South Sudan: Number of hungry, displaced at staggering levels, ICRC president says during visit

Juba (ICRC) - The president of the ICRC arrived in South Sudan today to view the devastating effects that the country's continued violence is having on the millions of residents on the brink of extreme hunger.

The numbers associated with South Sudan's violence reveal the level of brutality being carried out against civilians. Of the country's population of 12 million, one in three residents has been displaced, while one in two is severely hungry and in need of food assistance.

"The number of hungry and displaced South Sudanese is overwhelming," said ICRC President Peter Maurer. "The staggering scale of suffering is evidence of the cumulative effect of 3.5 years of a style of fighting that appears calibrated to maximize misery. Warfare should not directly impact the lives of so many civilians."

Philippines: Aid delivered to 7,000 evacuees cut off by Marawi fighting

Geneva / Manila (ICRC) – Geneva / Manila (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), has just completed an aid distribution among 7,000 displaced people in Tamparan municipality, an area east of the Lanao Lake in the Philippines island of Mindanao that has been difficult to access so far due to the heavy fighting in its capital Marawi City. According to the official estimates, in two months of the conflict in Marawi, there have been over 77,000 people fleeing to areas along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao.

Though aid has started to arrive, much more is required to meet the current and future needs of the people who have been fleeing to this area since the fighting erupted on 23 May. Unlike those who fled towards the north or west of Marawi, displaced families along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao have not received regular help owing to access, logistical and security issues.

“Displaced families on this side of the lake continue to struggle with very limited food supplies,” said Tomoko Matsuzawa, head of the ICRC office in Cotabato City. “Many of them have been staying with relatives for nearly three months. They have very little income, and their host families’ resources are running low."

Central African Republic: International Red Cross Movement strongly condemns killing of Red Cross volunteers

Not a target

Bangui/Geneva, 9 August 2017 – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is shocked and saddened by the violent deaths of six Red Cross volunteers earlier this week in the Central African Republic.

The volunteers were taking part in a crisis meeting at a health facility in Gambo in Mbomou prefecture in the south east of the Central African Republic on 3 August. The exact circumstances are not yet clear; however, reports indicate that civilians and medical staff may also have been killed.

The Red Cross Movement strongly condemns this incident, the third such attack in CAR to claim the lives of Red Cross personnel since the beginning of the year.

“We are appalled by the news of the death of our fellow volunteers,” said Mr Antoine Mbao-Bogo, President of the Central African Red Cross. “We call on all parties to take steps to spare the civilian population, and to respect all humanitarian workers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yemen: Airstrikes against civilians are an alarming trend

ICRC - News Release No. 17/54
8 August 2017

Geneva/Sana’a (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely alarmed at a pattern of recent airstrikes that have killed and injured dozens of civilians in the Sa’ada and Taiz governorates in Yemen. In the latest such incident, nine members of one family were killed and three critically injured. The casualties were between 3 and 80 years old.

“Our colleagues have been to the village of Mahda, on the outskirts of Sa’ada city, where they saw a house literally flattened by the explosion, while a crater showed where the impact had occurred,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, Alexandre Faite.

 

Falkland/Malvinas Islands:

Forensic field work to identify remains of Argentine soldiers comes to an end

ICRC - News Release No. 18/53
7 August 2017

Geneva (ICRC) – The work of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) forensic team to identify Argentine soldiers buried in Darwin cemetery came to an end on 7 August with a simple religious ceremony.

During seven weeks of intense work, which began on 20 June, a team of 14 specialists – from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom – exhumed, analysed, sampled and documented the remains of each of the unidentified soldiers. The work was carried out in a high-tech temporary mortuary built on-site for the purposes of the operation. After careful analysis, each body was placed in a new coffin and reburied on the same day in the original grave. In the coming weeks the cemetery will be restored to its original state.

“I am pleased to say that we have successfully completed the crucial stage of exhuming, analysing, documenting and reburying each of the soldiers in a grave bearing the inscription Soldado argentino solo conocido por Dios (Argentine soldier known only unto God),” said the ICRC’s forensic project coordinator, Morris Tidball-Binz. “We have striven to work to the highest scientific and technical standards, despite the logistical challenges involved. The team’s wealth of experience in this kind of operation and the strength of their humanitarian commitment was what made it possible.”

IFRC warns of serious health risks as extreme heatwave sweeps across Europe

Budapest / Geneva, 4 August 2017 — Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers are on the ground in towns, cities and beaches as record temperatures sweep much of southern and central Europe.

According to weather reports, south and central Europe are experiencing the highest August temperatures in more than a decade.  The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in the Netherlands says this is indicative of a trend that has seen hotter summers become more common.

Countries including Austria, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, and Spain are seeing temperatures climb to up to 42 degrees Celsius in some places this week.

Volunteers across Europe have been visiting vulnerable people including those who are homeless and older people who are especially at risk during the hot weather. In France, teams have been distributing water to people sleeping rough in cities and providing information, advice and door-to-door checks on elderly and isolated people.

Statement on Yemen attributable to ICRC President Peter Maurer

I am leaving Yemen profoundly concerned for the plight of its people. The cholera outbreak remains alarming. With the rainy season approaching, we expect more than 600,000 cases by the end of the year. This is unprecedented.

This outbreak is manmade. It is a direct consequence of more than two years of warfare. The health care system has collapsed, with people dying from easily-treatable chronic diseases. Key services like garbage disposal have ceased to function, as I saw all too clearly in 

Unless the warring parties improve their respect of the laws of war, I am afraid we must expect more epidemics in the future.

Yemen: ICRC president visits country, decries "needless suffering"

ICRC - News Release No. 17/51
23 July 2017

Sana’a/Geneva - The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Yemen today as the country’s unprecedented cholera outbreak ravages an alarming – and growing -- percentage of the population.

ICRC experts expect the current number of suspected cholera cases to at least double by the end of 2017 to over 600,000 -- or one in every 45 Yemenis. The ICRC president will visit Aden, Taiz and Sana'a during his 5-day trip to the country, and will meet health workers battling the deadly disease. 

“The great tragedy is that this cholera outbreak is a preventable, man-made humanitarian catastrophe. It is a direct consequence of a conflict that has devastated civilian infrastructure and brought the whole health system to its knees,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer. “I find this needless suffering absolutely infuriating. The world is sleep-walking into yet more tragedy.”

Casualties from unexploded ordnance on the rise in Mosul

11 July 2017 - In Mosul, ICRC medical teams are seeing an increase in the number of people injured by unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war. Civilians must take precautions and the clearance of this dangerous material must be a priority, otherwise casualty rates are likely to rise.

Two women treated by the ICRC in Mosul General Hospital were injured when they triggered a booby trap as they entered their home. A 9-year-old boy was badly wounded when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) outside the home his family had just returned to.

Statement by Robert Mardini, Regional Director for the Near and Middle East at the ICRC

As fighting rages in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, the human toll is staggering. We are alarmed by the fate of tens of thousands of civilians trapped in these cities, traumatized and living in constant fear of violent death, without access ...

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