The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

IRELAND: In 10 of 14 prisons in Ireland, a small group of special-status Irish Red Cross volunteers combines an innovative community-based health approach with the Red Cross Red Crescent Fundamentalpage_16 Principles to change the lives of troubled men, transform prison culture, reduce violence and improve the physical and psychological health of inmates. Since the CBHFA (Community Based Health and First Aid) program was put in place, the percentage of fights involving an illicit, handmade blade has gone down from 97 per cent to 10 per cent in one year. The result has been fewer injuries and reduced prison health-care costs. The program is active in 10 prisons in Ireland, and is due to be extended to all 14 prisons. It has recruited 326 inmates as Irish Red Cross special-status volunteers who have helped to improve the lives of more than 3,279 of their fellow prisoners and the prison staff.

LIBYA: A training seminar on the treatment of wounds caused by mines, bullets, shrapnel and other weapons was recently held in Benghazi. Organized jointly by the Libyan Ministry of Health, the Libyan Red Crescent Society and the ICRC, the two-day seminar brought together 120 doctors from different parts of Libya. The seminar is an opportunity for leading Libyan surgeons to exchange experiences and best practices with ICRC specialists. In addition, they discuss the problems they face when treating casualties of armed conflict or violence, often with limited resources.

GLOSSARY:
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross

The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

SOMALIA: Thousands of people in northeast Puntland, Somalia are coming to grips with the effects of the cyclone that hit the area between November 8-10. The storm has left several areas20131118-somalia-cyclone-main-1 inaccessible and cut off from communication, making it difficult to determine the real scale of the damage. The Somali Red Crescent Society mobilized its volunteers to evacuate people to safer ground and to provide first aid services. Volunteers are also collecting and burying dead livestock in an effort to stave off the breakout of disease. This week’s efforts will be concentrated in carrying out assessments in the eight most affected districts in the Nugal and Bari regions. Relief items will then be distributed based on the needs of affected families.

LEBANON: Two deadly explosions hit Beirut on November 19 near the Iranian embassy in Jnah district. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, at least 19 people were reported to have been killed and more than 116 injured. The Lebanese Red Cross emergency and first aid medical teams responded immediately. More than 50 first aiders and 14 ambulances were deployed in the explosion area to evacuate and transport the injured to nearby hospitals. A comprehensive survey in the affected area and surrounding buildings was carried out by volunteers to assess the damage. As the situation continues to unfold, teams will remain on the scene to ensure that they can provide immediate first aid and transportation where necessary. Lebanese Red Cross first aiders and volunteers are working closely with local authorities and other institutions to provide the needed support.

ITALY: Italian Red Cross staff and volunteers have been called to respond after torrential rains and a cyclone caused rivers to burst their banks killing at least 18 people on the island of Sardinia. Over a hundred Red Cross emergency responders have been busy supporting people affected by the disaster after up to 40cm of rain fell in just 24 hours as the storm, known as Cyclone Cleopatra, hit. The Red Cross has deployed 25 vehicles, while pneumatic tents are in place to shelter those whose homes were damaged by the storm.

Photo of the Day: Trusty helps introduce violence, bullying and abuse prevention training to schools in Canada

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Trusty, a Canadian Red Cross violence and abuse prevention mascot, has been very busy over the past couple of weeks. First, Trusty visited Iqaluit to supervise a two day Beyond the Hurt workshop to youth at l’École des Trois-Soleils, where he also had the opportunity to ride his first ski-doo!

The following week, Trusty travelled to Atlantic Canada after learning that the very first francophone Prevention Educator training was being held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This training composed of a group of 14 social workers, vice-principals, and support staff from the francophone school district who are looking to introduce the Beyond the Hurt program to their schools.

The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

INTERNATIONAL: In recent years, the issue of menstrual hygiene management in post-conflict and post-disaster settings has20131104-burundi-main1 increasingly drawn the attention of the international humanitarian community. Despite this, menstrual hygiene continues to be overlooked and is still not effectively or comprehensively addressed in emergencies. The IFRC has received a grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund to trial menstrual hygiene management kits in three countries in eastern Africa. The kits are designed to enable safe and hygienic management of the menstrual cycle through the provision of disposable or reusable sanitary pads, care and disposal of pads, and practical information. The kits will be complemented by increased and improved training for National Societies, and participatory hygiene promotion tools relating to menstrual hygiene. At least 6,000 women are expected to benefit from the project.

CUBA: The people of Santiago de Cuba thought they were going to avoid the worst of Hurricane Sandy, but then on the night of October 25, 2012, they found out that the hurricane was coming straight at them. The government advised people to find shelter, stay calm and remain alert to radio and television reports.  Despite these precautionary measures, Sandy was so destructive it wiped out almost everything in its path. The Cuban Red Cross was one of the first humanitarian organizations to respond during the emergency. To date, the National Society has delivered a range of relief items to over 25,000 affected families. The relief items include roofing materials, mattresses, clean drinking water, jerry cans, and hygiene and kitchen kits.

