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ICRC materials are available from the International Committee of the Red Cross, 19 avenue de la Paix, CH-1202 Geneva, Switzerland.

International Federation materials are available from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, P.O. Box 372, CH-1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland. for the ICRC for the Federation

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Le CICR, le Coeur et la Raison: Entretiens avec Cornelio Sommaruga
By Massimo Lorenzi, Editions Favre, Lausanne, 1998

In this series of interviews whose title translates “The ICRC, Heart and Reason. Conversations with Cornelio Sommaruga”, Sommaruga reviews the main events and challenges of his 11 years as President of the ICRC. He looks at what lessons can be learnt from the way conflicts have evolved since the end of the Cold War and in the process condemns the ill effects of the blurring of humanitarian intervention and political and military objectives. Questions of ethics, security, coordination and funding are also addressed. Thus, it helps to guage the importance of the tasks and responsibilities that fall to the ICRC under its unique mandate conferred on it by the States signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

Concerning the Movement, Sommaruga believes that ICRC house culture must evolve towards a greater openness with regard to the National Societies and lead to a closer working relationship with them, in particular with those operating on the spot.

The dialogue also highlights the strengths, as well as weaknesses and frustrations, of an institution which has taken the decision to adapt to change without losing its identity — all for one immutable purpose which, in the eyes of its President of over ten years, is: “To reach every victim of conflict”.

Available in French from the ICRC. SFr 28


Staying Alive
By David Lloyd Roberts, ICRC, Geneva, 1998

Designed to fit in a pocket and for easy reference, this book offers expert advice on safety and security for humanitarian volunteers operating in conflict areas. By explaining the different threats to safety, Staying Alive lays to rest some of the myths surrounding the subject of field security. There are dangers, but with some basic understanding of them, they can be avoided or at least substantially reduced. The knowledge provided by this book puts the reader in a better position to draw that critical line between a calculated risk and an unacceptable one — a line that it would be better never to cross.

Author David Lloyd Roberts is a retired British Army officer and has worked for the ICRC for five years as its operational security adviser. Thus, he has witnessed conflict from the viewpoint of both a military officer and a humanitarian worker — a unique experience on which he draws for this book.

Available from the ICRC in English.


Overview 1998: Landmines must be stopped
ICRC, Geneva, 1998

This fully illustrated 36-page colour brochure covers the most recent developments related to the anti-personnel landmines issue. In clear and simple language, it gives a round-up of the legal developments and challenges, of medical, rehabilitation and psycho-social assistance for mine victims, of the programmes aimed at making people aware of the deadly risks of such weapons and the arduous task of clearing them.

Available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian from the ICRC. Sfr 5


Annual Report 1997
International Federation, 1998

The report provides a comprehensive retrospective on the year’s activities, highlighting key aspects of governance, humanitarian action and support to National Societies. It also details initiatives in communications, policy and management, and provides a financial overview, complete with audited balance sheets and notes.

Available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic from the International Federation.


Partnerships in profile 1998/99
National Society information and development funding statistics
International Federation, 1998

This publication is an expanded version of the Development Book. It provides a concise and comprehensive overview of the programmes and organization of 125 National Societies. The aim is to promote a better level of understanding, and support, for the vital day-to-day activities carried out by National Societies. It is also available on the Federation’s web site.

Available in English from the International Federation. Sfr 30


Floods - People at risk, strategies for prevention
By Dr John B. Miller, Department of Humanitarian Affairs, 1997

The dramatic consequences of have been at the root of a growing awareness that greater emphasis must be given to their prevention. This volume seeks to show by case histories how societies can and do prepare for the risk of floods by undertaking hazard assessments before floods occur.

Available in English and French from the United Nations Bookshop, Avenue de la Paix, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland. US$32


Conflict, postwar rebuilding and the economy
By Gilles Carbonnier, War-torn Societies Project, 1998

This critical review of economic literature provides an overview of recent research on the socioeconomic aspects of conflicts and rebuilding processes, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of traditional approaches. The paper analyses the dynamics underlying contemporary war-torn countries and questions basic economic assumptions about postconflict rebuilding. It then explores recent conceptual advances and suggests new avenues to better cope with the complex socioeconomic challenges facing war-torn countries.

