On May 8th, we celebrate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, an annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This year the ICRC in DC will be launching the ICRC Collaborative Platform in partnership with Swissnex Boston. The day marks the birth of Henry Dunant (born 1828), the founder of the ICRC and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. In total, as part of the larger Red Cross movement, which includes the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and National Societies, we operate in more than 190 countries, with the help of more than 17 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers. In that spirit, in this week’s roundup, we take a look at the work of the Global Red Cross around the world.
Severe Weather and Rain Threaten – Red Cross Responds (United States)
The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states, providing food and shelter for hundreds of people affected by severe weather and flooding. More rain and storms are predicted in some of the same parts of the country over the coming days, and the Red Cross is monitoring the situation and prepared to launch additional responses if needed.
Tadelech Gontena dreams of the day when she can again have fun. A single mother of five, she struggles under the weight of deciding where to dedicate her meagre resources during the ongoing drought in southern Ethiopia. Tadelech has three youngsters at home to feed. One son is in university and needs support. Another son has gone to the capital of Addis Ababa to look for work.“I am the father and mother of this household,” says Tadelech. “My husband left us during a previous drought. So, I have to cultivate, I have to grow something to feed my family. It is very hard.” But with rains failing since 2015, she and millions of others across the southern part of the country are going hungry. Planting seasons have been missed. Stockpiles of food have been used up. Livestock, upon which many families earn a living, don’t have enough food to eat either.
Some of the most vulnerable households in Tuvalu are now better prepared for cyclones, droughts and other disasters thanks to a resilience pilot project run by Tuvalu Red Cross and its partners. Starting in March 2014, the project helped the Teone Community in Tuvalu to better understand local weather and climate information, and to build resilience towards changing weather patterns. The community has 68 households totalling more than 300 people who have come to the capital Funafuti from the outer islands seeking better jobs and more opportunities.
Family visits: An emotional lifeline (Palestine)
Family visits to Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention are an emotional lifeline not just for those behind bars, but also for the relatives left behind. Since 1968, the ICRC has been running and administering a family visit programme that enables persons living in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jerusalem and occupied Golan, to visit their relatives in Israeli detention facilities.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) delivered a humanitarian relief aid convoy (51 trucks loaded with food and non-food items) to Douma city in Rural Damascus on May 02, 2017 in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Offices. The relief items consisted of 7000 flour bags, 7000 food parcels, educational sets, creative sets, children clothes, nutrition items, medicines, routine vaccines, vaccines for children, insulin and dialysis items that covers 750 dialysis sessions.
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