Complex Emergency

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20/09/2023 | Speech

IFRC Secretary General statement at UNGA High-level Ministerial Side event on Sudan

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Our inaction today is extracting a heavy and unacceptable price on the people of Sudan. The IFRC has been working closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society before and since the onset of this conflict. We closely coordinate with ICRC. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society has more than 40,000 trained volunteers. It has access and reach to all 18 States and across both sides of the conflict to deliver life-saving assistance. IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal to help scale up response in support of Sudan and neighbouring countries. Sadly, the response to the appeal has been very poor and many of the services may have to stop in coming months. Excellencies – I join you all to call for an end to this inaction because the price Sudanese people are paying is inexcusable. First—let’s have the heart to demonstrate solidarity and commitment to all crises, irrespective of their global profile. Let’s have the moral courage to treat all people affected by crises equally as they all deserve our attention and resources. Second, let’s get the funding to the local actors that have the infrastructure and trained personnel on the ground. So far only a tiny portion of the USD 1.5 billion raised for this crisis has reached local actors. Investing in them maximises the impact of every dollar spent. Third, let’s ensure safety, access and non-politicization of humanitarian action. Sadly, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society has already lost 5 volunteers while on duty. The sacrifices and courage of these volunteers, these local actors form the backbone of our humanitarian efforts. They must be protected at all costs. Together in partnership and solidarity, we can substantially alter the trajectory of the current inaction in Sudan to make a lasting, positive difference. Thank you.

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21/04/2023 | Article

Sudan conflict: Sudanese Red Crescent Society and IFRC teams responding

Latest information Sudan: Complex emergency- our Emergency Appeal to support people inside Sudan Sudan crisis: Regional population movement- our Emergency Appeal to support people fleeing the conflict to neighbouring countries -- Fighting broke out in Marawei military base, Sudan on 15 April and then escalated rapidly in Khartoum and across the country. Reports indicate that hundreds of peoplehave lost their lives, with thousands more wounded and in need of urgent medical attention. Civilians are unable to access food or water because shops remain closed and their safety is not assured. Basic services like electricity and internet services have been disrupted. So far, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced internally or fled across borders to seek safety in neighbouring countries. Medical personnel are struggling to access health facilities due to the fighting. Hospitals that are usually re-stocked every 2-3 days are now going weeks withoutsupplies. Some of the most urgent needs in hospitals are first aid kits, diesel for power generators, stretchers, and beds, as well as transportation for medical staff and volunteers. This latest flare-up of violence threatens to worsen a humanitarian crisis in a region that has suffered from years of violence, instability, economic hardship andfood insecurity. Our response so far More than 200 Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) volunteers have been deployed in Khartoum to offer first aid services and psychosocial support to those affected. Hundreds of volunteers have also been deployed in other states; North Darfur, South Darfur and Northern State (Merawi) to offer first aid services in hospitals. Volunteers are running a family reunification service for people who have been separated from their loved ones, offering psychosocial support to those who have lost contact. On 2 May we launched an Emergency Appeal for Sudanfor 30 million Swiss francsto scale-up the Sudanese Red Crescent Society's local, life-saving action in the country, in collaboration and coordination with members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The IFRC has also made the following funding allocations to National Societies through ourDisaster Response Emergency Fund(DREF): 475,320 Swiss francs to the Sudanese Red Crescent Societyto enable them to provide health services, psychosocial support, and search and rescue efforts across multiple states. Find out more. 137,369 Swiss francs to the Chad Red Cross to help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Chad. Find out more. 305,832Swiss francs to the Egyptian Red Crescent to help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Egypt.Find out more. 485,297 Swiss francs to the Ethiopian Red Crossto help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Ethiopia. Find out more. 355,567 Swiss francs to the South Sudan Red Crossto help them support the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into South Sudan. Find out more. 223,438 Swiss francs to the Central African Republic Red Cross to help themsupport the growing number of people fleeing the conflict and crossing the border into Central African Republic. Find out more. We continue to call on parties involved in the conflict to provide vital humanitarian space. With every single hour that the wounded and the sick cannot receive urgent assistance, the human toll continues to grow. Health-care facilities must be protected, and their personnel and transport must be given safe passage. It is an urgent priority for us to be able to reach these facilities and for maintenance teams to reach power and water stations. For more information English: Reuters article 'Red Cross warns of possible humanitarian disaster on Sudan-Chad border'(23 May) Audio report from IFRC Deputy Regional Director for Africa (17 May) Press release about an IFRC shipment of aid arriving in Port Sudan (16 May) Audio update from IFRC Africa Migration and Displacement Coordinator (5 May) article 'Sudan conflict leaves health system in 'total collapse'quotingIFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (27 April) Audio report from IFRC Operations Manager in Sudan, Mohamed El Amin Ibrahim (26 April) ABC interview with Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (25 April) Al Jazeera English interview with Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (20 April) Reuters article 'Almost impossible to provide aid in Sudanese capital', quotingIFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (April 18) Other languages: (Arabic) AlQAhera interview with IFRC MENA Regional Head of Disasters (28 April) (Arabic) AlQAhera interview with IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan (25 April) (Spanish) El Pais article quotingOsama Osman, Director of Communications at the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (19 April) Media enquiries If you are a journalist and would like more information or to request an interview about this emergency, please contact [email protected] Follow these Twitter accounts for the latest updates: IFRC Africa Regional Team: @IFRCAfrica Sudanese Red Crescent Society: @SRCS_SD Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC Head of Country office for Sudan: @FARID1969 @IFRC Donations If you would like to donate to help us support people affected by the conflict in Sudan, please click here. We are grateful for your valuable support. You can learn more about donating to the IFRC here.

