cross volunteers are never short of motivation when it comes to helping people in need. And as our chief executive Mike Adamson has been finding out, they have had a particularly busy festive period.

It has been a hugely testing few weeks for communities affected by flooding. It’s difficult to imagine the hardship people are going through.

Countless homes and businesses have been damaged, while roads and bridges have been swept away. There is little we can do to stem the force of the flood waters, but we can help people recover.

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Ebola outbreak declared over in Sierra Leone

©BritishRedCross/TommyTrenchard

©BritishRedCross/TommyTrenchard

For the last 530 days, the people of Sierra Leone have been living under a cloud. It’s a cloud that has lingered since May 2014 when Ebola breached the country’s borders.

Today, with the declaration that the Ebola outbreak is now over in Sierra Leone, that cloud has been lifted.

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Q&A: What you need to know about El Niño

p-PHL2894You may have heard about El Niño in the news recently.

It’s been claimed that this global weather phenomenon could lead to a prolonged freezing winter in the UK – more sensationalist headlines than fact.

It’s also been reported that El Niño could have been behind Hurricane Patricia – the biggest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere – that hit Mexico at the weekend.

One thing is for sure. An El Niño event is well underway and it could have significant repercussions for communities across the world, particularly those in developing countries.

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