Category: Emergencies

A sad day in Jakarta


Leave a message of support for bomb victims and emergency response volunteers in the comments section below, and we’ll forward them to the Indonesia Red Cross.

Several Red Cross volunteers walk toward body bagsBombs exploded early this morning at the Marriot and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, killing several people and injuring dozens more.

Over the years, the Red Cross has built up teams of local volunteers around Indonesia so they can respond immediately when tragedies like this happen.

Our colleagues at the Indonesia Red Cross are there right now doing everything they can to help the survivors and their families. They managed to evacuate five injured people from the Marriot, and have first aiders and ambulances treating anyone else who needs it.


Geneva Conventions: Opinions Wanted


Sir Nicholas Young

On 12 August the Geneva Conventions will turn 60 years old. The Geneva Conventions are a set of rules designed to protect victims of war. Since their inception, the conventions have been ratified by all 194 countries in the world.

On this anniversary, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Red Cross want to hear your views on the challenges to the conventions in the next 60 years. In this era of increased transparency and value on mass collaboration, why not have your opinions heard?

>>Share your thoughts on the Geneva Conventions

Image © FCO

Monday Movement update #14


A woman watches hundreds of soldiers pass by in lorriesHere’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Philippines kidnapping: Eugenio Vagni was freed yesterday! The ICRC staff member was kidnapped in the Philippines with two colleagues on 15 January. His colleagues were freed in April.

Survey on civilians in conflict: An ICRC survey reveals what life is like for people living in eight countries experiencing conflict.


Crisis in Camberwell


Last Friday at about four thirty in the afternoon, I suspect many of you were twiddling your thumbs at work, mentally planning your weekend and savouring the thought of that first sip of wine / beer / freshly pressed guava juice (delete as appropriate).

Unless you happened to be a Red Cross volunteer, that is. Around that time last Friday, 22 emergency response volunteers and staff members were called out to a serious tower block fire in Camberwell, South London.


Shape the future of the Geneva Conventions


A Red Cross delegate interviews a man and several children in front of a bombed buildingThis August the Geneva Conventions – those international treaties that protect certain groups of people during wars – turn 60. The world has changed a lot since 1949, and so has the way wars are fought and reported on.

For example, journalists are much more likely to travel with the military these days, meaning those of us watching TV can get a more realistic view of conflict but also meaning journalists are in greater danger. How can we make sure that journalists are protected?


Postcard from Solferino:5 (well, kind of…)


Can I have my blog back now please? Finally, after a week a week in Italy celebrating the Movement’s 150th anniversary, where I had to hand over this space to a bunch of mewling and demanding younglings (or British Red Cross youth delegates, to give them their proper name), Cox is now back in the blog driving seat. And back in the UK, in fact – after an eventful planes, trains and automobiles-type journey home yesterday.

It was a good week, all said, and a particularly fruitful event for the British Red Cross. As an impartial observer, I can attest – hand on heart, no word of a lie, guv – that the British Red Cross’ stand was one of the busiest and most welcoming in the whole place. On reflection, this is because:

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Monday Movement update #13


Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

A little boy lies on a hospital bedPakistan photos: See a photo gallery of people who’ve been displaced by conflict in Pakistan, like four-year-old Abas (pictured), and find out how the Red Cross is helping them.

Gaza report and video: 1.5 million people trapped in despair six months after Israel launched its military operation. An ICRC report highlights their struggle, and a new video focuses on the civilians trying to rebuild their own lives.