Seven things you didn’t know about Iraq

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A two-year-old girl who fled her home in Iraq sits on the floor next to a Red Cross food parcel

The people of Iraq have survived years of war, disease, shortages and chaos.

Yet the conflict and its impact on Iraq’s people get much less coverage than crises in other countries.

The Red Cross is one of the few organisations able to support people in need all over Iraq. Please support our Iraq Crisis Appeal.

Some of what communities and aid workers in Iraq deal with every day may shock you:

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Great North Run: ‘I thought I may as well make myself useful’

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Anthony (left) with other Red Cross first aid volunteers at the Great North Run

Completing a half marathon would be a good enough excuse for most of us to put our feet up. But not for Anthony Higgins.

At the weekend he completed the 13.1 mile Great North Run – and then started a shift immediately afterwards offering first aid to other runners as a British Red Cross volunteer.

“When I got a place in the ballot for the race I thought I may as well make myself useful after the finish line,” the 28-year-old said.

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Don’t stop at 999: ‘If it wasn’t for you, she could have died’

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Natasha applied pressure to an elderly woman's bleeding leg to help stem the flow of blood.

As Natasha headed home after a routine hospital check-up, she spotted a commotion up ahead. At first she couldn’t make out what was happening – then she saw the pool of blood. 

“All I could see from the distance was just this red pool gathering and it was getting bigger and bigger,” Natasha said.

She knew she had to help.

“I don’t know why or what came over me – everyone was flapping and no one was helping. I dropped my bag and ran – I’d say about half a mile down the street!” Natasha said.

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Back to school? Don’t forget about first aid

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A group of young people learning first aid.

A group of young people learning first aid.

The long summer holiday is over – it’s time to head back to school. What’s the most important thing you think pupils will learn this year?

Perhaps they will conquer equations, master French, or triumphantly learn the periodic table off by heart.

But what if they learnt how to save a life?

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Why we’re rescuing refugees between Libya and Europe

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rescue boat

Yesterday a staggering 6,500 people were rescued in the southern Mediterranean. They may have been fleeing from conflict, persecution, conscription or extreme poverty. No one risks taking this perilously dangerous and frightening journey unless they are fleeing from something even worse.

The boats these people were travelling on were in a variety of states of disrepair – from old wooden fishing vessels to inflatable dinghies. The vast majority were dangerously overcrowded and filled with women and children.

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Five ways to support the Red Cross with your bank holiday weekend

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Use your bank holiday for good with these five ideas – from donating unwanted clothes to a day out near you. Take your pick.

1. Gardens galore

British Red Cross Open Gardens ambassador Tamsin Westhorpe in her garden

Get out and about this bank holiday by visiting an Open Garden or share your own outdoor space with friends, family and neighbours with Proud of Your Garden.

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