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It seemed clear-cut: a cover story on first aid that reported on the daily efforts of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff to transform our principles into action. This issue, in fact, highlights the courage of first aiders in the face of crisis, with examples from Latin America, China and the Middle East, particularly in the Palestinian territories where the protection of the rescue mission has been jeopardized by the recent fighting.

It quickly became apparent that behind the emergency response, first aid within the Movement is a complex activity under pressure from increased competition, globalization and technology. The cover story examines these developments, and focuses on the Movement's efforts to modernize and market its first-aid programmes in order to maintain its position as the world's largest and most effective humanitarian network.

This edition of the magazine also looks at the risks from natural or man-made disasters confronting communities from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Central America. The articles examine the risks threatening these people and the challenge of helping them increase their resilience to them.
Finally, given that "a picture is worth a thousand words", we feature the images of Swiss photographer Jean Mohr. Over a 50-year career, he has photographed life's pleasures and sorrows.

ICRC editor

Jean Milligan
Federation editor

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