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Egyptian Red Crescent helps wounded
in protests

As political tension and violence escalated in July and August, the Egyptian Red Crescent Society responded to humanitarian needs during and after mass demonstrations and political violence, immediately deploying emergency teams to help those injured and wounded on the streets of Cairo and other provinces.

Volunteers in at least 35 sites across 11 governorates were deployed to offer medical assistance, evacuate critical cases and provide urgent medical supplies to field hospitals. In some branches, volunteers offered psychosocial support in hospitals and helped to organize and promote blood-donation campaigns.


Photo: ©Patrick Fuller/IFRC


Protests impede urgent health care in Colombia

As protests erupted in numerous Colombian cities this year, routes to various regions in the country were blocked, disrupting access to health care. In February and March, at least three people died after the ambulances transporting them were prevented from passing, and a number of hospitals ran short of supplies. In all, the ICRC recorded 27 incidents in which health-care provision was obstructed, 15 more than in the previous quarter. The problems continued in the following months, particularly in the Catatumbo area of Norte de Santander state. “Obstacles to the work of health-care personnel are endangering the lives of a great many people,” says ICRC head of delegation Jordi Raich.

 

 


When the ‘world seemed to end’

One month after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Aceh province, the Indonesian Red Cross Society continued to provide support. More than 52,000 people were forced to flee their homes after the earthquake struck Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah districts, killing 42 people and injuring more than 2,500 others. “The world seemed to end,” says 43-year-old Mahyudin of the moment the earthquake struck.

The Indonesian Red Cross initially deployed 32 volunteers to reach both locations to assist with search and rescue operations, assess needs and distribute relief supplies. A rapid response team of ten staff also assisted with assessments, and health and medical services.

Voices

“We love this work
of ours because what
we are doing is not for
one particular person,
but for all the people in
Aweil, in South Sudan,
and even Africa.”

Mary Achol Athian Athian
South Sudan Red Cross volunteer (see page 12).



Movement mourns more volunteers
killed on duty

The Movement deplored the death of two more Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers in August. Wassim Mouselli and Yousef Al Kens were both working at the National Society’s branch in Homs on 27 August when a mortar shell landed in front of the branch office, killing a number of civilians. A total of 22 Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been killed while on duty since the beginning of the conflict.

Meanwhile, the Movement also mourned the death of Johann Dorfwith, a paramedic with the Austrian Red Cross, who was fatally wounded while assisting a policeman who had been shot by a fleeing gunman near the town of Annaberg, Austria in September.


‘Stone rivers found here’

The ironic signs posted along the dry creek beds say it all: ‘Stone rivers found here’, a hint at the meagre water supply that now trickles down the once-plentiful rivers.

After four rainless months in the south of Ecuador, the agricultural communities in Loja province are being dramatically affected by the 72 per cent drop in rainfall. Located on a mountain range on the Ecuador–Peru border, the province has almost 450,000 inhabitants and its territory covers approximately 11,000 square kilometres.

The Ecuadorian Red Cross — as part of a multi-agency response — identified a total of 1,025 families who have been affected directly.

The needs include food, installation of safe water storage tanks and home water filters, restoration of local irrigation systems, and training for families in preparing animal feed, among other things. The IFRC is supporting the intervention through its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, in coordination with the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

 



Violence takes lives in Guinea

When intercommunal violence hit the Guinean city of N’zérékoré, volunteers from the Red Cross Society of Guinea and ICRC staff took wounded people to N’zérékoré regional hospital and transported a number of dead bodies to the city morgue. “Casualties were flooding in and we ran out of supplies,” says a hospital director. “That’s when we turned to the ICRC in N’zérékoré and asked them for intravenous fluids, syringes, needles and dressings to treat the wounded.”

With the help of Red Cross volunteers, ICRC staff used two vehicles to criss-cross the city and collect the dead and wounded. Like five other hospitals in Guinea, the regional hospital has been receiving ICRC training, including mass-casualty management, for its personnel since 2007.

 


Humanitarian index

3: Percentage of fights in Ireland’s Wheatfield Prison in which only fists were used prior to the launch of an Irish Red Cross programme by prisoner-volunteers (see page 16).
97: Percentage of fights that involved a blade, and usually a slashing injury, at Wheatfield Prison prior to the prisoner-run Irish Red Cross programme.
5,000: Number of mountain rescuers engaged by the German Red Cross, the oldest National Society, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary.
22,000: Number of Red Cross nurses employed by the German Red Cross.
130,000: Number of trained German Red Cross water rescuers.
395,690: Number of prostheses provided by the ICRC worldwide between 1979 and 2012, according to the 2012 Annual Report of ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programme (see page 29).
400,000: Total number of German Red Cross volunteers.
6,800,000,000: The number of mobile phone subscribers in the world today, a figure that is up by 2.5 billion since 2008 and that humanitarian groups say is radically changing disaster preparedness and response (see page 24).

Sources: Irish Red Cross; German Red Cross; ICRC; IFRC World Disasters Report


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