The evidence is irrefutable: Humor helps. Helps situations involving communications, relationships, problem solving, and productivity among others. So much so, in fact, that the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre has been exploring it as an unconventional approach to engagement in difficult conversations. In this episode of the Podcast, we are joined by guest host Anna Nelson, ICRC’s head of communications in Washington as well as Pablo Suarez, Director for Research and Innovation at the Climate Center, visiting fellow at Boston University, researcher, math geek and overall fan of humor. We chat about bringing humor into unusual contexts, including humanitarian work, and the science behind it all. Hosted by Niki Clark and Anna Nelson.Read More
- American Red Cross
- Andrea Harrison
- Anna Nelson
- Austin Shangraw
- Charlotte Lindsay
- Clara Barton
- Evolution of War
- Geneva Conventions
- Henry Dunant
- Humanitarian Action
- IHL compliance
- International Review
- Islamic Law
- Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Lake Chad
- Missing Persons program
- Niki Clark
Rule 55 of Customary Law states that ‘The parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, which is impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction, subject to their right of control.’ And while the rules seems clear, in complex conflict settings there are often challenges to implantation. In this episode, we speak to Jacob Kurtzer, a research fellow with the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Humanitarian Agenda initiative, an initiative that leverages the expertise of CSIS programs to explore complex humanitarian challenges. The primary challenge he’s focusing on is access to aid in complex man-made emergencies. Prior to joining CSIS, Jacob spent seven years with the ICRC, most recently as head of communications for the ICRC Delegation in Israel and the occupied territories and at some point in time, helping to head up the Washington Communications department. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
Armed conflict and other situations of violence deprive those in the midst of it of the essentials – food, clean water, health care, shelter – and the chance to experience life and grow at their own pace. Despite the protection afforded them by international law, both children and adults are vulnerable to all sorts of risks. One of the most critical is the impact violence has on education. The interruption of education has severe consequences for both the future of individuals and a country’s capacity to recover, especially when crises are protracted. In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we talk about the impact of violence and conflict on education, the long-term effects and what ICRC is doing to help mitigate those. Guests include Geoff Loane, ICRC’s Head of Education, Danijel Cuturic, ICRC’s Education Advisor in Ukraine and Karla Hoover, ICRC’s Education Advisor in South Sudan. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
It has been six weeks since Cyclone Idai made landfall in southern Africa, unleashing unprecedented devastation and destruction on communities in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Many communities were stranded for weeks and cut-off from outside assistance. Tens of thousands of people were left homeless. Crops were washed away. The ICRC has been working with IFRC and national Red Cross societies to provide assistance to people who lost everything to the storm, an effort that has been made even more complicated by Cyclone Kenneth, another tropical cyclone that is pummeling northern Mozambique with rainfall, sparking widespread flooding and creating a new humanitarian crisis just weeks after Cyclone Idai hit the country. We hear several audio diaries from the ground and then speak with Crystal Wells, ICRC’s Communications Delegate for East Africa. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
In late March, the small village of Ogossagou in Central Mali experienced a horrific massacre. The scene, from those who were there, looked apocalyptic. Huts and farm buildings burnt and riddled with bullet holes, charred remains of cars and donkeys. The wells became unusable because of the contamination of corpses. Families are struggling to come to terms with what happened– the latest in a recent series of very violent clashes between herders and settled farmers in the region.
