Red Cross Red Crescent alarmed at increase in migrant drownings in Mediterranean

Beirut/Budapest/Geneva, 9 July 2020 – Red Crescent societies in Tunisia and Libya are seeing an increase in drownings on the shores of North Africa.

Warmer weather and relaxed COVID-19 lockdowns are thought to be behind an increase in numbers of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe.

Many are not surviving the perilous journey, with 20 per cent more people estimated to have died in June this year as opposed to last year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IFRC President Francesco Rocca said:

“While Red Cross volunteers in Italy support those who have managed to survive the crossing, unfortunately on the other side of the Mediterranean, both Libyan and Tunisian Red Crescent volunteers are left to collect the bodies of those who didn’t.”

Syria: As economic crisis bites, lack of humanitarian access costs lives every day

ICRC - News Release
30 June 2020

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) - A dramatically deteriorating economic situation, the impact of expanded sanctions, a simmering COVID-19 crisis and ongoing fighting in parts of the country are pushing millions of people in Syria towards deeper poverty and hunger as the tenth anniversary of the conflict approaches.

The humanitarian needs across the entire country are already immense and rising at a pace that threatens to outstrip and even overwhelm existing capacities to respond, exacerbated by the worst economic crisis since the conflict began.

Eight hundred thousand masks to help protect migrant workers from COVID-19

Kuala Lumpur/Bangkok, 23 June 2020: Nearly a million masks are being provided to migrant workers, village health volunteers and other frontline workers as part of a new initiative to protect people at risk from COVID-19 in Thailand.

An estimated 80 million migrant workers in Asia are particularly vulnerable amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with many missing out on support because they are undocumented and therefore largely invisible to authorities and humanitarian organisations.

Thailand is a significant regional migration hub in South-East Asia and currently hosts an estimated four million migrant workers. Most of these migrant workers come from neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Migrants work in a range of sectors including construction, fisheries, agriculture, hospitality, and domestic work.

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum: a chance for much needed legal pathways to the EU?

Brussels, 19 June 2020 – Ahead of World Refugee Day, the Red Cross EU Office calls on the EU and Member States to increase safe, legal migration channels for protection seekers to the EU. As many borders remain closed in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the already scarce possibilities for people to seek protection have substantially reduced. 

In the meantime, global protection needs have skyrocketed, not least due to the urgency of evacuating refugee camps to counter the virus’ impact in densely populated areas. As stressed by the European Parliament in a letter to the European Commission in April, the upcoming Pact on Migration and Asylum is an opportunity for the EU to re-balance itsapproach to migration management by enhancing legal pathways to Europe – Member States must join forces to urgently address the specific needs of asylum seekers and refugees. 

Afghanistan: Spike in violence against healthcare amidst COVID-19 threatens millions

ICRC - News Release
17 June 2020

Kabul (ICRC) - The recent rise in violence in Afghanistan combined with targeted attacks against health-care facilities threaten to reduce or prevent access to health services for millions of Afghans that more than ever need health services with the outbreak of COVID-19, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today.

“The recent trajectory in Afghanistan is of great concern. After the hope brought by a relative reduction in hostilities in February and March, we again see more violence. Civilian casualties are on the rise while the country is battling against COVID-19,” said Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan. 

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals for 3.1 billion Swiss francs (3.19 billion US dollars) to curb COVID-19’s spread and assist world’s most vulnerable amid the pandemic

Geneva, 28 May 2020 –-The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for 3.1 billion Swiss francs (3.19 billion US dollars) to urgently scale up its global response to curb COVID-19’s rapid spread and assist the world’s most vulnerable people amid the pandemic.

This coordinated appeal builds on the previous one launched on 26 March 2020 and aims to increase life-saving services and support to address both the immediate impacts of the pandemic and its long-lasting social and economic repercussions.

Five months since it began, the pandemic has threatened every aspect of peoples’ lives, amplifying inequalities, destabilizing communities and reversing development gains made in the past decade.

East Africa: Red Cross raises the alarm over a “triple menace” of floods, COVID-19 and locusts

Nairobi/Geneva, 20 May 2020—A series of mutually exacerbating disasters is unfolding in East Africa, on a scale rarely seen in decades, warned the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Ongoing heavy rain—which has killed nearly 300 and displaced about 500,000 people—has slowed down operations aimed at controlling the worst locust crisis in decades and increased the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

Red Cross Red Crescent on the ground bracing for super cyclone Amphan

Geneva/Kuala Lumpur, 20 May 2020 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is preparing for a major humanitarian response as super cyclone Amphan heads across the Bay of Bengal towards Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.

Heavy rainfall, high winds and storm surges threaten Bangladesh’s and India’s coastlines. In Bangladesh, 14.2 million people live in the cyclone’s path, almost two thirds of whom are women and children. India’s Odisha State is making plans to evacuate 1.1 million people along its coastlines. While Myanmar is not in the cyclone’s direct path, heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges are also expected to affect northern parts of the country, including Rakhine state.

#BeApp Partners with Coca-Cola to Launch Coke Studio Sessions

Katy Perry, Bebe Rexha, DJ Khaled, Steve Aoki and More Kick Off 60 days of Live Music Streaming for Fans Around the World

ATLANTA, May 14[AG1] , 2020 – #BeApp, a new live music streaming platform, and Coca-Cola today announced the launch of Coke Studio Sessions, an exclusive collaboration featuring a diverse line-up of musical performances for fans to enjoy over 60 consecutive days. 

Live performances from more than 100 artists across the globe, including Katy Perry, Anitta, DJ Khaled, Bebe Rexha, Miguel, Cast of Hamilton and Steve Aoki will begin streaming today to refresh fans one virtual performance at a time and support the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

International Nurses Day: Nurses deserve praise, thanks, protection amid COVID-19 

ICRC - Joint News Release
11 May 2020

Geneva – Nurses and other health care workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 deserve to be recognized and commended for their lifesaving efforts and personal sacrifices amid increased medical risk -- and in some places amid ostracization, harassment and attack. 

The International Council of Nurses and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are jointly celebrating International Nurses Day this May 12, to laud nurses around the globe, and in particular those managing an unprecedented workload by treating patients with COVID-19 while also maintaining other essential health services.

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