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Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders commit to accelerate efforts to tackle rising humanitarian challenges

23/06/2022 | Press release

Geneva, 23 June 2022 - The Council of delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement concluded today in Geneva with commitments from Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders and youth representatives from around the world, to work together and scale-up efforts to take urgent action on a range of critical humanitarian issues. Representatives of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) passed a series of resolutions to address a range of humanitarian challenges, including; the growing existential threats posed by the climate crisis; the escalating migration crisis; the devastating impacts of war in cities and the need to continue efforts to work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. "Urban warfare has a devastating humanitarian impact, including the appallingly high number of civilian deaths, the physical and mental suffering, the destruction of homes and critical civilian infrastructure, the disruption to essential services and the widespread displacement of people. We have seen that sad reality playing out in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. The Red Cross and Red Crescent must mobilise all its influence and resources to meet the challenges that lie ahead,’ said ICRC President Peter Maurer. ‘To be clear: the consequences of urban conflicts are not inevitable. They are the result of the behaviour of the parties fighting in these environments and we call for international humanitarian law to be upheld as an urgent priority’. IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “How we work to tackle and mitigate against the impacts of climate change will define our work, not just for the next few years, but for decades to come. “All over the world, our volunteers and staff are working with people in their communities to help them adapt to the climate crisis and, frankly, they are demonstrating greater readiness, eagerness, and leadership than the majority of our global political leaders. We need action from them, not more words. And now. “The same goes for the international migrant crisis. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement speaks of leaving no person behind, of solidarity, and humanity. But, all over the world, we see world leaders failing to take the plight of migrants seriously enough and too easily prepared to neglect the human rights of those fleeing conflict, hunger, persecution, and, of course, those parts of the world where climate change has already done untold damage to their communities.” Francesco Rocca, IFRC President, was re-elected to serve a second four-year term in office at the IFRC’s General Assembly on 19 June. For more information on resolutions adopted at the Council of delegates is available here For other information and interview requests, contact: IFRC: Benoit Carpentier, Tel: +41 792 132 413 Email: [email protected].org Paul Scott -+44 (0)7834 525650 email: [email protected] ICRC ICRC: Ewan Watson - m. +41 (0)79 244 6470 email: [email protected] ICRC: Crystal Wells - m. +41 (0)79 642 8056 email: [email protected] For further information about the statutory meetings please visit rcrcconference.org

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23/06/2022
Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders commit to accelerate efforts to tackle rising humanitarian challenges
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Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders commit to accelerate efforts to tackle rising humanitarian challenges
23/06/2022
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Deadly earthquake hits crises-riddled Afghanistan

22/06/2022 | Press release

The Afghan Red Crescent, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has mobilised to support communities affected by a deadly 5.9 magnitude earthquake which struck the south-East region of Afghanistan early morning Wednesday 22 June. Based on initial reports, at least 1000 people have been killed, with the number of casualties expected to increase as rescuers reach hardest-hit villages where people remain trapped in rubble. Remote districts in the provinces of Khost and Paktika have been most affected. Afghan Red Crescent staff and volunteers from affected communities were among the first responders working alongside local authorities and other humanitarian organisations. Additional teams have been deployed from Kabul and neighbouring provinces to boost the speed of assistance. Furthermore, food supplies, non-food items and medicines that were in stock have been redirected to areas hardest hit by the quake to address immediate needs. Dr Mohammad Nabi Burhan, Secretary General of Afghan Red Crescent, said: “This latest earthquake is another horrific tragedy for Afghanistan, as if there were not enough. It struck in a grim backdrop where more than 50 per cent of our people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance due a combination of catastrophic crises.” “It is heartbreaking to see such human suffering among people who were already struggling to recover from effects of decades of conflict, severe drought, flooding, and extreme economic hardship among other shocks.” Afghan Red Crescent trucks with relief items and medicines as well as ambulances have been dispatched to the affected areas. These will complement mobile health teams that were already operational in Paktika, of which some have been redirected to address immediate needs resulting from the earthquake. Necephor Mghendi, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, said: “Local responders and institutions have played a critical role in saving lives of thousands who would otherwise still be trapped in rubble. Strengthening local preparedness capacity is the surest and quickest way to an effective response." “We only recently revised our Emergency Appeal to increase emergency relief, health services and recovery assistance in almost all province of Afghanistan which are battling a cocktail of catastrophic humanitarian crises. Following the deadly earthquake, we will have to scale up further our operations in Khost and Paktika.” The IFRC has released 750,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in support of a timely response by the Afghan Red Crescent. Increased global support and solidarity to deliver humanitarian assistance is needed. As part of its ongoing support, the IFRC is urgently appealing to the international community for 90 million Swiss francs to support the Afghan Red Crescent to deliver emergency relief, health services and recovery assistance to more than 1 million people in the provinces hit by multiple crises. This includes an extra 10 million Swiss francs to address the needs wrought by the quake. For more information or to arrange interviews: In Geneva: Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, Director A.I, Communications Department, Mob: +41 (0)79 213 24 13, Email: [email protected] In Asia/Pacific: Rachel Punitha, Manager A.I., Communications, Mob: +60 19 791 3830, Email: [email protected]

