[The place names link to maps so that you can get a quick idea of the region.]
BANGLADESH: Hurricane Aila made landfall on May 25. More than 24 hours before that, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society kicked its preparedness program into gear, evacuating thousands of families to shelters. The BDRS and IFRC continue to respond as many lives, livestock and livelihoods have been lost.
SERBIA/KOSOVO: The ICRC is helping to find out what happened to 1,904 people still missing as a result conflict in Kosovo between January 1998 – December 2000.
UGANDA: The ICRC has finished rebuilding two health centers, and has handed them over to the Gulu district chairperson. The health centers together serve 14,000 people.
SOMALIA: As a result of armed clashes, hundreds of people have been wounded and thousands displaced. The ICRC is providing emergency aid, water supply operations, and support for two hospitals which have treated 1,500 mostly civilian weapon-wounded patients (including women and children) since January.
COLOMBIA: The ICRC and Colombian Red Cross are bringing water and agricultural aid to communities affected by armed conflict. They’re also educating people on “safe behaviour in areas contaminated by anti-personnel landmines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war.”
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW: Things were simpler back in the days when armies dressed in formal regalia and lined up in neatly opposing ranks. Now it’s harder to distinguish who is taking part in fighting and who is not. After six years of research, the ICRC has published “Interpretive Guidance” to clarify the notion of “direct participation.”