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…
SYRIA: The impact of fighting in Syria on the humanitarian situation has increased significantly since December. The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent continue to help those most affected by the fighting. In recent days, nearly 9,000 people have received aid in Homs and Idlib provinces, and more supplies have been delivered by truck to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent for distribution. Fighting in Al-Zabadani (30 miles north-west of Damascus) resulted in hundreds of families fleeing to safety in Bludan, Madaya and Buqqin. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, working closely with the ICRC, sent humanitarian aid to the displaced.
REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: Since ammunition stockpiles exploded in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, on March 4th, unexploded devices in inhabited areas have been and still are a major hazard. Under an agreement with the Ministry of Defence, and in cooperation with the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Center, ICRC explosive ordinance disposal experts are currently at work clearing and securing the hazardous areas. Over 300 bodies have been recovered so far and the ICRC is assisting with identification, psychological support to families, and in tracing unaccompanied children.
SOUTHERN ASIA: Across Southern Asia, the IFRC and National societies are working with local authorities to promote disease prevention and treatment. In regions of China that were worst hit by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the Red Cross Society of China is empowering the young and old to help themselves by educating how to stay healthy by preventing common illnesses. In India, where two million people are infected with tuberculosis, the Indian Red Cross has been working in partnership with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to educate the public on transmission and treatment of the disease. Vietnam is currently facing a Hand, Foot and Mouth disease health crisis, and the Vietnam Red Cross has moved swiftly to educate people in the hardest-hit communities about how to reduce the risks.
JORDAN: This week a Middle East regional conference on health care in prisons began, organized by the ICRC. Prison directors and health-care experts from 11 Middle East countries are attending the three-day meeting in Amman, Jordan. The ICRC visits detainees to monitor the conditions in which they are being held and the treatment they receive, and when improvements are necessary discusses its findings directly and confidentially with the authorities concerned.
In Idlib, Syria, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distribute food parcels to 6,000 displaced persons and residents.