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11/09/2020 | Press release

Red Cross launches Emergency Appeal for Sudan as deadly flooding leaves thousands homeless

Nairobi/Geneva, 11 September 2020 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today launched an additional funds appeal for 12 million Swiss Francs to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in delivering assistance to people affected by flooding. Since July 2020, heavy rainfall has been escalating in Sudan and today, 16 of the 18 states are flooded. Sinnar, Khartoum, and Al Gezira are the most affected states. Teams of Red Crescent volunteers are helping people to move to higher ground and providing emergency support to the most vulnerable people affected by the disaster. Elfadil Eltahir, SRCS President, said: “The magnitude of the flooding disaster is unprecedented. The situation is getting worse as water continues to rise by the hour, covering new areas and causing more devastation. To cope with this dire situation, more humanitarian assistance is badly and urgently needed in order to alleviate the suffering of those affected, by protecting their health, life and dignity.” The flooding has affected more than 500,000 people who are all in need of shelter, household items, health and care, water, hygiene, sanitation, food and other basic needs. The SRCS will assist at least 200,000 of these people. Across the country, women, girls, children, older people, migrants — as well as people with disabilities and underlying conditions, remain at risk. John Roche, IFRC’s Head of East Africa Office said: “This is an unfolding situation as information comes from those on the frontline, the testimonies of the devastation and loss is overwhelming. More than 100,000 homes so far have been reported to have been carried away by the floods, food crops have been destroyed, access to clean drinking water becomes precarious as many face increased exposure to water- and vector-borne disease.” The SRCS will use the funds from the emergency appeal to provide emergency shelter materials, safe drinking water and hygiene materials, primary health care to prevent disease outbreaks, psychosocial support and cash grants for food and basic needs. Communities and families want to stay close together and move as a group and it is difficult to implement Covid-19 preventive measures. In addition, the funds will also help volunteers to share life-saving information on waterborne disease prevention, risk avoidance, and early warning systems on possible flooding or landslide threats. More volunteers will be trained on how to conduct assessment and monitoring. The Sudan floods are yet another example of the increasing climate risks we face around the world. Global leaders such as IFRC President Francesco Rocca — who have been meeting this week to address these challenges during a global climate summit (Climate:Red) with 10,000 participants from 195 countries — indicated that climate change is one of the IFRC’s top priorities for the coming decade, and will require a combination of increased response to emergencies such as the one we now face in Sudan, but also increased efforts to help communities to adapt and reduce the rising risks.

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31/07/2019 | Press release

Bangladesh: Floods put 7.6 million at risk, IFRC announces tenfold increase in assistance

Dhaka/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 31 July 2019 – Continued heavy rainfalls in Bangladesh combined with severe flooding in neighbouring countries have led to the highest river water levels in a century putting 7.6 million people at risk of hunger and disease. Floods have left hundreds of thousands stranded in northern and north-eastern parts of the country and damaged more than 600,000 homes. Families are forced to live in unsanitary conditions and lack safe drinking water and adequate shelter, raising fears of wide-spread disease outbreaks. Communities are also reporting food shortages as more than 160,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged. Azmat Ulla, the Head of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Bangladesh Office said: “When I was in Bogura district this week, families who lost their homes and are now camping on road embankments told me they desperately need food, water and healthcare. Others said they have two crops a year. With the loss of one, they worry about feeding their families in the coming months. More floods are expected, so the situation is dire.” IFRC has launched anemergency appeal for nearly 7 million Swiss francs (7 million US dollars / 6.4 million euros) to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society in reaching 150,000 people affected by the floods in the worst-hit districts with food, clean water, hygiene items, tarpaulins and tools, and health care services. Families will also be supported in rebuilding their livelihoods. Md. Feroz Salah Uddin, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society said: “More than 775 of our volunteers and staff are already in the flood-affected communities providing critical relief supplies to thousands of people but we urgently need to reach many more. Every day we hear of more families being at risk -- sleeping out in the open or in makeshift shelter, not having enough food and drinking water, and contracting diseases such as pneumonia and skin infections.”

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18/07/2019 | Press release

Red Cross assists storm-affected Hungarian villages with 67 million forints

Budapest, 18 July 2019 – Hungarian Red Cross is helping 7,200 people affected by severe storms in late June, with financial and technical assistance from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). IFRC has contributed 230,000 Swiss francs (67.3 million Hungarian forints) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to allow Hungarian Red Cross to assist 2,400 families with food, sanitary kits and construction materials. The storm hit eastern Hungary on 27 June, causing serious damage in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, particularly in the settlements of Nyírmada, Nyírkarász, Pusztadobos and Rétközberencs. 2,500 rooftops were destroyed by the rain, and 30 families had to be evacuated as their homes became uninhabitable. The storm also ravaged kitchen gardens and crops, jeopardizing the livelihoods of many families. Together with local authorities and civil society groups, the local branch of Hungarian Red Cross immediately deployed 30 staff and volunteers who helped remove debris and cleaned the roads. István Kardos, Director General of the Hungarian Red Cross said: "With our network of volunteers on the ground we are able to help quickly and efficiently in such situations. Although the immediate needs were met, full recovery in the affected communities will require a lot more time and resources. Therefore, we are launching a fundraising campaign to help as many families as possible.” With the IFRC emergency funds, Hungarian Red Cross will distribute one month’s supply of dry food as well as sanitary cleaning kits for 2,400 families. It will also supply construction materials for skilled volunteers to do temporary repairs to damaged roofs. The humanitarian operation started today at Nyírmada, where Hungarian Red Cross volunteers and local government staff started the distribution of aid to the affected families. Elkhan Rahimov, IFRC’s acting Regional Director for Europe said: “As a result of climate change, extreme weather events are occurring more frequently in Europe. This poses a challenge to humanitarian organizations as society’s most vulnerable are often the ones who are most exposed to forces of nature.” Background information: Photos of the damage are available here. Those wishing to contribute to Hungarian Red Cross storm local appeal can do so here. Hungarian Red Cross is a member of the IFRC. One of the key disaster management tools available for members is the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Following a disaster, within 48 hours, emergency funding can be applied for and distributed, enabling Red Cross staff and volunteers on the ground to respond quickly.

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