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…
SOMALIA: In response to ongoing armed clashes in the Middle Juba region of southern Somalia, the ICRC has sent urgently needed emergency medical supplies over the past few days to various medical facilities on both sides of the front line in Kismayo, Afmadow and Dhobley. In cooperation with local treatment facilities, the ICRC will continue to closely assess surgical and other medical needs in the coming days and weeks.
SYRIA: The situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate, especially in the past week, and violence is taking a heavy toll, leaving hundreds of people dead or wounded. Since June of this year, when the ICRC was granted greater access to the areas of unrest, the organization has been providing medical aid, food aid, and other basic items for the people affected. Over the past eight months the ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have distributed at least 14,000 family sized one month food parcels, 30,000 school kits, 1,400 hygiene kits, medical supplies, hospital support, drought relief, and legal workshops concerning international humanitarian and human rights laws.
PHILLIPINES: An outbreak of the deadly bacteria Leptospirosis has highlighted the dramatic and ongoing needs of the tens of thousands of people in northern Mindanao, the most prominent island in the southern Phillipines, who were displaced and affected by Typhoon Washi. The Philippine Red Cross has deployed health staff and mobilized additional volunteers and resources in an effort to help limit the outbreak.
AFGHANISTAN: At the ICRC’s Orthopedic Center in Kabul, playing wheelchair basketball is a welcome diversion for both patients and staff. The patients had been playing basketball together for some time, but it was more like ‘buzkashi’ – the ferocious no-holds-barred local equivalent of polo. Inspired by a training course they received in May of 2010 by West Linn-native wheelchair basketball player and coach Jess Markt, the players have practiced together every week since then.