ICRC President Peter Maurer recently returned from a trip to Bangladesh and Myanmar, where he saw firsthand the impact from the crisis that started in August 2017. He visited both sides of the border, the northern parts of Rakhine State well as the camps of Cox's Bazar, which according to OCHA are holding nearly a million refugees, making the concentration of refugees there amongst the densest in the world. To read his full statement, go here.Read More
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.Read More
Injured following a spinal cord accident at age 19, Jess Markt has been working with the ICRC since 2011, helping bring one of America's best loved-sports, basketball, to wheelchair-bound men and women in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, South Sudan and elsewhere. In the process, these players, whose once primary identity was 'disabled', now see themselves as 'athletes' first. Just this past June, he became the ICRC's first ever Sport and Inclusion Advisor. He just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where he was coaching the Afghan men’s and women’s national teams competing in the Regional Qualifying Tournament for the Asian Para Games. Read more about the tournament and results, as well as the incredible work Jess is doing, here.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with ICRC’s Jess Markt, an American who coaches wheelchair basketball in war zones. At age 19, he suffered a spinal cord injury in college. Twenty one years later, he is bringing his experience and story to help others as ICRC’s first-ever Disability, Sport and Inclusion Advisor. In this conversation, we discuss his personal triumph over adversity and how he brings that experience to the disabled in some of the world’s most dangerous contexts. From Afghanistan to South Sudan and Cambodia, Jess is using sport to help the disabled see themselves in a different light, and witnessing some radical societal transformations along the way. We talk about diversity, what that term really means, and how he’s using his role at ICRC to change the way that people, and humanitarian organizations, think about what it means to fully integrate diversity into their work. Hosted by Anna Nelson and Sara Owens.Read More
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 ThailandRead More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, Sara Owens is joined by two delegates who have paved the way for the ICRC to adopt sport and inclusion as a priority for the physically disabled communities in conflict-affected countries. Alberto Cairo, one of the ICRC’s most revered delegates, has been in Kabul, Afghanistan with the ICRC’s orthopedic and physical rehabilitation program for 27 years. He was recently joined in Kabul by Jess Markt, an avid wheelchair basketball player and coach, where together, they built the ICRC’s first and largest wheelchair basketball program. Jess and Alberto have not only established an incredibly successful program, but have also cultivated a dynamic friendship. In this episode, learn more about the background and personality behind these inspiring individuals. Hosted by Sara Owens.Read More
In this edition of our “In Conversation” video series, Intercross Editor Niki Clark speaks with Alberto Cairo, head of the ICRC's Rehabilitation Program in Afghanistan. Twenty-seven years ago, Alberto arrived in Afghanistan for his first ICRC mission. He never left. Instead, he has dedicated his life to helping the disabled dealing with the consequences of nearly 40 years of conflict. He and his team have taught nearly 150,000 people to walk again and through positive discrimination schemes--90 percent of those employed at the orthopaedic center are disabled themselves--has helped return a sense of dignity and pride to those he serves. In this interview, Alberto speaks about what gives him hope, how a "crazy American" changed his perception of play and the lifetime of lessons he has learned from the disabled.Read More
On May 8, 2017, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and swissnex Boston launched the ICRC Collaborative Platform – a new, Boston-based hub where innovation meets humanitarianism with the aim of solving some of today’s most pressing challenges linked to war and armed violence.
During the launch event, NPR's Tom Ashbrook sat down with ICRC's Alberto Cairo and Jess Markt to discuss the role sport plays in helping the victims of landmines, disease and other tragedies recover physically and emotionally. Read more about the event here. Watch the panel.Read More
On Monday, May 8th, one of the ICRC's longest-serving delegates is coming to the U.S. to help launch the ICRC Collaborative Platform in partnership with Swissnex Boston. Alberto Cairo, who runs the ICRC's rehabilitative orthopaedic program in Afghanistan, has helped more than 150,000 disabled people learn to walk again. In this photo gallery, a glimpse into the help and hope the ICRC strives to bring to the people of Afghanistan.Read More
Six staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan have been shot and killed. Two staff members remain unaccounted for. Unknown armed men attacked the convoy as it was on its way to deliver much-needed livestock materials in the Jawzan province.Read More
As armed conflict in Afghanistan shows no signs of abating, the need for humanitarian assistance remains undiminished."Fighting in densely populated areas continues to cause civilian casualties – people are killed or injured in crossfire," says Gherardo Pontrandolfi, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan in a recent update on the situation.Read More
ICRC head of operations for South Asia Jacques de Maio condemns yesterday's attack on our Jalalabad office by unidentified armed men.
One Afghan colleague, Abdul Bashir Khan, the father of eight children, was killed in the attack.Read More
Following the Myanmar government’s announcement that the ICRC is to resume prison visits, Alain Aeschlimann, head of ICRC operations for East and South East Asia and the Pacific, explains what this decision means.Read More