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…
AUSTRALIA: Thousands of Australians have been forced to abandon their homes, and many towns have been left isolated as heavy rainfall has caused flood waters to rise in south-western Queensland and northern New South Wales. The Australian Red Cross has more than 150 Red Cross people assisting with the relief effort, managing evacuation centers, and assisting people on their return.
SOUTH SUDAN: After six months as an independent country, South Sudan still faces humanitarian challenges. With a history of 30 years of conflict, the northern regions of today’s South Sudan remain particularly volatile. The ICRC is working with the new South Sudan Red Cross to ensure civilians are respected, the wounded are protected, and to provide aid in conflict-affected communities.
MALI: Fighting in the Northern Mali since mid-January has led to a massive number of displaced people living in dire conditions. The ICRC is assisting 26,000 displaced people in and around Ménaka, 4,000 around Aguelhoc and 15,000 others displaced in neighboring Niger. Together with the Mali Red Cross, the ICRC is distributing millet, rice, oil, salt, tarpaulins, blankets, sleeping mats, buckets, kitchen utensils and hygiene items.
MADAGASCAR: Last week a plague-prevention campaign was launched at places of detention in Madagascar with support from the ICRC. In all, more than 3,600 people will benefit at two facilities in Antanimora and Tsiafahy, which have severely overcrowded conditions and limited opportunities for maintaining hygiene. Madagascar is one of the few places where the plague is still prevalent, with between 300 and 600 cases occurring in recent years.
Red Cross volunteer Lynette Tyler provides personal support for Mary Stanton, a Kamilaroi Aboriginal elder, who had to evacuate her home along with 3,000 others from the town of St. George. Australian Red Cross/Jack Tran