ICRC Featured in Buzzfeed: Norwegian Moms Are Knitting Scarves For Sick Afghan Babies And It Is So Pure

ICRC Featured in Buzzfeed: Norwegian Moms Are Knitting Scarves For Sick Afghan Babies And It Is So Pure

Buzzfeed recently featured ICRC's Thomas Glass in an article about infants in the Mirwais Hospital in Afghanistan. Glass had taken a photograph of a small baby in a incubator in the hospital back in November 2016 when he noticed her unusual pink sweater. He asked a nurse about it.  She told him that one of her friends in Norway had knitted it, and that whenever she came back to Kandahar she would bring small knitwear for the newborns. And thus an idea was born.  To see the adorable results, check out the full article on Buzzfeed. 

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What to Read, Watch and Listen to Right Now (Winter 2017/18 Edition)

What to Read, Watch and Listen to Right Now (Winter 2017/18 Edition)

As we approach the end of the year, and a holiday break for many, we leave you with a few recommendations of things that ICRC staff in DC have enjoyed reading, watching, or listening to over the past year. At the bottom you will also find my own thoughts, plus a compilation of favorite links to recommendations by others, including NPR’s book concierge, the best TED Talks of 2017, Podcast suggestions, Bill Gates and more. Enjoy!

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Foreign Fighters October 27, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Foreign Fighters October 27, 2017

Rhetoric that “dehumanizes” and “demonizes” the enemy or suggests that a particular adversary is “outside the bounds of humanity” and can be treated “as if humanitarian law doesn’t apply” is highly concerning, ICRC’s Deputy Director for the Middle East Patrick Hamilton told reporters this week. Hamilton was speaking at a news conference on the issue of foreign fighters and their families leaving Iraq and Syria. Such language, which could appear to justify war crimes or illegal treatment of detainees, has become more common on all sides of the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the discussion around foreign fighters, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Violence in Mogadishu October 20, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Violence in Mogadishu October 20, 2017

Last weekend, a truck bombing went off in the center of Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu, killing hundreds of civilians. In a Guardian article, reporter Jason Burke called the scale of the attack made it ‘one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years.’ The ICRC and the Somalia Red Crescent Society both immediately responded, treating the wounded, supplying medical kits and body bags and supporting relief operations. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation in Somalia, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Financing of Aid in Conflict September 8, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Financing of Aid in Conflict September 8, 2017

The ICRC has created the world's first "Humanitarian Impact Bond" to help transform the way vital services for people with disabilities are financed in conflict-hit countries. The capital raised – 26 million CHF or approximately $27.5 million USD– will be used to build and run three new physical rehabilitation centres in Africa (Nigeria, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo) over a five year period, providing services for thousands of people. The payment-by-results program also includes the necessary training for the new staff as well as the testing and implementation of new efficiency initiatives. The innovative funding mechanism has been created to encourage social investment from the private sector. A rising number of conflicts as well as a growing annual budget of the ICRC are the driving forces behind the bond. See more from ICRC on humanitarian impact bond here.  In this week’s roundup, we take a look at this innovative model of funding, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Day of the Disappeared September 1, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Day of the Disappeared September 1, 2017

August 30th marked International Day of the Disappeared. Every year, a countless number of people go missing, either separated during migration or conflict, leaving behind loved ones who agonize over their location and wellbeing. Those that are left behind have the right to know what has happened to their missing relatives and and governments, armed forces and armed groups have an obligation to provide information and to help reunite families. You can learn more about how ICRC helps in this effort here as well as read this compelling blog from the British Red Cross about what happens when families are reconnected.In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation of the missing, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: 'Outrageous' Airstrikes in Sana’a August 25, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: 'Outrageous' Airstrikes in Sana’a August 25, 2017

Wednesday evening's airstrikes in Sana'a killed 14 people and injured another 16. The casualties included at least 5 children, the youngest of them only 3 years old. The ICRC condemned the attacks immediately, saying "Such loss of civilian life is outrageous and runs counter to the basic tenets of the law of armed conflict." See full press release here. As war moves more and more into urban contexts, civilians have increasingly suffered. Some 50 million people in urban areas now bear the brunt of conflict. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation in Sana’a following the most recent airstrikes, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Staggering Suffering of South Sudan August 18, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Staggering Suffering of South Sudan August 18, 2017

South Sudan may be the world’s newest country but in its short existence, the ongoing civil war has left behind mostly devastation. In a country of 12 million, in three residents have been displaced and one in every two South Sudanese are severely hungry and in need of food assistance. The ICRC President Peter Maurer visited the country this week and said in a news release that the numbers associated with South Sudan's violence reveal the level of brutality being carried out against civilians. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the current situation in South Sudan, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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Afghanistan's National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda

Afghanistan's National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda

The Afghanistan's national women's wheelchair basketball team, trained by ICRC's Sports and Integration Advisor Jess Markt, were featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog. The team won their first championship--and their first international tournament--at the 4th annual Bali Cup International Tournament in Indonesia. They played against women's teams from India, Indonesia and Thailand

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: ICRC President in Yemen July 28, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: ICRC President in Yemen July 28, 2017

