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…
MALDIVES: Last week the Maldivian Red Crescent became the 187th member of the IFRC at its 18th General Assembly in Geneva. The process of forming the new National Society began in the wake of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which affected over 27,000 people in the Maldives. These low-lying islands will be among the most threatened territories should sea levels rise significantly.
YEMEN: Two ICRC staff members and a Yemen Red Crescent Society volunteer who had been briefly held by armed individuals in a village in Lahj governorate, southern Yemen, returned to Aden. On November 22nd, they left to distribute food rations and essential household items to displaced people in Lahj, but were prevented from returning to their office. The ICRC was in regular contact with them after the incident occurred, and contacted the authorities and other leaders in the area to request their assistance in arranging for the prompt return.
NIGER: The ICRC is providing support for a major immunization campaign against meningitis that began last week in the Agadez area of northern Niger. The ICRC is supporting the campaign in the districts of Arlit and Tchirozérine, where over 58,000 people aged one to 29 will be vaccinated by the first week in December.
IRAQ: Over the past two weeks the ICRC, in a joint Iranian-Iraqi operation, found the remains of 103 Iranian and Iraqi soldiers in Al-Fao, southern Iraq, who went missing during the 1980-1988 war between the two countries. In its capacity as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC provides support for the efforts of the Iranian and Iraqi authorities to account for those who went missing during the war and to ease the suffering of their families.
SOMALILAND (SOMALIA): While Southern and Central Somalia carry the brunt of the East Africa food crisis, Somaliland has not escaped the effects of recurrent droughts and political violence. At the newly-established Sheikh Omar Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp, the Somalia Red Crescent has been working to recruit volunteers and distribute relief items provided by the Icelandic Red Cross from its clothing business.