Category: Emergencies

“They took her mother” – Coming to the aid of South Sudan’s refugees

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boy looks on in refugee camp

© Emily Gilbert/British Red Cross

The ever-growing Imvepi refugee camp in Uganda is home to nearly 60,000 people. Aid worker Emily Gilbert has just returned from the camp and explains how Red Cross volunteers are playing a vital role in keeping people safe and healthy.

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“I loved my wife, she was my life” – The drought threatening lives in Somalia

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Drought and conflict have led to a critical humanitarian crisis in Somalia. Over 6.2 million people are in need of urgent help – more than half the country’s population. The Times photographer Jack Hill visited Sool, in Somaliland, one of the worst affected areas. His images capture the crisis and the Red Cross Red Crescent response.

A dust tornado rips through the arid, desolate landscape.

Photo credit: Jack Hill / The Times

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‘The people we treat have nothing’ – caring for the victims of a forgotten conflict

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hospital-fighting-children-conflict-south-sudan-kodok_02

In the far-flung corners of South Sudan, health care is all but impossible to find. People often walk for days to get the care they need to survive. Hope comes in the shape of the Red Cross’ surgical unit in a hospital in the remote town of Kodok. Oxford nurse Robbie Gray is part of the team and is no stranger to South Sudan, but that doesn’t make medical care in the world’s newest nation any easier.

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Shot in the leg at seven months old, the nightmare reality of Syria’s conflict

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In Syria, a seven-month-old baby lies on an examining table while an adult hand lifts up his leg to show scars from a bullet wound

Fatma’s seven-month-old grandson was shot in the leg © SARC/Tareq Mnadili

The last thing Fatma expected was for her seven-month-old grandson to be shot in the leg while lying in his bed.

And yet, such is the indiscriminate brutality of Syria’s conflict, Fatma watched this improbable nightmare unfold before her eyes.

“My daughter-in-law had laid the baby on the bed at home and the bullet just came through the window,” Fatma said.

“When we saw what had happened to him we were so angry, we cried.

“We just fled the situation, it was very bad, there was shooting and bombing.”

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‘You can’t leave your house’ – health care in danger in Yemen

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Close-up of Mukhtar Ismail, a 20-year-old man in Yemen, lying on blankets on a bed

Mukhtar Ismail © ICRC

Yemen is facing a serious cholera outbreak with 532 recorded deaths and more than 65,300 suspected cases in a matter of weeks. As these stories show, Yemen’s crumbling health care system was struggling to cope even before the recent cholera outbreak. 

“I have nothing,” said Mukhtar Ismail.

“I cannot cover the costs of the medicine. Before being injured, I used to work, walk and do everything. Now I cannot move or even stand up. I cannot breathe.”

Mukhtar is one of thousands of people injured during Yemen’s two-year conflict.

Like many, the 20-year-old needs urgent medical treatment.

But fighting and severe shortages of medical supplies mean that fewer than half of Yemen’s hospitals are fully functioning. More

Praying for rain: one day in drought-hit Somalia

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Garabis, Balilgubadle village, 35 km from Hargeisa, the capital city of Somaliland. Severe drought in Somalia has caused the death of many animals and badly affected the lives of shepherds. Throughout the area, most wells have dried up, which has resulted in the death of more than half of the cattle. Families have lost their income, along with their main source of food and milk.

Reporting from drought-hit Somaliland, Hannah Wilkinson, the British Red Cross’ senior media manager, discovers a proud people struggling to survive.

Soon after stepping off the plane in the city of Hargeisa, I learnt that my visit coincided with the President declaring a national day of prayer. People here have actually been asked to pray for rain.

Driving towards Sool, one of the worst drought affected areas in eastern Somaliland, you can see why. More

“He was always looking after us” – Lee’s journey from Tunisia attacks to London Marathon

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Lee Stocker, wearing a British Red Cross vest top to train for the London Marathon, sits next to his wife Nicole

Lee Stocker and his wife Nicole © Evening Standard

“Without him, I don’t know how we would have coped.”

Lee Stocker is talking about Dr Howie Fine, a British Red Cross psychological and emotional support volunteer.

Lee’s parents Janet and John Stocker were among the 38 people killed during the beach attack in Sousse, Tunisia, two years ago.

To remember his parents and those who died, and to say thank you for Red Cross support, 38-year-old Lee is running the London Marathon.

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Baking bread and colouring hair – Syrian women take charge

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In Syria, Amani and Rouda stand next to each other next to a shelf of beauty products and a mirror

Amani and Rouda in their salon in Damascus, Syria ©IFRC

Syria remains the world’s largest and most complicated humanitarian crisis. As governments and international organisations gather to discuss the coming year’s aid to Syria, the Red Cross is helping people to return to a more normal life.

You wouldn’t usually find a fully-fitted beauty salon inside a small rented apartment in a suburb of Damascus, Syria’s capital.

But Amani and her friend Rouda set up just such a salon six months ago after attending a hairdressing course run by our partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

For Amani, becoming a hairdresser was a chance to pursue a dream and to support her family after losing her husband and home.

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