Nigeria: 22,000 people registered as missing after a decade of war, ICRC’s highest caseload in the world

ICRC - News Release No. 19, 12 September 2019

Abuja (ICRC) - Nearly 22,000 Nigerians have been reported as missing to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during a decade of conflict in northeast Nigeria, the highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in any country.

Nearly 60 percent were minors at the time they went missing, meaning thousands of parents don’t know where their children are and if they are alive or dead.

“Every parent’s worst nightmare is not knowing where their child is. This is the tragic reality for thousands of Nigerian parents, leaving them with the anguish of a constant search. People have the right to know the fate of their loved ones, and more needs to be done to prevent families from being separated in the first place,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer today at the end of his five-day visit to the country.

During his time in Nigeria, Maurer met with Nigerian President Buhari and high-level government, civil society and business leaders and spoke with families who have been affected by conflict in Maiduguri and Monguno, many of whom have missing relatives.

Families in northeast Nigeria are often separated while fleeing attacks. Others have had loved ones abducted or detained and do not know their whereabouts. The ICRC works with the Nigeria Red Cross and other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the region to trace missing people by showing photographs, calling out names, and going door-to-door in camps and communities.

South Sudan: One year after peace deal, violence and humanitarian needs haven’t decreased

ICRC - News Release No. 18
11 September 2019

A statement from James Reynolds, ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan, on the situation in the country one year after the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

Juba (ICRC) – One year after the signing of the peace deal, violence is still pervasive in South Sudan, as clashes between communities threaten lives and the fragile stability.

Surgical teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continue to treat a large number of patients with gunshot wounds, while needs of the most affected communities remain high. Redoubled efforts are needed to bring a durable peace.

Ebola: As death toll approaches 2,000, vaccines, treatment and behaviour change equally important

Press release

Nairobi/Geneva 27 August 2019—The availability of an effective vaccine against Ebola and the recent confirmation of two effective treatments do not negate the importance of building trust and understanding in communities affected by the outbreak, warns the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

This warning comes as the death toll for the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) approaches 2,000 and as the total number of cases reaches 3,000.

Dr Emanuele Capobianco, IFRC’s Director of Health and Care said:

“The importance of these new treatments – and the continued roll out of vaccines – are not to be underestimated. But alone they are not enough. Now is the time to double down on efforts to engage at-risk communities. For the treatments to work, people need to trust them and the medical staff who administer them. This will take time, resources and a lot of hard work.”

Cox’s Bazar: Heavy rains trigger landslides in camps, Red Crescent response efforts underway

Cox’s Bazar/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 11 July 2019 - Heavy rains triggered landslides in camps in Cox’s Bazar housing more than 900,000 people from Rakhine state, Myanmar. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society response operations are underway in seven camps where more than 8,500 people are affected and over 1,800 shelters have been damaged or destroyed.

The World Meteorological Organization forecasts that in July, Bangladesh will be hit by the highest amount of rainfall for all of 2019, with more than 730 mm of rain expected over an average of 22 days.

Red Cross on alert as Uganda confirms first Ebola case

Kampala/Nairobi/Geneva, 12 June – Red Cross teams are on high alert following the confirmation of the first Ebola case in Uganda.

According to the Ministry of Health, a five-year-old boy from Uganda returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) on 10 June. The child presented with Ebola symptoms and was transferred to an Ebola treatment unit in Bwera.

Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary General, said:

“This is a worrying development, but we have been preparing for this day for months now. We have been scaling up our efforts, in close coordination with government and other actors to help communities prepare for Ebola, and to contain its spread.”

Syria: Field hospital opens for displaced people in Al-Hol camp 

ICRC - News Release No. 19/12
30 May 2019

Damascus – A new field hospital to assist patients wounded in war or suffering from illness will open this week in Al-Hol camp to address the massive humanitarian needs after an influx of people in recent months. 

The hospital is opening with support from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross. 

The more than 63,000 people who have arrived in Al-Hol since December had been without access to health care in their areas due to ongoing hostilities, lack of medicine, and damaged or destroyed health facilities. Philip Spoerri, the head of ICRC’s delegation in Syria, described the need for medical assistance in Al Hol as “tremendous” after a recent visit there. 

ACTING TOGETHER TO END SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Joint press release

One in three women experience sexual or gender-based violence in her lifetime. Men and boys are affected too. The risk is greatly exacerbated in humanitarian crises triggered by armed conflict and natural disasters.

In 2019, 140 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these, around 35 million are women and girls in reproductive age.

Despite its criticality, protection from this form of violence remains severely underfunded at less than 1 percent of all funds channelled to humanitarian assistance.

Today, high-level delegations from 90 countries, top UN officials, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege and many civil society representatives will gather in Oslo to strengthen political commitment and increase funding to end sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises.

Operational update on Cyclone Kenneth: Reaching communities cut off from aid

ICRC - News Release No. 19/11
15 May 2019

As days of rain, flood-waters and high winds from Cyclone Kenneth recede, the catastrophic destruction left behind is becoming clearer. Tens of thousands of people are homeless and little remains in many communities where homes, schools, businesses and places of worship once stood. In order to support communities reeling from the impact of Cyclone Kenneth in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Mozambique Red Cross Society to provide assistance.

“As our teams reach communities flattened and destroyed by high winds and rain, we are deeply concerned about the urgent humanitarian needs that families face. We are distributing items such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats and kitchen sets to help alleviate residents’ suffering,” said Hannah Matthews, who is leading ICRC’s relief efforts from Pemba, Mozambique.

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day: Celebrating “14 million points of hope”

Geneva, 8 May 2019 – On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2019, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is celebrating the nearly 14 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world who provide a lifeline to countless communities in need.

In a statement sent to the volunteers, staff and leaders of the world’s 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, wrote:

“I want to thank all our volunteers and staff who are working around the clock to reach people in need and to alleviate their suffering. You are the last mile of humanitarian aid everywhere in the world.

“You are the proof that local actors are crucial to saving lives, to preparing communities, to working faster and better in every single crisis in the world.”

The Slovenian Red Cross project awarded a grant

Empress Shôken Fund announces grants for 2019

The Slovenian Red Cross is among this years grant winners of the The Empress Shôken Fund. The  innovative approach to social cohesion by tackling hate speech and its consequences, with a special emphasis on hate speech against migrants has been selected among 47 applications. The grant will go towards a training programme within schools, designed to encourage students to become young cultural ambassadors and further spread the message.

The Fund

The Empress Shôken Fund is named after Her Majesty The Empress of Japan, who proposed – at the 9th International Conference of the Red Cross – the creation of an international fund to promote relief work in peacetime. It is administered by the Joint Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which maintains close contact with the Japanese Permanent Mission in Geneva, the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Meiji Jingu Research Institute in Japan.

 

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