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15/08/2023 | Press release

Afghanistan: Intensified support critical amid deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation

Kabul/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 15 August – Economic hardships have sharply intensified living conditions in Afghanistan. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls for continued humanitarian support to Afghanistan, coupled with investment in long-term solutions. More than two years after drought began affecting the region, nearly 28 million Afghans – both in cities and remote areas – struggle to meet basic needs. Economic hardships and continuous shocks have greatly diminished buying power, making many reliant on humanitarian assistance. Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales, Afghan Red Crescent Society Acting President, said: “The economic situation remains challenging for vulnerable Afghans, including women and girls. They have endured immense hardships and primarily rely on humanitarian assistance to get through shocks brought by drought, natural disasters, and economic hardship.” “Thanks to generous support from our local and international partners, the Afghan Red Crescent has expanded its response operation across all provinces in the first half of this year, aiming to prevent worsening humanitarian situations.” With the support of local and international partners, the Afghan Red Crescent has reached more than 500,000 households (approximately 3.5 million people) with a range of services. These include 3 million people with health services and awareness, more than 100,000 households (around 700,000 people) with food assistance, and at least 35,000 households (around 245,000 people) with cash assistance. “Now, due to reduced funding and increasing demand for services, we are prioritizing assistance to the most vulnerable. This includes providing cash assistance for widows, offering mental health and psychosocial support, and supporting children with congenital heart defects. For this, we request our partners to bolster their contributions,” Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales added. Afghanistan is grappling not only with its third consecutive year of drought but also with economic hardships that exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian situation. The current trend of foreign aid, primarily limited to humanitarian interventions due to sanctions or lack of international recognition of the current authorities, hinders long-term solution efforts. Necephor Mghendi, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, said: “The humanitarian situation is becoming harsher, and we are increasing our support to the Afghan Red Crescent—with limited financial resources—to alleviate conditions for people most at risk, keeping in mind the need to combine immediate assistance with durable solutions that also address root-causes and vulnerabilities.” “We can’t address the humanitarian situation without investing in longer-term development solutions or addressing the economic crisis. They are intrinsically linked.” “As some parts of the world also grapple with man-made and natural hazards, people should not forget that Afghanistan is still facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Though headlines might emphasize a few issues, the vast array of needs remain.” The IFRC and Afghan Red Crescent are increasing preparedness for the upcoming winter and ever-present potential disasters. Stocks of winterization kits, tarps, tents, water storage containers, hygiene supplies, cooking utensils, and other essential household items are being pre-positioned in strategic locations across the country. Furthermore, Afghan Red Crescent disaster response teams are being equipped with updated data collection kits, identification materials, and refresher training. The Afghan Red Crescent Society has a branch in each province of the country, boasts a strong network of 24,600 volunteers, including women who are crucial to delivering services to vulnerable groups, especially women and girls. Community members – men, boys, women, and girls – remain central to the efforts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent: as recipients, designers, and deliverers. To support the Afghan Red Crescent, the IFRC revises its emergency appeal to the international community for 120 million Swiss francs to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to over two million people affected by multiple crises. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Afghanistan: Mir Abdul Tawab Razavy, +93-747-407-027, [email protected] Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, +60-192-713-641, [email protected] Geneva:Mrinalini Santhanam, +41763815006,[email protected]