SYRIA: Paying for medicines and medical treatment has become one of the most difficult issues that Syrians face since the crisis began. The local market has been severely affected and many medicines have become prohibitively expensive as most of the pharmaceutical factories have been either destroyed or shut down.  The Syrian Arab Red Crescent is trying to ease the situation, with the support of the IFRC. Small pharmacies have been added to many of the shelters through the Red Crescent’s branches and sub-branches in order to assist people directly. The IFRC is supporting the Rural Damascus branch clinic with 600 categories of medicines; the other 350 drugs are bought by the pharmacy at the local market. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s health activities, including the supply of medicines, are supported by the IFRC and are implemented with contributions from the Canadian Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

GLOSSARY:

IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

UGANDA: The Ssese Islands in the heart of Uganda’s Lake Victoria are a hidden gem, a stunning collection of lush landscapes and abundant wildlife. They are also a very 20131028-uganda-boat-main1dangerous place to fall ill, for there is no emergency health facility on any of the 84 islands. To reduce the risk and save lives, the Red Cross launched its own emergency response boat, which can transport the sick and injured to the mainland in just 60 minutes, and rush to the scene of accidents on the water, day or night.

MADAGASCAR: As part of activities to mark World First Aid Day, the Malagasy Red Cross Society and the National Agency for Transportation teamed up to raise awareness among truck and bus drivers on how to save lives on the road. For two days, 50 drivers received training in first aid that will give them skills to provide immediate aid in the event of a road accident or any other emergency, and will help prevent unnecessary loss of life. The activities culminated in celebrations during which members of the general public were encouraged to seek training in first aid and the importance of first aid in Madagascar was highlighted. Illustrating their new skills, a number of the truck and bus drivers demonstrated what they learned during the training.

The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

INDIA: Despite the successful evacuation of 1 million people and minimal loss of life, Cyclone Phailin has still left significant20131017-india-cyclone-response-main-1 needs in its wake.   In the village of Sunapur, the Red Cross cyclone shelter has towered above every other structure since its construction in 1995. Over the weekend, it once again became the temporary refuge for 500 villagers – and, in some cases, their animals – as Cyclone Phailin made landfall on India’s east coast. The shelter saved hundreds of lives, but effective disaster preparedness requires more than strong buildings. The safety of people in Sunapur lies in the hands of a dedicated network of Red Cross community volunteers that make up the Shelter Disaster Managing Committee. This group is responsible for the early warnings, and maintaining the safety of those that come to the shelter. The Indian Red Cross Society with support from the IFRC, is scaling up their support in the area. The number one priority being shelter and safe drinking water. To date, 15,000 tarpaulins have been brought in and will be distributed in a family package also containing kitchen utensils, clothing, mosquito net, towel, bucket and bed sheets. Water treatment plants are also being deployed to provide clean water for drinking and cooking.

CAMEROON: Heavy rains and flooding are nothing new to the people of Cameroon’s Far North region. Almost every year, they bring devastation and misery. Last year was the worst in recent memory, with heavy downpours causing rivers to burst their banks, damaging and destroying homes, valuable farmland and people’s livelihoods.  To help families rebound quicker, the Japanese government, the IFRC, and the Cameroon Red Cross Society launched a food security project in March. Its goal is to teach people in the communities of Pouss and Guirvidic improved farming techniques in order to sustain their livelihoods.

LIBERIA: Building latrines and changing hygiene habits supports development. So the Liberian Red Cross, the IFRC and the ICRC are building latrines and training volunteers to improve sanitation habits in their communities.

GLOSSARY:
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross

The Red Cross Round-up

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

NIGERIA: Following the 2012 floods response, which was carried out with the support of the IFRC, the National Society is now20131015-nigeria-main1 better prepared to respond to the flooding that hits the country at this time of year, every year. The Nigerian Red Cross Society is preparing by positioning emergency relief items – such as blankets, buckets, jerry cans, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, shelter materials, sleeping mats, soap and tarpaulins – in strategic locations. A water and sanitation kit, which can provide safe drinking water for 5,000 people, is also on standby, should it be required.

PHILIPPINES: Following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Central Visayas, Philippine Red Cross volunteers and staff have been mobilized to assess the damage and respond to immediate needs. Immediately after the quake struck, Red Cross chapters in Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces, mobilized their action teams to undertake a quick survey of damage. Additional Red Cross teams from the national headquarters are being readied for deployment. Meanwhile, Philippine Red Cross is actively sending out updates and issuing safety reminders using social media services, including Twitter.  As rescue and assessment operations progress and the scale of devastation becomes clearer, Philippine Red Cross will roll out a comprehensive relief operation.

NIGER: Armed violence in north-eastern Nigeria is still causing displacement towards Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The ICRC and the Red Cross Society of Niger are providing emergency aid for thousands of people in the Diffa area.

GLOSSARY:

IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264 other followers