water for Kyrgyzstan
Some 7,000 people in the village of Monok
and about 10,000 individuals living in the Kumarjan Datka
area of the city of Osh now have better access to clean drinking
water. “By the end of the year, we intend to bring
safe drinking water to another 22,000 people,” said
Aleksandr Mailyan, an ICRC water engineer based in Osh. Since
violence erupted in the country in June, the ICRC has stepped
up detainee visits, helped with shelter reconstruction and
worked with authorities to improve conditions for detainees.
Hundreds of thousands of people who have fled fighting
in the Somali capital Mogadishu and other towns since 2007
are living in increasingly harsh conditions. In cooperation
with the Somali Red Crescent Society, the ICRC distributed
food to more than 55,000 people. “People with virtually
no belongings are coping through petty trade or by growing
crops on small patches of land, and also thanks to the help
of resident communities,” said Pascal Mauchle, head
of the ICRC delegation for Somalia.
aid in the name of rock
About 180 Hellenic Red Cross volunteers came from all over
Greece to provide first aid and rescue services to some 80,000
people attending a live concert by the rock group U2 — the
country’s biggest music event of the year. Seven brigades
of volunteers were supported by 10 doctors and 12 medically
equipped vehicles. Madonna, AC/DC and the Eurovision song
contest have also enjoyed rock-star treatment from Hellenic
Red Cross volunteers.
“If joy could kill, I’d
be dead already.”
one of 15 child
who went home to his
as part of ICRC’s
Restoring Family Links
project in the
“I used to run
for poor children,
but now I am dependent
on the NGOs
water, shelter and
and former headmaster
church school in
hit by dual disasters
Back-to-back disasters shook Indonesia in late October.
An earthquake triggered a tsunami on the Mentawai islands
off western Sumatra and, at the same time, Mount Merapi began
spewing clouds of hot ash and lava.
The 3-metre-high tsunami left at least 449 dead, nearly
100 missing and more than 400 injured. Hundreds of houses
were washed away or damaged, and some 15,000 people displaced.
The volcano, meanwhile, killed at least 35 people, largely
as a result of burning ash, and left more than 70,000 displaced.
The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) responded by providing medical
care, establishing field kitchens and dispatching tents and
relief items. Tragically, Tutur Rajitno, a PMI volunteer
with a medical team, was unable to escape the hot ash and
died while helping people evacuate people from a nearby village.
Aids Day: Movement focuses
on harm reduction
Denying injecting drug users life-saving services could
trigger a public health disaster, according to IFRC reports
released on World Aids Day, 1 December 2010. The IFRC urged
governments to establish policies that respect human rights
and support harm-reduction.
Repressive laws, imprisonment and harassment drive many
drug users underground, away from health and social services,
according to the IFRC. This makes providing HIV prevention,
treatment, care and support almost impossible and exposes
the general population to more harm. Worldwide, about 3 million
injecting drug users live with HIV.
at risk in Gaza
Daily power cuts in the Gaza Strip are making healthcare
even more precarious — particularly in places such
as the haemodialysis department in Gaza’s Shifa hospital.
“The power often goes off while we’re receiving
treatment,” explains 63-year-old patient Khader Saqr. “All
the machines stop until the generator comes on. Without power,
our blood stops circulating.” On average, the Gaza
Strip is deprived of electricity for seven hours a day.
“Years of armed conflict and occupation have made
it extremely difficult just to keep up with routine maintenance
on the generating equipment and electricity network, let
alone to increase capacity to meet the growing needs,” explains
Palina Asgeirsdottir, ICRC’s health programme manager
The only power station in the Gaza Strip was partially destroyed
by Israeli shelling in 2006. The closure and the ban on bringing
in building materials have made repairs near impossible,
while disagreements between the Palestinian Authority and
Hamas over payment for the power station’s fuel have
compounded the problem
89,000: Number of litres of water distributed by the
ICRC every day in September to more than 4,300 people displaced
by fighting in south-west Yemen.
600,000 to 800,000: Annual number of victims trafficked
across international borders worldwide, according to the
United States Department of State.
75: Percentage of the IFRC Pakistan appeal raised as of
2 billion: Total United Nations appeal, in US dollars,
for Pakistan flood relief launched mid-September.
500 million: Amount in US dollars raised by the United
Nations for Pakistan flood relief as of 30 September.
1.3 billion: Funding gap in US dollars that the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative says it needs for its 2010–2012
programmes and to meet its goal of eliminating the disease.
22 billion: Estimated number of plastic water bottles thrown
away each year worldwide.