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14/07/2023 | Article

Fleeing bombs and robbers: Lia’s search for safety in Sudan

“I was living peacefully in Khartoum before Ramadan. I’m a single mother, just with my children. I'm a director and scriptwriter, and had a new business. It was working very well and I was happy with my life until the war started,” she says. “The day of the war, our neighbour came and told us there were problems outside. We are used to riots – we get them every day. But suddenly he told us that everything was closed and no one was going out, they are bombing everywhere, it is a real war. “We heard constant bombing outside. The noise was so big, we were just hiding. The kids had so much fear. There was nothing in the shops to buy, and nothing in the house, so things were really very hard. We stayed one week in these conditions, then they said there was a ceasefire to give people time to get themselves a hiding place." At this point, Lia decided to travel with her children and other family members to Omdurman, a city on the west bank of the River Nile just northwest of Khartoum, to stay with father. “We saw a lot of things on the road. There were people with guns and weapons asking you if you were going to attack them. I told them we were not their enemy while trying to calm my children down, but they were very scared. “Omdurman was kind of safe. At first we heard some gunfire, but suddenly after two days they started to bomb really close to us and I was scared there was no safe place around Khartoum at all. I couldn’t sleep. I was just looking at the sky – seeing all the shooting planes, colours in the air, and bombs.” Lia and her family stayed in Omdurman for another few days until an armed robber broke in and stole from them while they were sleeping, at which point she decided it was too unsafe and time to head to the coast. She pleaded with her father to come with her, but he refused to leave his home. Before heading for safety, Lia needed to return to her house in Khartoum to collect her family’s identity documents in case they needed to leave the country. But this proved to be another ordeal. A taxi ride that would usually take 30 minutes stretched on for hours on end, as the taxi driver tried to find safe streets in Khartoum to avoid the violence. “We arrived at the house. It was so late. Everything was sadness and we cried altogether. We sat down in front of our house inside the gate until the morning because I couldn’t find the key. No one was sleeping. I was just holding my children, all of us together. “Morning came. The shooting stopped for a little while, and we had hope. But suddenly it started again. We broke our lock and took our papers and some of our things.” Lia and her children then began the long journey to Port Sudan, more than 800km away on the coast. “We managed to escape to the place where buses were leaving Khartoum. We were on the road for almost four days, stopping in different cities overnight, sleeping on the ground next to the bus. We knocked on strangers’ houses and they helped us because they knew in Khartoum there was war. They gave us kitchen equipment so I could cook and they let us use their bathroom. “It was tough. It was OK for me, but my children didn’t have this kind of life before. Nobody chooses to live that kind of life or chooses war, but we found ourselves in that situation.” Eventually they arrived at Port Sudan. Though less dangerous than Khartoum, Lia struggled to find a decent place for her family to stay. “I went to the first camp and it was so bad. We stayed there for just over a week but we couldn’t stay longer. My children were sick, so we moved to the beachside. I thought it wouldbe better but in the afternoon it was hellfire. You can’t stay directly under the sun. After that we were taken to another camp where we stayed for a month, then another camp. It’s a bit of a relief yet things are still bad. You cannot call camp a home. But at least this one compared to others is a bit better.” When asked how the Sudanese Red Crescent Society had helped her throughout her ordeal, and what difference it had made, Lia said: “The difference is clear. Red Crescent right from the beginning was always there to give a warm helping hand in times of need. “They brought us doctors and medicine and some food.” As to the future? “I thank god we are alive. Though we lost a lot of things, we are alive and breathing and my children are by my side. I just pray that one day things will get better again and I pray Khartoum will become safe again. “I don’t want to travel anymore. I want our lives and our country to be safe and all the worries to stop so we can continue to do the things we dream about.” -- More than 1,000 people have lost their lives since conflict broke out in Sudan on 15 April, and more than 12,000 have been injured in the fighting. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society, supported by the IFRC network, is continuing to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance despite security challenges in the country. To help people like Lia inside Sudan, please donate to our Emergency Appeal. You can find information about the work your donation will support here.

