Matthew Carter

Writer working with the British Red Cross on issues to do with refugees, asylum and international family tracing.

Posts by Matthew Carter:

Photographer focuses on a different type of food story: chronic hunger in the Sahel

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To mark World Food Day, the British Red Cross partnered with the food photographer Yuki Sugiura. She usually shoots with top chefs on the London food scene such as Yotam Ottolenghi and Thomasina Miers (co-founder of Wahaca).

But this year, Yuki turned her lens on a a crisis that is rarely talked about – chronic hunger in the Sahel, a region of Africa that borders the Sahara. Across the Sahel, 7 million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from and 1.5 million children are acutely malnourished.

This is already one of the already of the driest regions on earth, and temperatures could rise by several degrees by the end of the century. Climate change, environmental degradation, extreme poverty, conflict and growing populations mean that millions are overwhelmed.

But the British Red Cross, with the support of players from the People’s Postcode Lottery, is helping to break the cycle of hunger in the Sahel.

For World Food Day Yuki brought a new perspective to the issue – comparing the two worlds. Her of portraits  food, cookware and portraits from Niger, a country in the Sahel, tell a very different food story from the one she is used to telling.

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Listening to the voices of the people we help

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A mobile cinema in Uganda provides a unique and engaging way for communities to get more information about Ebola and how to prevent and protect themselves from the disease.

A mobile cinema in Uganda provides information about Ebola.

Question: How do you know what someone really needs in a crisis?

Answer: You ask them.

Community engagement and accountability is an approach to delivering aid that emphasises the importance of participation and communication with communities.

Now the Red Cross have launched a new tool to help humanitarians become better at listening to the people they help.

Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, our new Community Engagement hub brings together information and expertise from across the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as well as other humanitarian organisations. It is available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

We thought we’d celebrate the hub’s launch with a quick potted tour of our community engagement work around the world.

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After the storm: how the Red Cross is helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon

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Red Cross workers carry someone on a stretcher through the snow in Lebanon

Winter, Aarsal in Lebanon © Lebanese Red Cross

I have just come back from Lebanon and have seen first-hand how Syrian refugees there are struggling.

More than a million Syrians refugees now live in Lebanon. You may have seen in the news that harsh winter weather has hit them hard.

Vulnerable families are picking up the pieces after a storm drenched the tents in which many Syrians now live. Heavy snow and floodwaters and have damaged hundreds of makeshift camps.

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Yemen: five days inside the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

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Yemen Red Crescent volunteer Majed arrives home in the evening. He hugs his children Amjad, 9, Shahd, 5 as hisYemen Red Crescent volunter Majed stands outside his home hugging son Amjad, 9, and daughter Shahd, 5

© Yahya Arhab/Yemen Red Crescent Society

A staggering 70 per cent of people in war-torn Yemen depend on humanitarian aid. Yet a blockade recently stopped the flow of emergency supplies into the country.

In this series of vlogs, Tre from the British Red Cross reflects on what life is like for Yemen’s people and what we are doing to help.

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Living with loneliness as a refugee

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With all the stigma and stress refugees and asylum seekers face, loneliness is not seen as an obvious problem. It is.

There are many reasons refugees and asylum seekers experience loneliness. They have to contend with language barriers and cultural differences and are often separated from family and friends. They also often lack the income to be socially involved.

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Myanmar crisis: “Why are we here? We don’t know”

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child hold a baby in a camp in Bangladesh

On the steep hillsides near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, a ramshackle collection of camps and settlements have sprung up.

Conditions here are extremely harsh – almost everyone is sheltering under plastic sheeting – with heavy rain and mud spreading sewage and washing homes away.

Over half a million people have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017, the majority of them women and young girls.

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