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we first hear from Isaf Mustafa Charaf, an ICRC mental health delegate who was present in a hospital following the tragic event. Then we speak to Francoise Lambert, an ICRC delegate based in Dakar. What happened to lead to such a massacre? What are the needs of the families on the ground—physically and psychosocially? Many are living in a state of uncertainty—with missing relatives and unsure futures. What is being done? What is needed to move forward? Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
Responding to today's most complex humanitarian challenges, particularly those in protracted conflicts, requires innovative approaches and mobilizing a range of actors. Many have pointed to the potential of innovative financial models as a way to bring together humanitarian, development, government, and private sector actors to respond and maximize sustainable impact in meeting affected persons' needs. In September 2017, the ICRC launched an innovative finance mechanism, the world's first Humanitarian Impact Bond, which looked to scale up the ICRC's physical rehabilitation services in three countries. In this episode, we chat with Juan Coderque, Head of New Financial Models for the ICRC. We breakdown what we mean by new financial models, discuss the potential of innovative finance approaches to humanitarian action, and explore how the ICRC is thinking about the issues and how best to utilize new financial models to meet humanitarian needs. Hosted by Austin Shangraw.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast with speak with ICRC’s Director General Yves Daccord who was in town for last week’s World Bank Spring Meetings. We chat about some of the things that came out of those meetings as well as the growing nexus between humanitarian and development actors, particularly in protracted conflicts. We discuss the transformative change he’s seen in nearly 30 years of service with the ICRC, including the evolving approach to humanitarian action, as well as the inclusion of innovation and technology. Finally, as Yves’ tenure comes to a close in 2020, he shares his hopes for ICRC’s future, what he is most proud of and what’s next. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
IThe conflict in the Donbas is entering its fifth year, and heavy weaponry remains in regular use—with far-reaching humanitarian consequences for this predominantly industrial and urban region of eastern Ukraine. Civilians on either side of the contact line rely on the same infrastructural network – water systems, electricity grids and gas lines – for vital services. Several of these key infrastructural installations are on or near the contact line, and in the immediate vicinity of the ongoing hostilities, which involve regular use of high-calibre artillery. In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with ICRC’s outgoing head of delegation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Alain Aeschlimann. We chat about the situation and challenges of working in Ukraine, how the situation has evolved in his time there and how ICRC works in one of the most heavily militarized regions in the world. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
It’s been eight years since fighting began in Syria. Out of 18 million people living in the country, 13.1 million of them require humanitarian aid. One in 2 Syrians have been displaced by the conflict, either abroad or within the country. 1.3 million were newly displaced in last year alone. Years of fierce fighting have left some of the country’s vital services extremely fragile. 50% of health facilities are out of service or partially functioning. 2 million children are unable to go to school, casting a further shadow on the country’s future. These are bleak and tragic numbers. But many times statistics are hard to visual, inefficient in telling the brutal impact of conflict. To really give a sense of the view from the ground, in this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we start with an audio diary from our communications delegate Sara Al-Zawqari who recently traveled to Al Hol in the northeast of Syria. Then, we talk more about about the situation in Al Hol with Adnan Hezam, ICRC’s media delegate based in Damascus. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
The sound of gunfire approaches. You don’t know if your family should run or hide. Making the right choice can mean life or death. A new immersive virtual reality movie called The Right Choice puts users next to a Syrian family trapped in urban warfare. The film, a collaboration between ICRC, Google’s Daydream Impact Project and the creative agency Don’t Panic London, uses a simulated experience to help people understand urban warfare and its impact on real lives. In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we speak with ICRC's Audiovisual Producer and project manager of The Right Choice about how virtual reality is helping tell the story of urban warfare.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the podcast, we sit down with Trevor Keck, the deputy director of policy at the ICRC Washington Delegation, who recently returned from Nigeria. Intensifying attacks in NE Nigeria have caused around 30,000 people to flee across the border and within the country over the last weeks. The crisis, now nearly in its 10th year, has resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, protection risks and a deepening humanitarian crisis. Just recently, presidential elections were held in the country. We discuss the overall state of affairs, what he saw on the ground, as well as potential election impacts, challenges and most needed humanitarian interventions. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
This episode of Intercross the Podcast is the second in our new joint series with Humanitarian Law & Policy. Humanitarian Law & Policy is the ICRC blog based in Geneva that provides timely analysis and debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) issues and the policies that shape humanitarian action. With this series we hope to have monthly conversations on trends, issues, future challenges and solutions as they pertain to IHL or humanitarian action. In this discussion, we speak with Jelena Pejic, Senior Legal Adviser for ICRC in Geneva. She discusses about international humanitarian law and human rights law and some of the debates and tensions around the two bodies of law during armed conflict. We focus on one debate in particular – detention in non-international armed conflicts. This conversation is in response to our podcast with Jonathan Horowitz last month. Hosted by Sasha Radin.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Catherine-Lune Grayson, ICRC Policy Advisor. Globally, around 40 million people have fled their homes from conflict or persecution as internally displaced persons. About 60%–80% of those live in urban areas. The “urban story” of forced displacement is often compounded by its hidden nature. It is more difficult to track the living conditions of those displaced in urban areas, obtain precise numbers, and provide humanitarian assistance. We discuss the challenges of working in urban contexts, camp vs. non-camp solutions and retaining dignity when identity is lost. Hosted by Austin Shangraw.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Cate Bird, the Missing Persons and Forensic Advisor to the ICRC delegation in DC. Cate focuses on the humanitarian consequences of migration along the U.S.-Mexico border and the forensic responses to missing migrants and unidentified remains. Since receiving her PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University in 2013, she’s performed forensic anthropological casework in several medical examiner offices in the United States (including Houston, Tucson, and Tampa), as well as internationally (Mexico and the country of Georgia). We talk about missing persons on a global scale and how and why migrants may go missing. Then, we look at how forensics can help resolve missing person cases as well as ICRC’s work in forensics. Finally we touch on Cate’s work with the missing along the border, how forensics can provide resolution to missing person cases, the challenges of her work and her journey to ICRC. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Sasha Ingber and Alex Ebsary of Music in Exile. Music in Exile is a nonprofit that seeks to document the songs and stories of people who have been displaced, and humanize them through their music. We talk about how travel and family histories led them to a compassion for displaced musicians, why music is often so critical to people who have lost everything and of course, the music and stories they just can’t get out of their heads. For more information on the musicians featured on Music in Exile, go to their website. This project is hosted in part by the Pulitzer Center. Hosted by Niki Clark.
