Category: International

Mosul: snapshots from a city in torment

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In darkness, light shines on a man carrying another person with a leg wound on his shoulders as they flee Mosul at night

Escaping by night © A. Liohn/ICRC

For centuries, armed conflicts were fought by armies on vast battlefields. Even if cities were besieged or sacked, fighting rarely took place in the streets.

In the 21st century, wars are being fought in cities.

From 2010 to 2015, half of the civilians who were killed in armed conflict died in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

And 70 per cent of these people lived in cities.

Almost nowhere is worse affected than the Iraqi city of Mosul.

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Children hit worst in Yemen’s cholera epidemic

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Ragdad, a young girl with cholera in Yemen, likes on a bed with her eyes half closed and an IV line draped across her body

Ragdad, a young cholera patient in Yemen © ICRC

The statistics in this blog were updated on 10 July 2017.

“She is unable to eat. She vomits everything and diarrhoea is constant,” said Ahmad.

He is worried about his two-year-old daughter Ragdad.

Like over 313,500 others in Yemen, Ragdad has cholera. More than 1,730 people have already died from the disease.

Over 7,300 suspected cases per day have been reported in the past week alone. And around 40 per cent of them are severe.

Cholera in Yemen has become an unprecedented public health crisis.

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“There is a big need for nutritious food here” – overcoming drought in Zimbabwe

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people in garden

The midday sun is fierce as we arrive in Chibuwe, but this hasn’t deterred the Red Cross volunteers who have been hard at work ploughing the land for hours.

It doesn’t look much at the moment, but in a few months it is hoped the earth will provide a rich bounty of tomatoes, spinach, onion, carrots, and aubergines.

“This is our wonderful nutrition garden which will benefit the whole community,” explained Zimbabwe Red Cross volunteer Lucky Mazangesure.

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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