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06/07/2023 | Press release

Sudan: Red Cross Red Crescent continue to deliver aid despite security challenges

Khartoum/Nairobi/Cairo/Geneva, 6 July 2023 - As the armed conflict in Sudan enters its third month, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) has so far moved more than 1,520 tonnes of vital food, relief items and medical supplies into the country by ship and by air. To date, SRCS has received over 20 international flights and two shipments of aid. The SRCS, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and partner National Societies, has been able to import and distribute food, essential household items and much needed medical supplies to the most vulnerable families across the country, including in Khartoum. This also includes supporting the distribution of 1,285 tonnes of food provided by the World Food Programme. SRCS Secretary General, Aida Elsayed, said: “With 40,000 volunteers in 18 branches around the country, SRCS is the largest humanitarian organization on the ground in Sudan. We are working across both sidesof the conflict in full compliance with Red Cross Red Crescent Fundamental Principles and Code of Conduct, including distributing food supplies into Khartoum where many people have been cut off for weeks.” With nearly 2 million people forced to flee the violence, many of them women and children, often with only what they can carry, the SRCS has provided much needed food and water, emergency shelter and medical supplies. This includes more than 40,000 meals and food parcels, 24,000 first aid and medical treatments, and 740 wounded persons evacuated. IFRC Regional Director for Africa, Mohammed Omer Mukhier, said: “In addition, we have three flights and five shipments of goods in the pipeline, which include cars for the teams and more food, non-food and health items. They are coming from donors including the IFRC, the Red Crescent of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait Red Crescent, Egyptian Red Crescent, Spanish Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross, and China Red Cross. “But it’s not enough. Much more is required and more action needs to be taken to grant better access to humanitarian workers. Our appeals are desperately underfunded and as the conflict continues, more people are being forced to move to safety, often with very little to protect them from the approaching rainy season.” The IFRC has launched two Emergency Appeals in response to this crisis:one to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to help people inside Sudan andanother to support National Societies in six neighbouring countries welcoming people fleeing the conflict. Outside Sudan, the presence of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' staff and volunteers at border points is crucial. They are operating Humanitarian Service Pointsto provide people fleeing the conflict with essential services such as psychosocial support, first aid, food and support to make contact with family members left behind. For more information or to request an interview, please contact: InNairobi: Susan Cullinan, +61 457 527 197, [email protected] Rita Nyaga, +254 110 837 154,[email protected] InBeirut: Mey el Sayegh, +96176174468, [email protected] InGeneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924, [email protected] Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367

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19/06/2023 | Article

IFRC statement at the High-Level Pledging Event for Sudan and the Region

Excellencies, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been working closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in close coordination with other Movement partners before and since the onset of this conflict. The Sudanese Red Crescent Society is the largest humanitarian responder in the country. It has more than 40,000 trained volunteers. It has access and reach to all 18 States and across both sides of the conflict to deliver life-saving assistance. The IFRC has launched Emergency Appeals to scale up response in support of the Sudanese Red Crescent and National Societies in neighbouring countries to provide dignified and safe assistance to people on the move. Excellencies – today I call on the international community to make following commitments: First - Ensure Protection: The IFRC calls on all parties to the conflict to take all precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life, and ensure critical civilian infrastructure is protected. Second – Ensure Access: Sudanese Red Crescent Society and other first responders must have the humanitarian space to conduct their lifesaving work. The IFRC is deeply concerned at reports of increased cases of violence affecting civilians and reports of surging cases of sexual and gender-based violence. Third – Ensure resources: We urge world leaders, to urgently increase their funding so that local organizations including the Sudanese Red Crescent Society have sufficient resources to save lives. The people of Sudan need our support today and, in the weeks, and months to come. Their lives are on the line. The world cannot afford to look away. Thank you.

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15/06/2023 | Article

IFRC statement at the Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region pledging conference

Excellencies, distinguished representatives, ladies, and gentlemen, for years we have gathered here to support the future of Syria and the region. After years of unrelenting conflict, the collapse of the Syrian economy, and a recent, devastating earthquake there is still no solution in sight. And the scale of the crisis outstrips our collective humanitarian response. The IFRC with its long-time presence in Syria, supports Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC)—the country’s largest community-based provider of humanitarian assistance to deliver quality and accountable services. SARC provides 5 million people each month with food and relief items and supports their longer-term resilience with livelihoods support, healthcare, water, and sanitation services. In neighbouring and host countries, the IFRC and its members, with the support of the European Union and other partners, have been providing assistanceto Syrians and host communities. We hope this continues. The pressure to expand our humanitarian programmes is immense. Aid alone will not reduce the humanitarian needs or contribute to a long-term resilience and sustainable recovery in Syria. This conference is a vital opportunity to focus on a key message: Saving lives must be our collective priority. SARC has unparalleled and trusted access in most of the country. Investing in local actors like SARC and National Societies in neighbouring countries is essential. Guaranteeing their unhindered delivery of assistance ensures that donor funding is directly supporting humanitarian and recovery programmes designed by and for communities who need it most. Ensuring basic services, and long-term economic opportunities, are critical to millions of Syrians. Livelihoods support, and strengthening basic services like health, sanitation, and education are long-term interventions that build resilience and must be developed with the needs of the Syrian people at centre-stage. We must also continue to work together to reduce the unintended impacts of sanctions on humanitarian response. The IFRC, closely working with other Movement partners, will continue to deliver impartial, neutral, and independent humanitarian aid, but to do so, we need collective and convergent leadership across the political divide. It is time for real responsibility-sharing and real solidarity amongst the international community if we want to see real and sustainable impactful change in the lives of Syrian people. Thank you.