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22/06/2022
Deadly earthquake hits crises-riddled Afghanistan
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Deadly earthquake hits crises-riddled Afghanistan
22/06/2022
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“This time, houses were being burnt”: Fleeing intercommunal clashes in Cameroon

22/06/2022 | Article

"My name is Madi, and I am a mother of 12 children. My family had always lived in Maga peacefully alongside other ethnic groups, even if from time to time there were tensions. I never imagined that one day we would have to leave. One evening as my children and I were already in bed, my husband hurriedly came in and urged me to wake them up. More tensions had flared up. But this time houses were being burnt, people were being killed, livestock were being robbed. To save our lives, we had to leave. He asked me to take the few things we could carry with us and we set off immediately. To what destination, I did not know. But the screaming and shouting I heard near our house convinced me that we needed to move quickly. We walked with our children day and night across the savannah, resting here and there to regain our strength. Hundreds of us fled that night with the few personal belongings we could grab in a hurry. By the grace of God, we were able to find refuge in the locality of Bogo, about 45km from Maga, where the host population greeted us with food and drink. Tented camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) were soon set up by humanitarian workers. Some people from our community were with us in our camp, while others were placed elsewhere, miles away. But what mattered was that we could finally rest, sleep peacefully with our children, and allow them to recover from long days of walking. Once we settled, we were visited by several humanitarian organizations, including the Cameroon Red Cross. Volunteers went from shelter to shelter to see how we were doing. They taught us how to keep our shelters clean and how to prevent diseases such as cholera and COVID-19. But most importantly, they listened to us when we talked about the hardships we had been through and all the loved ones we had lost back in Maga. A few weeks later, we received basic items from the Cameroon Red Cross. The volunteers handed out buckets, cooking pots, blankets, soap, and dignity kits to enable our girls to take care of their personal hygiene. We are extremely grateful for this support, but unfortunately it is not enough. When we lived in Maga, my husband had an income, we could meet our daily needs. But now that we have lost everything and are far from the land we’re familiar with, we lack food. Access to drinking water is a difficult journey. We have to walk up to 7km to find a water point, which is very difficult without our donkeys to help us. Our children have not been to school since the crisis. And at night we share our shelter with many others because there is not enough space. We are grateful to receive weekly visits from nurses who come to see our children, vaccinate them, and give us treatments for diseases. And we hope to receive further assistance from the Cameroon Red Cross Society. For the moment, we do not plan to return to Maga. The after-effects of the crisis are too fresh in our minds and the tension has not yet subsided. We want to stay here for now because we are safe. But we need support." ------------- The Cameroon Red Cross, with DREF support, has provided household items, water, hygiene supplies and dignity kits to 299 households in Bogo and Pette, in addition to running awareness campaigns on disease prevention and peace culture. We are currently considering how we can best provide further assistance to communities—potentially through cash assistance. Speaking about the response, IFRC Regional Disaster Management Coordinator, Josuane Tene, said "At this stage, the needs identified are multifaceted. The shelters provided by humanitarian partners are not sufficient. Many of them are makeshift shelters and with the rainy season approaching, which is usually very severe in this part of the country, those affected need safe shelters. They also struggle to feed themselves properly. Cash assistance and livelihood support will certainly help them to meet their needs with dignity." The IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) is a central pot of money through which we can quickly release money to National Societies—enabling them to prepare for, and respond to, small and medium-sized disasters like the conflict in northern Cameroon. You can donate to the DREF today to support people just like Madi. The IFRC also provides country support to the Cameroon Red Cross, and other National Societies in the region, through our Cluster Delegation based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. You can learn about this work in our cluster support plan for 2022.

