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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

More about: Vulnerability

At Risk
By Piers Blaikie, Terry Cannon,
Ian Davis and Ben Wisner, Routledge, London and New York, 1994

This scholarly analysis addresses the social causes of disasters and the potential ability of people to cope with them. Its premise is that the social, political and economic environment is as much a cause of disasters as the natural environment. Disasters are usually a complex mix of natural hazards and human action. The impact of disasters on different social groups often depends on the manner in which assets and income are distributed. Discrimination in the allocation of welfare and relief also plays a role in determining which groups are most affected.

Available in English from Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE, U.K.


Megacities, reducing vulnerability to natural disasters
Institution of Civil Engineers, London, 1995

Inspired by the 1990s, which were proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, this book identifies ways in which urban developments are vulnerable to the effects of natural hazards and illustrates the strategies by which these effects can be mitigated. It provides an overview of natural hazards, outlines the issues and strategies involved in mitigation, and discusses the roles that city management and public awareness play in reducing risk. It is intended for use in all cities and is aimed at the widest possible audience, since nearly everyone can contribute to successful disaster mitigation strategies.

Available in English from Thomas Telford Publications, Thomas Telford Services Ltd, 1 Heron Quay, London E14 4JD, U.K.


Do No Harm
By Mary B. Anderson, Collaborative for Development Action, Local Capacities for Peace Project, Washington D.C., 1996

This book assembles lessons learned from the experiences of many individuals and agencies that have provided aid in different conflict circumstances. The basic “data” for the effort come from
15 case studies conducted in
14 different conflict-plagued societies. The experiences and insights gained from the cases are rich. They reflect the immense complexity of the societies and of the wars on which they report, and they portray the impressive imagination and creativity of both local and international aid providers in these settings.

Available in English from Collaborative for Development Action, Washington, D.C.


Power, Choice and Vulnerability
By Peter Winchester, James & James Science Publishers, London, 1992

Natural disasters make dramatic reading. Every year, some area of the world is devastated by a disaster, with enormous loss of life and disruption to livelihoods. What can be done to alleviate this? Why are such disasters so lethal? Why do people expose themselves to such hazards? By examining one particular cyclone-prone area of southern India in great detail. Peter Winchester has come up with some perceptive answers to these questions.

Available in English from James & James Science Publishers Ltd., 5 Castle Road, London NW1 8PR.

  What’s New

La politique du CICR depuis la fin de la guerre froide
European Institute for Research and Information on Peace and By Simone Delorenzi, ICRC, Geneva, 1997

“ICRC policy since the end of the Cold War”, as the title translates, takes a close look at how the ICRC is confronting the obstacles facing international humanitarian action today. While humanitarian aid has been projected into the world political and media spotlight, the conditions in which it is delivered have deteriorated to the point where the whole action is threatened. The book examines the ICRC’s policy as it is defined and implemented in response to such challenges as: anarchic conflicts, the confusion between humanitarian and military intervention and the pressures placed on its confidentiality and neutrality.

Available in French from the ICRC. English version planned for 1998.


Restoring Playfulness
By Swedish Save the Children
(Rädda Barnen), 1996

This book is based on seven different case studies in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation. It presents the extensive field experience of Rädda Barnen and its partner agencies in many different countries. The book offers practical and readable analysis of the many and complex issues involved. It is suggested that approaches which reflect collective action within a broad social development frame are more likely to be appropriate in most countries faced with conflict in the contemporary world.

Available in English from Rädda Barnen, 10788 Stockholm, Sweden.


Combattants et prisonniers de
guerre en droit islamique et en
droit international humanitaire
By Ameur Zemmali,
Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 1997

This work, the title of which translates “Combatants and prisoners of war in Islamic law and international humanitarian law”, is the published and revised version of the author’s doctoral thesis submitted in 1994 at Geneva University’s Faculty of Law. By drawing on the rich heritage of Islam, it sets out to reaffirm and reinforce humanitarian law and its provisions, which have been accepted today by the whole of the international community.

Available in French from the ICRC.


Going Home
International Federation, 1996

Going Home is a guidebook to help refugees and internally displaced people to make informed choices about whether to return to the territories of the former Yugoslavia.

Available in English, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian from the Federation.


Beyond conflict
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 1919-1994
By Daphne A. Reid and Patrick F. Gilbo, International Federation, 1997

Beyond Conflict looks back on 75 years of service to humanity. The book chronicles the evolution of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from its founding to its maturity, with photographs, posters and original documentation. It focuses on the people whose work on behalf of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies gave the organization its strength, while enabling the simple ideals of service and volunteerism to survive amid the tensions of an increasingly complex and difficult world.

Available in English from Oxford University Press.




A la rencontre de
la communauté
International Federation, 1997

Since 1989 four National Red Cross Societies in West Africa with support from the International Federation have provided assistance to thousands of Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees and displaced people. The video highlights various self-help projects, including the installation of a well for producing fresh water in Nzerekore in Guinea; the establishment of a health post in Danane, Côte d’Ivoire; and the rebuilding of communities in Bong Town, Liberia and Kenema in Sierra Leone.

Available in English and French from the Federation.


Frontline Boys
ICRC/UNDP Azimuths, Geneva,
1997, 7 minutes

Fifteen-year-old Tihomir Ostojic from Sarajevo is a victim of Bosnia’s heavily mined former front lines. A boyish adventure to pick cherries ended in disaster when he stepped on a mine and was thrown onto a second mine, losing both hands. He will not be the last mine victim in Bosnia. But a mine awareness programme run by the ICRC is targeting civilians at risk like Tihomir, trying to teach them how to live safely with this threat.

Available in English, French and Spanish from the ICRC.


Never-ending Challenge
International Federation, 15 minutes

Presents the history and structure of the International Federation and includes interviews with a selection of staff at its headquarters in Geneva.

Available in English, French, German, and Japanese from the Federation.


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