This week, ICRC President Peter Maurer traveled to Yemen in midst of "needless suffering" that he called "absolutely infuriating." Yemen is experiencing what's being called world's worst cholera outbreak with experts predicting that by the end of 2017 more than 600,000 people--one in every 45 Yemenis--will have cholera. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at Maurer's trip to Yemen, including the besieged city of Taiz, and the situation on the ground, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Violence in Venezuela Friday July 21, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Violence in Venezuela Friday July 21, 2017

For more than two years, Venezuela has struggled with shortages in food, medicine and basic services, and in recent months, growing violence and daily protests as a result of economic collapse. The country—previously one of the America’s wealthiest nations because of a rich supply of oil—has seen its economy drop by nearly 40% since 2006. NPR's Planet Money calls the disaster, caused by government decisions and triggered by a drop in oil prices, an "economic horror story." In addition, increased violence—fueled by President Nicolás Maduro call for a July 30 vote to bypass the National Assembly and elect a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the constitution, further consolidating his party’s power—threatens to move the country into even deeper crisis. Read about the ICRC’s work in Venezuela here.  In this week’s roundup, we take a look the growing violence and crisis in Venezuela, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Yemen’s Cholera Crisis ‘Spiraling out of Control’ July 14, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Yemen’s Cholera Crisis ‘Spiraling out of Control’ July 14, 2017

 Yemen has reached a new horrifying milestone—more than 300,00 suspected cholera cases in country. In this week's #ICYMI, we take a look at the spiraling cholera epidemic in Yemen, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Six Years of Independence in South Sudan July 7, 2017

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Six Years of Independence in South Sudan July 7, 2017

This Sunday, South Sudan will mark six years as an independent country, the world’s youngest. But the ongoing civil war in the country means that no one will be celebrating; because of fighting the the government has canceled its Independence Day anniversary for the second straight year. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at South Sudan, six years after independence, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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Summer Vibes 2017: What to Read, Watch & Listen To

Summer Vibes 2017: What to Read, Watch & Listen To

As apparent by the rising temperatures, summer is now in full swing here in Washington. Which means it’s the perfect time to relax with a good book that has been waiting patiently on the shelf or to catch up on some good music or podcasts. Have the time but need some inspiration for what to dig into? Find out what some our colleagues here at the ICRC in Washington are diving into in our annual Summer List. (Program Liaison Rachael Dollar even created a special Summer Vibes music playlist just for you!) You'll also find a list of recommendations by others, including NPR Music's Songs of the Summer, Foreign Policy's The Bookshelf, Podcast suggestions, and Bill Gates. Enjoy!

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ICRC's Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog

ICRC's Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog

In May, Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo visited NPR headquarters following the launch of the Swissnex Collaborative Platform in Boston to speak with reporter Malaka Gharib about working with people with disabilities in Afghanistan, the transformational power of sport and the thrill of a high-five. Read the full interview here

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Power Outage in the Gaza Strip

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Power Outage in the Gaza Strip

Since Gaza’s only power plant shut down in April of this year, electricity has become a luxury item to the nearly two million people living there. Available for only about 4 hours a day, a recent agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel just reduced Gaza's electricity by another 40 percent. Since the plant shut down in April when fuel ran out, Gaza has relied on feeder strips from Egypt and Israel. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the power outage in Gaza, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Battle for Mosul

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: The Battle for Mosul

Earlier this week, Iraqi forces began a military operation in the Old City of Mosul. With each passing day, the fighting grows more intense. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of civilians are trapped inside the Old City, a densely- populated maze of narrow alleyways and houses. With constant shelling, civilians have been caught in the crossfire. Staying could mean dying, but trying to escape could mean dying too. Last week, the ICRC released a special report on the impact of war in cities, including Mosul. The report looks at what civilians in these places go through, and found that at least 70% of civilian deaths in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq occur in urban areas. In addition, the wars in Iraq, Yemen and Syria accounted for nearly half of all civilian war deaths globally between 2010 and 2015.  In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the battle for Mosul, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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Mélange du Mercredi/War in Cities: The Spectre of Total War

Mélange du Mercredi/War in Cities: The Spectre of Total War

Welcome to Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix). Each week, we highlight one of the latest and greatest in reading, film and other scholarly resources, focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. This week, Vincent Bernard, Editor in Chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, writes an editorial looking at War in Cities: The Spectre of Total War. As always, if you have suggestions, or would like to submit a post on something you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include them. Just email Editor Niki Clark

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#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Combat & Cholera in Yemen

#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: Combat & Cholera in Yemen

Earlier this week, authorities in Yemen declared a state of emergency due to a sharp rise in cholera deaths. Director of Global Operations Dominik Stillhart spoke with NPR's Morning Edition about the crisis and called for the unconditional and immediate access to people detained in relation with the conflict. In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the situation in Yemen, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

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Mélange du Mercredi: Tackling Weapon Contamination

Mélange du Mercredi: Tackling Weapon Contamination

Welcome to Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix). Each week, we highlight one of the latest and greatest in reading, film and other scholarly resources, focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. As always, if you have suggestions, or would like to submit a post on something you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include them. Just email Editor Niki Clark

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