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22/06/2022
“This time, houses were being burnt”: Fleeing intercommunal clashes in Cameroon
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“This time, houses were being burnt”: Fleeing intercommunal clashes in Cameroon
22/06/2022
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Francesco Rocca wins re-election as President of the IFRC

19/06/2022 | Press release

June 19 2022, Geneva -Francesco Rocca has secured a second four-year term as President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Mr. Rocca was elected by representatives of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at the IFRC’s 23rd General Assembly held in Geneva. On his re-election, Mr. Rocca said: “We are living in extremely turbulent times. The dangerous roads of global economic instability, food shortages, the climate crisis and health emergencies are converging to create an unprecedented moment of risk for the world. “I am proud to take this challenge together with our 14 million Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers who at this very moment are doing their utmost to serve their local communities”. Mr. Rocca lauded the role of localization in humanitarian response and pledged to continue to be the champion of investment in community-level action: “The pandemic showed to the world the critical role played by local actors, like our Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, when responding to crises. Localization of humanitarian aid is the single most effective way to save lives and to build safer, stronger and healthier communities”. Addressing the increasing humanitarian impact of the climate crisis, reducing growing health inequalities, support for and protection of migrants are the top three priorities listed by the new IFRC president. Mr. Rocca urged the international community to put global solidarity first and translate it into action: “When there is political will, open dialogue and decisions are made multilaterally, everything is possible. “The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what can be done when humanity and dignity come first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect people.” The role of IFRC President is a volunteer role. Rocca began volunteering in the late 1980s working with asylum seekers and refugees in Italy. He joined the Italian Red Cross in 2007 and was elected National President in 2013. At the IFRC, Rocca previously served as governing board member and Vice-President for Europe. A lawyer by training, Mr. Rocca started his professional career fighting organised crime. He then moved into health administration. Four new Vice-Presidents and 20 governing board members representing each of the IFRC’s geographic regions, are also voted into office. Notes for Editors: A press conference will be held at 11:00 am on 20 June 2022 at Palexpo Conference centre in Geneva at which Mr. Rocca will highlight his future vision and priorities for the IFRC. Journalists wishing to attend on site or remotely should contact [email protected] to receive accreditation or the link. For more information or to request interviews with President Rocca, contact: Benoit Carpentier: +41 (0)79 213 24 13, [email protected] Tommaso Della Longa: +41 (0)797084367, [email protected]

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19/06/2022
Francesco Rocca wins re-election as President of the IFRC
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Francesco Rocca wins re-election as President of the IFRC
19/06/2022
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Ukraine conflict intensifies existing humanitarian crises in the MENA region, warns the IFRC

16/06/2022 | Press release

16 June 2022, Beirut -The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continues to face multiple and complex crises from conflicts to climate change and displacement. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today issued a rapid assessment report focusing on the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the humanitarian situation in the MENA region. The findings of the assessment confirmed that the conflict intensifies the impact of pre-existing crises and trends and increases the vulnerability of most countries. Rania Ahmed, Deputy Regional Director of IFRC MENA said: “The global economic and security impact of the conflict in Ukraine could be the proverbial last straw that breaks the camel’s back, pushing already fragile countries in the MENA region over the tipping point.” The assessment’s main findings show that food security and livelihoods are the two most affected sectors. Currently, there are 56 million people in need of food in the region. Data show that the number could increase by 25% over the next six months because of the global food price index increase that has hit a record high. Twelve countries from the MENA region have experienced a dramatic increase in the price of basic food items. In Lebanon, prices have increased by 75-100%. In Iran and Yemen prices went up by 50-75%. Currently, five million people are facing food insecurity in the region. An estimated 1.9 million could slide into hunger. MENA countries source up to 85% of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia. The agriculture industry in the region has already been severely affected by a combination of disrupted supply chains, water scarcity, and increasing temperatures. With donors’ attention turned towards the Ukraine crisis, there is a risk that the humanitarian funding for MENA countries might drop. Lack of access to donor funding will only amplify the existing humanitarian crisis in several MENA countries. For the millions of Palestinians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Syrians, and others who live in countries experiencing conflict, catastrophic economic meltdowns, and increasing humanitarian needs, this would be equivalent to shutting down critical life support. Finally, energy and oil-importing countries are experiencing additional social stress as they witness a 25-75% increase of fuel prices. In Syria and Yemen, fuel shortages and a lack of electricity is already severely impacting the delivery of basic services. The compounded crisis trends in Lebanon, including the sharp increase in energy prices resulting from the Ukraine crisis, have the potential to push the country over the tipping point to become a “critical crisis”. Click here to access the full report. Notes to the editor: Methodology: This rapid assessment aims to contribute to the ongoing analysis and scenario development to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to evolving crisis trends in the MENA region, with specific considerations on how the Ukraine conflict is a risk multiplier to existing crisis trends. The assessment was carried out between 25 April and 3 June 2022 using secondary data and a perception survey of 24 representatives of National Societies and IFRC Heads of Delegation. For more information: Rania Ahmed, Deputy Regional Director, IFRC MENA: [email protected] +96171802701

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16/06/2022
Ukraine conflict intensifies existing humanitarian crises in the MENA region, warns the IFRC
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Ukraine conflict intensifies existing humanitarian crises in the MENA region, warns the IFRC
16/06/2022
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