Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It’s a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work…
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: Torrential rains recently hit South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, destroying over a thousand houses in Sange and leaving many people destitute and without shelter. The Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with support from the ICRC, distributed essentials such as clothing, kitchen utensils, hygiene items, hoes, blankets, sleeping mats, buckets and tarpaulins to 1,080 families between 30 October and 5 November.
SOUTHERN EUROPE: Recent days have seen countries in southern Europe faced with extreme weather conditions, including severe rain and storms. Most affected were south-east France and the north-west regions of Italy. Italy in particular was hit by two devastating waves of flooding in a period of ten days, which have so far left 17 dead. The Italian Red Cross is focusing on urban search and rescue (USAR), health care, food assistance, shelter and psychosocial support activities for those affected by the floods.
LIBYA: Although fighting has ceased in most of Libya, civilians continue to be injured or killed regularly by explosive devices. In Bani Walid, and particularly in Sirte, where the highest concentration of ordnance is to be found and the humanitarian impact is the most serious, the ICRC is launching urgent campaigns to educate people about the risks. Removing the threat of explosives in heavily contaminated areas will take considerable time and resources.
TUNISIA: At the same time as bells rang the end of the Gaddafi régime in neighboring Libya, Tunisia was experiencing its first democratic election polls since the fall of the Ben Ali régime. A wind of change from the Arab Spring was in the air, and the Tunisian Red Crescent prepared for anything. With the support of the ICRC, volunteers made extensive preparations to provide help should it be needed. The elections went smoothly and there was no need to activate emergency first aid preparations.
IRAQ: While the security situation in Iraq has slowly but steadily improved, there are many humanitarian needs that still have to be met. The ICRC is expanding humanitarian activities in disputed territories and in the belt around Baghdad, giving priority to women heading households, physically disabled people, primary health in rural areas, displaced people and others who are not getting the services they are entitled to.