Available in English from War-torn Societies Project/United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Avenue de la Paix, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

More about:
Re-emerging diseases

The Global Burden of Disease and Injury Series
Edited by Christopher J. L. Murray and Alan D. Lopez, Harvard School of Public Health, on behalf of the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

This updated and expanded ten-volume series is a worldwide collaboration of over 100 researchers, sponsored by the World Health Organization and the World Bank and based at the Harvard School of Public Health. It provides reliable epidemiological data comprehensive enough to identify priorities for health services and research. This collection focuses on the state of the world’s health and includes projections to the year 2020.

Available in English from the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


Health and Disease in Developing Countries
By Kari S. Lankinen, Staffan Bergström, P. Helen Mäkela, Miikka Peltomaa, The Macmillan Press, 1994.

Medical textbooks often deal with health problems in developing countries within the conventional panorama of tropical medicine. This book does not blame disease on geography or the weather. It traces the problems to their roots, to the pathology of poverty. A major section of this book deals with society, economy and health, with chapters covering topics ranging from politics to prostitution.

Available in English from The Macmillan Press, London.



Phnom Penh’s Component Factory
and Battambang’s Prosthetic Workshop
ICRC, 1998, 9 minutes and 13 minutes respectively

These two films demonstrate the technical aspects of manufacturing polypropylene components of prostheses and their use in Cambodia. The ICRC’s orthopaedic programme in Cambodia got under way in 1991, when the organization set up a polypropylene component factory in Phnom Penh. The components are dispatched to the ICRC’s prosthetic workshop in Battambang, near the most heavily mined area of the country, as well as workshops run by other organizations involved in the physical rehabilitation of mine victims. Polypropylene has many advantages: it is cheap, recyclable, easy to obtain and to store and the prostheses made from it are light but strong.

Available in English from the ICRC. VHS Sfr 20. BetaSP tapes available for broadcast use.


Congo: Survival in emergency
International Federation, 1997, 9 minutes

Filmed mainly in the Kinkolé camp situated about 50 kilometres from Kinshasa. When armed conflict broke out in the Republic of Congo on 5 July 1997, thousands of Brazzaville inhabitants fled the fighting. Many of them found shelter in Kinkolé where the International Federation and the Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of Congo distributed food, medicine and constructed shelters.

Available from the Federation in French and English. VHS SFr 20. BetaSP tapes available for broadcast use.


Somalia: Bio, that’s life
Co-produced by UNDP Azimuths and ICRC, 1998, 8 minutes 40 seconds

Following a war that has left Somalia devastated and divided by a never-ending clan struggle, an almost forgotten profession has made a comeback in Mogadishu: the water vendor. The city’s entire water-distribution system has been destroyed in the fighting and the ICRC has therefore sunk many wells in an attempt to supply water to Mogadishu’s population. As the Somali poet Abdullah Raggé says, “Water is the source of life”. Mr Raggé is helping the ICRC in its work, in particular by broadcasting messages on local radio to promote hygiene.

Available in English, French and Spanish from the ICRC. VHS SFr 20. BetaSP tapes available for broadcast use.


Liberia: Respect the Rules
ICRC, 1998, 12 minutes

In order to promote fundamental human values in Liberia, the ICRC, in close co-operation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Liberian and Belgian Red Cross launched a campaign using football as its message. In the presence of international football star, George Weah, two top-division Liberian football teams played a friendly game where, for the first half, all the rules were ignored. The object was to demonstrate to the 15,000 spectators what happens when rules are not observed: total chaos. The lesson applies equally to the rules of international humanitarian law in times of war.

Available in English and French from the ICRC. VHS Sfr 20. BetaSP available for broadcast use.


Hard Times Cruel Times
International Federation, 1997, 8 minutes

The famine in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(DPRK) was one of the largest humanitarian crises in 1997. This video news release provides an overview of the Federation’s food relief and medical programme. Also featured is the food distribution programme of the DPRK Red Cross, which is the only independent food distribution system in the country.

Available from the Federation in English. VHS SFr 20. BetaSP tapes available for broadcast use.


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