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09/06/2023 | Article

Nova Kakhovka dam collapse, Ukraine: How we're supporting people affected by flooding

The collapse of the Nova Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine on June 6 has resulted in a devastating flood, impacting numerous communities. People have already suffered the devastating impacts of the conflict and are now displaced from their homes; many have lost their houses and belongings with the flood waters. The health risks for affected people could increase in the coming weeks and there is a need for clean drinking water. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) network is working alongside the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to provide vital assistance to people who have been affected. Addressing immediate humanitarian needs Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the IFRC, together with its membership, is actively supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross Society in their response efforts. This includes operational, technical, and financial assistance to bolster its local capacity to deliver aid, distribute relief items, provide health support, promote good sanitation and hygiene practices, and address the immediate needs of the affected population. Long-term recovery and rehabilitation In addition to immediate relief efforts, the IFRC network remains committed to supporting communities affected by the flooding in their long-term recovery and rehabilitation. This includes facilitating projects to restore people’s livelihoods, provide psychosocial support, and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure to help communities rebuild their lives. In the aftermath of the Nova Kakhovka Dam collapse, the IFRC network and Ukrainian Red Cross Society stand united in providing unwavering support to affected communities. Since February 2022, the IFRC has scaled up its response with the Ukrainian Red Cross, together with National Societies from around the world. Together, we provide urgent humanitarian assistance to people in Ukraine and those who have been forced to flee to other countries. Together, we are working tirelessly to address immediate needs, offer hope, and pave the way for long-term recovery. With the power of compassion and solidarity, we are committed to rebuilding lives and restoring resilience in the face of this devastating event. -- Click here for more information about our work supporting people in Ukraine.

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02/06/2023 | Press release

Sudan: Critical funding needed urgently to continue aid to people affected by conflict

Khartoum/Nairobi/Cairo/Beirut/Geneva, 2 June 2023 – In its seventh week, the conflict in Sudan has depleted the resources of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), prompting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to double its Emergency Appeal to 60 million Swiss francs. It is also launching a second regional appeal of 42 million Swiss francs to support the influx of people fleeing to neighboring countries. SRCS Secretary General Aida Elsayed said: “Without this support, the people of Sudan will suffer grave humanitarian impacts as they will simply not be able to meet their basic needs and the consequences will be severe. The fighting shows no signs of slowing down and the human toll continues to grow every day." “If funded, this revised appeal will mean SRCS can continue with evacuations, provision of water, food, shelter, first aid and psychological support as well as reuniting families. It will surely mean the difference between life and death for many people. It will certainly be a deciding factor in whether countless families experience extreme suffering.” Shortages of medicine, food, water and fuel, destruction of hospitals, residential buildings, energy and water infrastructure as well as the risks of death and injury due to the fighting and lack of access to cash means people are not able to access essential goods and services or move to safety. With 40,000 volunteers in 18 branches around the country, SRCS is the largest humanitarian organization on the ground in Sudan and has so far provided more than 40,000 meals and food parcels, 24,000 first aid and medical treatments, and evacuated 740 wounded people. SRCS is also conducting safe and dignified burials for those who lost their lives. “While our SRCS volunteers have been working tirelessly to help people since the start of the conflict despite the dangers and the fact that they and their own families are also affected, much more is needed. But this will only be possible if we receive the funding. Without it, we are leaving the people of Sudan to face impossible situations that many may not survive,” said Ms Elsayed. Nine million people have been affected by the conflict in a country where 11.7 million people were already in need of food and livelihood assistance. “With these pre-existing vulnerabilities and lifesaving food aid almost completely stopped, the consequences will be disastrous for families relying on this assistance,” said Ms Elsayed. The new Regional Population Movement Appeal will support the humanitarian response activities of National Societies in the neighboring countries of Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Libya. IFRC Regional Director for Africa Mohammed Mukhier said: “More than 330,000 people have fled the devastating conflict in Sudan seeking safety in neighboring countries. The situation is extremely volatile and as the conflict continues, the movement across borders will only increase. These were already vulnerable people, with the majority women and children, and a significant number are fleeing violence for a second time having been displaced from camps in Sudan.” Outside Sudan the presence of Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies staff and volunteers at border points is crucial. They are operating Humanitarian Service Points to provide people fleeing the conflict with essential services such as psychosocial support, medication, first aid, food and sim cards as well as restoring family links. For more information or to request an interview, please contact: [email protected] In Nairobi: Rita Nyaga, +254 110 837 154, [email protected] Susan Cullinan, +61 457 527 197, [email protected] In Beirut: Mey el Sayegh, +96176174468, [email protected] In Geneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924 Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367

