The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network.
Our secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 192 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
Kuala Lumpur/Manila 25 September 2022 – People in northern Philippines are scrambling to safe areas and evacuation centres as Super Typhoon Noru (locally named Karding) begins to batter thousands of cities, homes, and infrastructure. The typhoon, hit maximum wind speeds of 260km per hour has made landfall at the Polillio islands, north-eastern Philippines this Sunday afternoon, local time. Philippine Red Cross teams are on the ground, mobilised to assist and evacuate people to safety. Typhoon Noru will be the strongest storm hitting the country this year and it is as intense and destructive as last year's Super Typhoon Rai which wrecked 1.5 million houses in December. Richard Gordon, Philippine Red Cross Chairman said: “This storm is the strongest one yet this year to hit us. It is critical that we move everyone to safety right now as this Typhoon is set to cause devastation in all Central Luzon, including our capital, Manila. “Our volunteers are on full stand-by mode working with authorities to move people to evacuation centres with all their necessities. We also pre-positioning emergency relief, hot meals, and medical supplies in anticipation. Our water tankers for drinking water and payloaders to quickly clear off debris, mud and fallen trees and make roads accessible to reach communities are also in place. “We are advising people to charge their phones, pack food, and grab their important belongings. There is no telling of the extent of the disruptions.” The eastern seaboard Luzon island, (facing the Pacific ocean) is already being hit with strong winds and heavy rains. Hundreds of people in ports are left stranded as air and sea operations halt. The island is the country's largest and most populated island. Alberto Bocanegra, IFRC Head of Philippine Country Office said: “We have learned from responding to last year's strongest typhoon, Rai. We believe we are continuing to adapt our emergency responses and are prepared to handle to the intensity of this storm. “These weather-related events are intensifying and becoming more frequent. The super storm that hit south-eastern Philippines was a mere ten months ago, and the people affected are barely picking up the pieces. We must be effective and quick to adapt no matter how bad the situation will be. “IFRC is working closely with the Philippines Red Cross and helping with relief and providing support." Philippines is hit with torrential rains, strong winds, floods and tropical storms multiple times in a year. For more information, contact, Asia Pacific Office: Afrhill Rances, +60 19-271 3641, [email protected] Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830, [email protected] Soneel Ram, +679 998 3688, [email protected]
Crisis fatigue not an option as global hunger crisis deepens, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement warns
Geneva, 13 September 2022 (ICRC/IFRC) – The warning lights are flashing on high: armed conflict, climate-related emergencies, economic hardship and political obstacles are leading to a growing wave of hunger in countries around the world. The misery for millions will deepen without immediate urgent action. Systems-level improvements must be made to escape a cycle of recurrent crises, including investments in climate-smart food production in conflict-affected areas, and reliable mechanisms to support hard-to-reach communities hit by food shortages and skyrocketing prices, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said ahead of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly. The international armed conflict in Ukraine has greatly disrupted global food supply systems as well as future harvests in many countries due to the impact it’s having on the availability of fertilizer. The importance of more shipments by the Black Sea grain initiative reaching vulnerable populations in East Africa cannot be overstated. Too few grain shipments are getting to where they are needed. As hunger emergencies hit the headlines, the risk of crisis fatigue is high. Yet what’s uniquely frightening about this moment is the breadth and depth of the needs. More than 140 million people face acute food insecurity due to conflict and instability, even as climate change and economic precarity indicate that hunger needs will rise in the coming months. Political will and resources are needed now. Without them, many lives will be lost, and the suffering will endure for years. An emergency response alone will not end these hunger crises. Concerted action and long-term approaches are the only way to break the cycle. While addressing urgent needs, it is essential to set the foundation for resilience. More efforts must be made — by governments, private sectors, and humanitarian and development groups — to support long-term food security, livelihoods, and resilience plans. Measures must include investments in strengthening grassroots food systems and community actors to sustainably achieve food and economic security. One of the approaches to consider is anticipatory action for food security, based on forecasts and risk analysis. Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, said: “Two dozen countries across Africa are grappling with the worst food crisis in decades. Some 22 million people in the Horn of Africa are in the clutches of starvation due to such compounding crises as drought, flooding, COVID-19’s economic effects, conflict – even desert locusts. Behind the staggeringly high numbers are real people – men, women and children battling death-level hunger every day. The situation is expected to deteriorate into 2023. However, with swift action, many lives can be saved. We need urgent and massive action to scale up life-saving assistance to millions of people in dire need of aid, but also to decisively address the root causes of this crisis through longer term commitments.” The IFRC and its membership—which consists of Red Cross and Red Crescent teams in nearly every corner of the globe—are delivering aid in hard-to-reach communities. Assistance includes getting cash into the hands of families to meet food, health and other urgent needs. In Nigeria, Red Cross volunteers focus on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, whose nutrition is paramount for healthy births and childhoods. In Madagascar, volunteers restore land and water sources through anti-erosion activities, the construction of water points, and a focus on irrigation in addition to traditional ways to fight hunger, like nutrition monitoring. Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, said: “Conflict is a huge driver of hunger. We see violence preventing farmers from planting and harvesting. We see sanctions and blockades preventing food delivery to the most vulnerable. My wish is that we build resiliency into the fabric of humanitarian response, so that communities suffer less when violence and climate change upend lives. A cycle of band-aid solutions will not be enough in coming years.” The ICRC this year has helped nearly 1 million people in south and central Somalia buy a month’s worth of food by distributing cash to more than 150,000 households. A similar programme in Nigeria helped 675,000 people, while more than a quarter million people received climate smart agriculture inputs to restore crop production. The ICRC works to strengthen resilience through seeds, tools and livestock care so that residents can better absorb recurrent shocks. And its medical professionals are running stabilization centres in places like Somalia, where kids are getting specialized nutrition care. Communities around the world are suffering deep hardship. A short snapshot of some of the regions in need includes: In Sub-Saharan Africa: One in three children under the age of five is stunted by chronic undernutrition, while two out of five women of childbearing age are anaemic because of poor diets. The majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1.90 a day. In Afghanistan: The combination of three decades of armed conflict and an economic crash resulting in few job opportunities and a massive banking crisis are having a devastating effect on Afghan families’ ability to buy food. More than half the country – 24 million – need assistance. The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement welcomes any measure aimed at easing the effect of economic sanctions. But given the depth of the humanitarian crisis, long-term solutions are also needed, including the resumption of projects and investments by states and development agencies in key infrastructure. In Pakistan: The recent flooding has led to an estimated $12 billion in losses. Food security in the country was alarming before this latest catastrophe, with 43 percent of the population food insecure. Now the number of acutely hungry people is expected to rise substantially. Some 78,000 square kilometers (21 million acres) of crops are under water. An estimated 65 percent of the country’s food basket – crops like rice and wheat– have been destroyed, with over 733,000 livestock reportedly killed. The floods will also negatively affect food delivery into neighboring Afghanistan. In Somalia: We have seen a five-fold increase in the number of malnourished children needing care. Last month the Bay Regional Hospital in Baidoa admitted 466 children, up from 82 in August 2021. Children admitted here die without the specialized nutritional care they receive. In Syria: Food insecurity rates have risen more than 50 percent since 2019. Today, two-thirds of Syria’s population –12.4 million out of 18 million – can’t meet their daily food needs. The compounding effects of more than a decade of conflict, including the consequences of sanctions, have crippled people’s buying power. Food prices have risen five-fold in the last two years. In Yemen: Most Yemenis survive on one meal a day. Last year 53 percent of Yemen’s population were food insecure. This year it’s 63 percent – or some 19 million people. Aid actors have been forced to cut food assistance due to a lack of funds. Some 5 million people will now receive less than 50 percent of their daily nutritional requirement because of it. Notes to editors For more information, please contact: IFRC:Tommaso Della Longa, [email protected], +41 79 708 43 67 IFRC: Jenelle Eli, [email protected], +41 79 935 97 40 ICRC:Crystal Wells, [email protected], +41 79 642 80 56 ICRC: Jason Straziuso, jstra[email protected], +41 79 949 35 12 Audio-visuals available: Horn of Africa photos and b-roll Pakistan floods photos and b-roll Somalia cash programme photos and b-roll Kenya sees climate shocks b-roll
Beirut, September 12, 2022 - The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with more than 40 million migrants and 14 million internally displaced persons, has some of the world’s longest protracted conflicts, combined with frequent natural disasters, man-made crises, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Ukraine conflict has added another layer of complexity. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has joined forces with three Red Crescent societies in the region to address the basic needs of people on the move, including refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons. Fabrizio Anzolini, the IFRC’s regional migration advisor for the MENA, said: “The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement approaches migration and displacement from a purely humanitarian perspective, without encouraging or discouraging it. However, we do respond to the needs of people on the move.” As part of IFRC’s efforts to support more than 4,000 people on the move, the IFRC has signed three project agreements on migration and displacement in the region since July. The agreements with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the Egyptian Red Crescent, and the Algerian Red Crescent were established in the framework of the IFRC’s ‘Humanitarian assistance and protection for people on the move. This three-year programme focuses on humanitarian assistance to migrants, displaced people, and host communities on the migration routes of greatest humanitarian concern spanning Africa, the Middle East, and Europe and involves 34 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies. The agreement with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent aims to improve the livelihoods of internally displaced persons, returnees, and host communities in Syria, while the agreement with the Algerian Red Crescent was developed to improve the living standards and reduce the vulnerability of migrants, refugees and displaced persons in Algeria. The agreement with the Egyptian Red Crescent focuses on providing comprehensive and structured support to children on the move and the community by establishing community schools and ensuring access to basic humanitarian services. “This example of collaboration and coordination with other Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies would not have been possible without the support of the Italian Red Cross, which played a crucial role in facilitating the establishment of these three agreements,” Anzolini added. Rania Ahmed, IFRC’s deputy regional director in the MENA, said: “The IFRC's attempts to make a difference in the migration and displacement crises in the Middle East and North Africa are at a critical juncture. Until long-term sustainable solutions are in place, we ensure that people on the move have access to health services and psychosocial support, and offer protection to children and victims of violence, as well as livelihood support and cash assistance.” Ahmed added that as the link between climate change and the displacement of the most vulnerable is becoming more obvious by the day, “IFRC is eager to bring this issue to the states’ attention during the upcoming COP 27 Conference in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt”. For more information, please contact IFRC-MENA: Mey Al Sayegh, Head of Communications, Mobile: +961 03229352, E-mail: [email protected]
Like many cities in the western part of Ukraine, the health system in Uzhhorod has been overwhelmed. Located near the border with Hungary and Slovakia, the city’s population has increased dramatically with tens of thousands of people seeking refuge. To help meet the growing medical needs of the new arrivals and relieve some of the pressure on local medical facilities, the Ukrainian Red Cross opened a temporary Health Centre in Uzhhorod with the support of IFRC and the Finnish Red Cross. The centre offers consultation, treatment and medication free of charge for people in need. It’s open to everyone, local community members and internally displaced people alike. Medical specialists are assisting people of all ages with their health issues. There’s an on-site pharmacist prescribing medications and a psychologist available for consultation and psychosocial support. "Medications for the heart and blood pressure are the ones prescribed most often. People lived through stressful situations, and it affects their health,” explains pharmacist Olesya Verbovska, who works there with her twin sister Oksana. "People had to leave their homes in a hurry, so they couldn’t bring their regular medication with them. They’re grateful that the Red Cross provides medicine free of charge.” Many patients come from temporary shelters. One of them is 72-year-old Oleksandr Ivanovich from Luhansk who’s staying at the local school. He came to the Health Centre for a blood test and ultrasound. "The only thing I can say is thank you – I’m grateful to everyone who cares for us.” 17-year-old Daryna from Donetsk visited the Red Cross Health Centre with her mother, grandparents and younger brother. Her family members are experiencing many health problems, including allergies and stomach pains. They heard about the health centre from other displaced people in town. "It’s great to have a hospital like this that helps people like us,” Daryna said. Some of the doctors and volunteers working at the Health Centre have also been affected by the conflict, like Dr. Nataliia Vasylivna, a family doctor from Donetsk. "When patients are withdrawn, I tell them that I’m a displaced person just like them. This helps them relax and connect with me. After that, they speak more openly about their problems,” she said. She’s seeing between 15 to 20 patients a day. Some of the most common conditions she is treating are heart diseases, high blood pressure and allergic reactions. "Many patients are also showing signs of chronic stress and start crying as soon as they feel the sympathy from me,” she adds. The health centre also provides psychosocial support six days a week, for adults and children alike. And two volunteers who are doing that can also relate to what patients are experiencing. Daria from Odesa and Ostap from Kyiv both came to Uzhhorod fleeing from the conflict, and started volunteering for the Red Cross there. While helping people deal with their challenges, they got to know each other and have been a couple since May. "We are never bored when we volunteer together. Working with kids can be difficult sometimes, but Ostap is always there to help me,” Daria said. "Daria is an extraordinary person, I have never met anyone like her. We both have a strong urge to help others, and it’s much easier to do with someone you love,” said Ostap.
