Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the major (and sometimes small, but interesting) international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of nice little bite-sized links for you…

[Trying out a new feature here. The ALL CAPS place names now link to maps so that you can get a quick idea of the region.]

AUSTRALIA: More than 400 Australian Red Cross volunteers are working in relief centers, providing food, first-aid, information and support to people affected by the massive brushfires. Approximately 5,000 people have so far registered with the Red Cross so that worried relatives can contact them.
SRI LANKA: Most of the Vanni region’s population is now displaced and completely dependent on outside aid, yet none has reached the area since 29 January. The ICRC is calling on both parties to immediately allow food and other urgently needed items to reach those who are trapped. In the meantime, with the help of local authorities – including the local fishermen’s union – the ICRC was able to evacuate 240 wounded and sick by sea after a hospital was shelled.
PHILIPPINES: The ICRC is very concerned for the safety of its three abducted staff members after gunfire occurred on Monday in the area they are reportedly being held. 
MADAGASCAR: Over 40 people have been killed and more than 350 wounded during anti-government demonstrations in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo. The ICRC is sending staff and medical supplies to support the relief work of the Malagasy Red Cross. 
ETHIOPIA: The IFRC and Ethiopian Red Cross Society are in a race against time to bring food aid to draught-stricken residents.
ZIMBABWE: Over 63,000 people have now contracted cholera. The ICRC is supporting health authorities’ efforts to cope with the epidemic.
GAZA: The Egyptian Red Cross is preparing to shelter an estimated 10,000 people.