Rosemarie North has worked in disaster zones around the world with the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): the Pacific, South Asia, South East Asia, Sierra Leone, Chad. But her latest deployment, helping support communications and relief efforts in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, has been a whole different experience.
Some 65 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide, fleeing violence and conflict from places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Increasing numbers of migrants and refugees are making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe; according to UNHCR more than 300,000 in 2016 alone. They come for a safer, more secure life, but the trip itself is anything but: traveling in unseaworthy vessels and deflating dingheys through dangerous waters without navigation or adequate supplies.
In this edition of our In Conversation With Series, Rosemarie speaks with Intercross about life at sea, the violent circumstances people are desperately fleeing, and how the Red Cross is helping.
To learn more about what the IFRC is doing to help migrants and refugees, click here.
To learn more about ICRC President Peter Maurer's recent comments to the United Nations during their Summit for Refugees and Migrants on addressing the vulnerability to violence behind population movements, click here.