Category: Emergencies

In pictures: hot meals for the hungry in Iraq

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Red Crescent volunteers distribute bread to woman and girl in Iraq

Trapped between warring armies and forced to flee their homes – this is reality for millions of people in Iraq.

More than three million Iraqis are already in this situation and fighting causes thousands more to leave their homes every week.

In the past few days, over 12,000 families had to leave the besieged city of Fallujah and the number is expected to increase.

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Syrian family reunited – “words can’t describe how happy I am”

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Omar’s first birthday will live long in his family’s memory.

After four months of separation, they were reunited just in time to celebrate Omar’s birthday together.

Theirs is a story of the terrible strain on families affected by the Syrian war.

Families forced at short notice to make heart-wrenching choices.

Families waiting to be reunited

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Child safety, Afghan style

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Three girls play as they pump water from a well

In the UK, keeping children safe means babyproofing your home or teaching youngsters to look both ways before crossing the road.

In Afghanistan, it could mean stopping children dying from diseases picked up from human waste.

More than just a nuisance

For most people in Britain, diarrhoea is a nuisance that can be easily treated. If a child is very badly affected, care is always available.

But in some countries, diarrhoea is life threatening.

Nearly 1.3 million children under five die from diarrhoea worldwide, making it the second most common cause of child deaths.

In fact, over half of these deaths occur in just five countries. Afghanistan is one of them.

What makes this even sadder is that children’s lives could be saved if communities had clean water, toilets and hand-washing facilities.

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The ‘treasure’ carpets helping Syrians rebuild their lives

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Syrian-carpets-blog“Syrian carpets are like treasure for us, their designs are so elaborate.”

Head down and pencil in hand, Manal is putting the finishing touches to her colourful carpet.

It may only be in the design stage at the moment, but the 33-year-old will soon begin stitching her carpet for real.

As she will tell you, this is no ordinary carpet. This is an authentic Syrian carpet – known the world over for their intricate designs and handmade quality.

“Syrian carpets are so beautiful and are part of our culture,” said Manal. “You can’t find carpets like them anywhere else in the world.” More

Volunteers on the front lines

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Two Red Cross volunteers hold and comfort an injured child

What happens when the day you have spent years preparing for suddenly comes without warning?

In April, Red Cross volunteer Jorge Chele Santana was spending a peaceful afternoon with his father, wife and son.

Suddenly the ground shook violently and the family rushed outside. They didn’t realise at first that their home town of Manta, Ecuador, was near the epicentre of a major earthquake.

The city was hit hard and help was needed immediately.

“I remember calming down my 17-year-old son, who also happens to be a Red Cross volunteer,” Jorge said.

“I looked him in the eye and said ‘son, it’s time to show what we’ve prepared for, what we’ve been trained to do and remember why we are part of the Red Cross.’

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What’s going on in Burundi? The crisis explained

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Burundi civil unrest

Violence and flooding have left thousands of people in need of help in Burundi. Alessandro Bini, an aid worker with the Norwegian Red Cross, has lived in the central African nation for six years. Find out what he has to say about Burundi and how people are coping.

What is the situation today?    

What I see happening in Burundi today makes me very sad. There are several factors that have come together to create this crisis.

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