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.


When a huge earthquake hit Nepal, our planning paid off

Nepal-Red-Cross-helps-older-woman-BLOGIn 2012 the Red Cross began a programme to get people in and around Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, ready for disasters.

It’s part of a country-wide initiative bringing together the Red Cross, the UN, the country’s government, and other organisations.

The wisdom of planning for the worst became horribly clear six months ago, when a huge earthquake struck Nepal. More

Cyclone Pam: volunteers on the front line



The amount of destruction caused by Cyclone Pam, which hit a string of Pacific islands last weekend, is still unknown. But we do know the disaster has left people in its path dead or injured, and many thousands homeless.

Aid workers from around the world have been racing to the countries affected, including Vanuatu, in the wake of the disaster.

But one team was in action before the cyclone had even arrived. More

Helping tribal groups fight climate change and drought in Namibia

©IFRC/HannaButler - Children wait outside a  Namibia Red Cross soup kitchen

©IFRC/HannaButler – Children wait outside a Namibia Red Cross soup kitchen

Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa and is increasingly suffering from droughts. 

The north of the country is home to a number of disparate tribal groups. Some depend on crops for their livelihoods, others on cattle farming. 

The Red Cross is working with these communities to help prepare them for natural disasters by providing them with relevant training and cash grants while they recover from the effects of drought. 


Growing incomes: A vital defence against cyclones in Bangladesh

Bangladesh V2R livelihoodsAs well as threatening lives and homes, cyclones can wipe out people’s incomes. And with no way of earning money, those affected will struggle to rebuild their lives after the wind and waves die away.

That’s why protecting incomes – and even finding new ways of making a living – are key parts of a Bangladesh Red Crescent programme helping about 60,000 people prepare from and recover from cyclones. More

TV star brings earthquake safety message to streets of Kathmandu

© Matthew Percival/BRC

© Matthew Percival/BRC

In a small town square in the Kathmandu Valley, a powerful theatre performance is spreading life-saving information – with the help of a little star power.

The play is called Let’s Live Ourselves and uses drama and comedy to pass on simple messages about preparing for earthquakes. It’s funded by the Nepal Red Cross and features Surbir Pandit, one of Nepal’s top television actors.

Street theatre is a great of way of getting vital information to people who might otherwise miss out on it. And it can have a huge emotional impact – the play brings tears from one audience member. More