International Humanitarian Aid and Law

This morning I got a call from News Channel 6 wanting to know if our Chapter had any people responding to the recent devastating cyclone in Myanmar (Burma). I didn’t know the answer (though I was fairly positive our Chapter wasn’t sending anyone) so I asked Polly. She’s one of our experts on international affairs, and she also does tracing investigations for long-lost Holocaust victims.

I found out that –  as I thought – our Chapter is not currently sending anyone to this disaster (there are specially trained international experts for these situations), but the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is. They’re distributing basic supplies like water, clothing, food, plastic tarps, and hygiene kits. They’ve also released about $189,000 in disaster relief funds so far. (More info here.) 
This makes me feel like I need to learn more about how international operations work. I’ve signed up for an International Humanitarian Law class this Thursday. (May 8th, 9am – 1pm). If you want to sign up for it too,  just let us know. You can post here, email Kelly Scott, or call 503-284-1234. It’s not just about Red Cross stuff, it’s about International Humanitarian Law in general, the Geneva Conventions, etc. I’ve talked to people who have taken this class before who have said it’s great. Oh, and Polly is teaching it.