mourns more of its own
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in July mourned the
death of its fifth medical worker killed while delivering
first-aid and medical services to people affected by the
SARC staff member, Khaled Khaffaji, was shot in Deir Ezzor,
eastern Syria, on July 9 while on duty in an ambulance clearly
marked with the National Society’s emblem. "We
are devastated. The loss of Khaled is completely unacceptable," said
SARC president Dr Abdul Rahman al-Attar.
Less than three weeks earlier, on 22 June, Bashar Yusif,
a SARC first-aid volunteer in Deir Ezzor was shot and killed
while providing medical assistance to people caught in the
fighting. (See page 12.)
Yusif’s death came just two days after the ICRC learned
that a staff member working in Yemen, Hussein Saleh, was
killed during a military airstrike in southern Yemen’s
Abyan Governate. Saleh and three other staff members were
assessing the humanitarian situation in the area, which has
severely affected by fighting. “We are devastated by
the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Hussein,” said
Eric Marclay, head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, adding
that Saleh played a “crucial role within his team helping
hundreds of thousands of people”.
Meanwhile, moving testimonials continued to pour in to the
British Red Cross and the ICRC after the murder in April
of Khalil Dale, a long-time aid worker for the British Red
Cross, who was serving as a health-programme manager for
the ICRC in Quetta, Pakistan when he was abducted in January.
Letters and Facebook postings described Dale as brave, tireless,
inspiring and compassionate, and as someone who brought hope
to many. “I will keep Khalil in my heart forever and
his memory will give me the strength to keep going,” one
of the many letters concluded.
The Movement did finally get some good news when it learned
in mid July that Benjamin Malbrancke, an ICRC delegate abducted
by armed individuals on April 21 in northern Yemen, had been
set free. "We are relieved and extremely happy to have
our colleague back with us, in good health," said Eric
Marclay, who heads the ICRC operations in the country.
water for all
A drinking water and sanitation project by the Nepal Red
Cross Society has benefited roughly 3.7 million people in
rural communities of the country over the past three decades,
according to a report released on World Water Day, 22 March,
by the Nepal Red Cross. This amounts to about 15 per cent
achievements in drinking water and sanitation, the report
notes. The report was just one of many events and achievements
highlighted around the world by Movement actors in March,
aiming to bring attention to water-related issues and the
work being done to bring safe drinking water to communities
Brazil tackle road safety
An approach to road safety developed by the Global Road
Safety Partnership (GRSP), a project hosted by the IFRC,
has been adopted by the government of Brazil as the methodology
in all of its 26 state capitals. This approach to road safety,
known as the Proactive Partnership Strategy (PPS), has been
successful in reducing road crash-related deaths and injuries
in numerous cities in Brazil. “This decision is a tremendous validation
of the work that the cities already involved in PPS have been
doing over the years,” says José Cardita, who
manages GRSP’s operations in Brazil.
“His life was one of love,
not hatred. His life was one of kindness, not cruelty.
We will always remember our Khalil, our Ken, as a
man who brought joy to us and countless others.”
Statement by the family of long-time British Red Cross
and ICRC aid worker Khalil Dale, after
his murder in Quetta, Pakistan.
“I was lying down there, shouting, crying for help… There was
nothing else to do. It was very painful.” Brian Azi Nyam,
26-year-old first-aid trainee; wonders whether the first aid he’s learning
now could have saved his friend’s life on the day the two were shot during
violence near the city of Jos, Nigeria.
calls on parties to DRC conflict to spare civilians
Violence in the North and South Kivu regions of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) has spread to the most remote
and difficult-to-reach areas, with a rising number of civilian
victims, reports the ICRC. “Most of the victims are civilians,
some of whom are very young children, elderly people or women,” says
Laetitia Courtois, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Bukavu,
South Kivu. “The fighting has forced the inhabitants
of entire villages to flee, worsening an already precarious
don’t need visas’
Issues with visas and work permits for international disaster
relief personnel. Coordination of relief agencies. Duties,
tariffs and excessive paperwork. Some of the obstacles that
aid groups reported facing during operations in the Horn
of Africa last year, according to those attending a workshop
organized by the IFRC, the United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Kenya Red Cross.
The workshop aimed to create a better system of laws and
agreements in states affected by ongoing drought because,
as one attendee noted, “A
disaster doesn’t need a visa to cross borders.”
in South Sudan gets worse
Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to respond
to mounting humanitarian needs in South Sudan. In early April, needs increased
further when hostilities erupted along the border with Sudan. “Many people
left their homes in a hurry because of the violence, often leaving everything
behind and finding some sort of shelter in makeshift camps,” says Melker
Mabeck, the ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan.
Photo: ©Reuters/Thomas Mukoya, www.alertnet.org
report: violations increasing
Violations of humanitarian law, including forced displacement,
threats of violence, rape and damage to civilian objects, increased
last year in Colombia, according to a report released by the
ICRC in April. In many cases, fighting has intensified, making
it harder for remote communities to obtain basic services such
as health care, education, clean water and transportation.
25: Number of journalists killed
due to violence in 2012 as of 14 June, according to the Committee
to Protect Journalists (CPJ). (1)
919: Number of journalists killed due to violence since 1992, according to CPJ
(70 per cent were murdered; 18 per cent were caught in crossfire during combat;
12 per cent killed by violence while on dangerous assignments).
1,335: Number of hectares of
bananas, mango, capsicum (red peppers), water melon, tomatoes
and pawpaw grown in 47 farms as part of a Kenya Red Cross
Society's Drought Recovery project.
2.3 million: Number of people assisted by volunteers using
Health and First Aid (CBHFA) approach in 2011.
(1) These numbers vary somewhat among press advocacy groups,
which categorize reports of journalists’ deaths differently.