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we sit down with Monica Mukerjee, a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Delegate for the ICRC currently based in Juba. She is also the Sexual Violence Focal Point for the delegation. Since March 2018 she has worked in South Sudan developing mental health and psychosocial activities for victims of violence in primary health care facilities as well as for weapon-wounded patients receiving care in ICRC hospital programs. She has previously worked in Uganda, Geneva and Ukraine. How do you promote mental health as a priority in contexts where physical needs are often lacking? What types of support does ICRC provide? How do practitioners address issues around stigma? How do they practice self-care? Join us for a fascinating conversation finding healing after trauma. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
With this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we announce the start of a new monthly series with Humanitarian Law & Policy. Humanitarian Law & Policy is the ICRC blog based in Geneva that provides timely analysis and debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) issues and the policies that shape humanitarian action. With this series we hope to have monthly conversations on trends, issues, future challenges and solutions as they pertain to IHL or humanitarian action. We also will be taking advantage of our coworkers’ deep network of authors including academics, practitioners, legal minds and more to further delve into some of the conversations that have been started on their blog and in the International Review. In this first discussion, we speak with Jonathan Horowitz, a senior legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative. We talk about the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law and some of the debates and tensions around the two bodies of law during armed conflict. We focus on one debate in particular – detention in non-international armed conflicts. Look in the coming weeks for other perspectives on this issue. Hosted by Niki Clark and Sasha Radin.
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, discuss frontline humanitarian negotiations. The Center of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation recently launched a field manual on the subject, taking the collective experience and perspectives of numerous humanitarian practitioners working in some of the most challenging conflict environments and translating it into tangible tools and resources. Claude Bruderlein, director of the Centre and lead researcher for ICRC negotiation practices talks through the development of the manual, the art of negotiation and how his years of operational experience brought him to his current position. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we are coming to you from Juba, South sudan. Following a two week wheelchair basketball training program, we sit down with two athletes from radically different worlds. Malat Wei was a young child when his family was forced to flee South Sudan, shortly after he contracted polio and lost the use of his legs. Though he grew up in an Ethiopian refugee camp, he fell in love with sports, spending his long days at the camp playing soccer with his able-bodied friends. Malat would use only his hands to navigate the dusty pitch. At age 12, his family was resettled as refugees in Texas where a few years later he was introduced to wheelchair basketball by a member of his church. He was immediately hooked. Now 24, he plays university-level wheelchair basketball in Arizona, after a successful stint playing professionally in France from 2015-2016.
Jess Markt is from Denver, Colorado. At age 19, he was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Previously a college track-and-field star, wheelchair basketball was a major factor in Jess’ recovery, both physically and mentally. He now serves as the ICRC’s Diversity, Inclusion and Sports Advisor and coaches disabled athletes in war zones, including Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Gaza Strip. Several years ago, Jess and Malat met at a tournament in New Mexico and their friendship was born. When Malat discovered that Jess was coaching in South Sudan, he pitched the idea of going with him to help coach athletes back in his home country.
And that’s just what they did.
Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More
In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we discuss the protection of cultural property in the time of armed conflict. It’s no secret that people around the world have a deep connection with places and objects of artistic, historic and religious importance. Archaeological sites connect us to the past. Monuments beckon from afar to be visited and marveled at. Our customs, traditions and values bind us to each other and the places we call “home.” Cultural property and heritage are vital to the identity of individuals, communities and entire nations. Much more than stone, paper or canvas, ancient statues, manuscripts and works of art provide us with a sense of cultural cohesion and pride. Yet, too often, cultural property comes under attack during situations of armed conflict and violence. Such attacks constitute an affront to our history, dignity and humanity. Importantly, destroying or damaging cultural property in wartime is strictly prohibited under International Humanitarian Law. In this episode, we sit down with Pascal Bongard, Head of the Policy and Legal Unit of Geneva Call, and Cori Wegener, the director of the Smithsonian Institution Cultural Rescue Initiative. Hosted by Niki Clark.Read More