Dubai,9 September 2022 - Additional aid has been dispatched out of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) to Sudan this week as Dubai continues to respond to multiple humanitarian emergencies across the globe. A cargo flight made available by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, departed on Wednesday to Khartoum, following floods that have affected more than 200,000 people and claimed the lives of at least 112 individuals. His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of IHC, said: “Dubai is a key international player in delivering and facilitating humanitarian assistance as exemplified by the recent response to humanitarian crises. Thanks to the vision, leadership, and generosity of the Dubai government and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, the IHC, with its unique expertise and standing as the world’s largest humanitarian hub, is operating an effective and efficient flow of relief items to multiple countries this week on behalf of the United Nations and other international organizations, building on decades of experience and Dubai’s position as a global logistics hub.” As part of an ongoing humanitarian airbridge to the African continent, the first of multiple Khartoum-bound flights carried more than 90 tons of aid from the stockpiles of two of IHC’s members, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). A second plane loaded with additional aid and relief items, will arrive today in Khartoum, carrying 100 tons of additional relief items provided by the IFRC. Ilir Caushaj, IFRC Global Fleet and Logistics Hub Head in Dubai, added: “As a response to the heavy and continuous rains being experienced in six states in Sudan, IFRC is sending urgent humanitarian aid to those affected and displaced due to torrential rains and floods in the country, to help alleviate their suffering and improve their living conditions. The supplies and humanitarian aid include blankets, hygiene kits, foldable jerrycans, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, mats, tarpaulins, and water purification agents, supporting over 20,000 people with a total value of CHF 340,000. We thank the IHC and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for their long-standing support to humanitarian organizations and generosity in facilitating and expediting the transportation of aid to those who need it most.” Over the first week of September, following the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the IHC is facilitating two humanitarian air bridges in support of international humanitarian response efforts in Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan. For more information, please contact: Malak Atkeh, IFRC/GCC, [email protected], Mob +971 564780874 Magalie El Hajj,International Humanitarian City, Dubai,[email protected],M +971 56 477 6412
Uganda: Ebola virus disease
The Ugandan Ministry of Health declared a new outbreak of Ebola on 20 September 2022. To prevent the virus from spreading throughout the country, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) is supporting with contact tracing, community-based surveillance, risk communication and community engagement, ambulance services, and safe and dignified burials. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the URCS to scale up its activities, targeting a total of 2.7 million people. We are also working with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in neighbouring countries to help them prepare in case the outbreak spreads.
Pakistan: Monsoon floods
Pakistan is experiencing abnormal monsoon rainfall nearly three times higher than the past 30-year average, causing uncontrollable flash floods and landslides across the country—affecting more than 33 million people. More than 1,000 people have died due to the flooding since mid-June, including more than 300 children. There are fears these numbers will continue to rise in the coming weeks. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to urgently scale up its immediate humanitarian assistance to people affected—and to support people in the longer term to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Mexico & Central American migration crisis
Since the beginning of 2022, there has been a massive increase in the number of refugees, migrants, and returnees in transit by land northwards through Central America. People are mostly moving through irregular channels, and along the way face bureaucratic barriers, suffer accidents and injuries, face extortion and sexual violence or disappear and are separated from their families. Tragically, others are killed or die from diseases or the harsh environmental conditions. This Emergency Appeal supports the Red Cross Societies of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico to scale up humanitarian assistance and protection to 210,000 people along migratory routes.
Uganda: Population movement
Escalating conflict in eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has triggered a large-scale displacement of refugees across the border into Uganda. Tens of thousands of people have fled since late March 2022, many with limited or no possessions, and basic social services in the settlements are struggling to cope with the increased demand. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Uganda Red Cross Society to scale up its support to refugees—specifically its provision ofshelter, essential household items, health care, and water and sanitation services.
Torrential rain and incessant downpours from upstream regions since mid-June 2022 have caused the worst flooding in living memory in north-eastern districts of Bangladesh.An estimated 7.2 million people have been affected, with a further 3.7 million people affected by monsoon flooding in northern districts. There is widespread damage to infrastructure, homes, water and sanitation facilities, croplands and fisheries. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to provide affected people with safe water and sanitation facilities, shelter, cash assistance and health services.
Everyone Counts Report 2022