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02/06/2023 | Emergency

Sudan crisis: Regional population movement

The ongoing conflict in Sudan has led hundreds of thousands of people—many of whom are women, children and older people—to flee the countryto find safety across borders. Those arriving in neighbouring countries have experienced dire humanitarian conditions. Many have been caught in the crossfire and struggled to access food, water, and health services for some time. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR), Ethiopia and Libya to provide essential humanitarian assistance to people fleeing Sudan.

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26/05/2023 | Speech

Addressing the needs of people affected by the conflict in Ukraine

This week, it will be 11,000 hours since the conflict in Ukraine escalated. For the people affected, those are 11,000 hours of fear, worry, and uncertainty: how to keep your family safe, if you can get help from a doctor, if you can pay the rent, or what tomorrow will bring. More than one year in, millions of people are still directly affected by the conflict, inside and outside Ukraine. And hour by hour, their needs are growing and changing. To continue responding to these needs, the IFRC is calling on significant new investment to ensure we can address this. Now is not the time to scale back. Many people inside Ukraine have limited access to the most basic of needs, such as water, energy, and medical care. Every day, they face uncertainty: When can I go home? Will we be able to pay the rent this month? Where can we go if one of us gets sick? And then there are the millions of people staying outside of the country, throughout Europe. Every day, they are also living in uncertainty. They are staying in a country where they might not speak the language, not knowing what the future holds, worried about loved ones at home. To ensure we provide the right support, we are constantly monitoring what the needs are. Today, I want to share our most recent and worrying findings. People displaced inside Ukraine are struggling with the lack of income and increased stress levels. We have seen deteriorating mental health conditions during our psychosocial support activities. Many people outside of Ukraine are struggling financially. They have used up all their savings, a lot of them now have mounting debts. In many countries, The IFRC network is providing cash assistance to people in need. Many people use this for food and rent. 41% of the people receiving this support depend on us to cover their basic needs. But of course, this is not a long term, sustainable solution. This is why we are helping people connect to services in country. The language barrier makes it hard for people to participate in daily life. It can make it harder to go to school, get a job and access healthcare. Yesterday, I came back from Moldova – there I saw what we see in many countries: this conflict has taken an immense toll on people's mental health. Families are broken and people worry and suffer from trauma, which makes psychosocial support vital. Since the beginning of the conflict, the IFRC network has been supporting millions of people suffering from the consequences of the international armed conflict in more than 54 countries. For example, we have reached almost 17 million people with relief items for basic needs, such as food, water and blankets. We have also been supporting millions of people with shelter, medical support, and mental health support. And we are providing cash assistance for people both inside and outside of Ukraine, to empower people to buy what they need. The IFRC has extended its humanitarian aid operation until at least the end of 2025 and expanded our emergency appeal for Ukraine and surrounding countries to include 18 countries on the European continent. To make sure we can continue to support those in need, we have revised our Emergency Appeal from 550 million Swiss francs to 800 million Swiss francs. Regrettably, every hour, we continue to see people suffering from the conflict. As the Red Cross and Red Crescent network, we will continue to support them. Within Ukraine, and many countries in Europe. We hope you will be with us, as we cannot do it alone.

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16/05/2023 | Press release

New shipment of IFRC humanitarian aid arrives in Port Sudan amid conflict

Khartoum/Nairobi/Geneva, 16 May 2023: A new batch of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) humanitarian supplies, weighing 17 tons, arrived in Port Sudan today from Dubai. Transportation of these supplies was made possible through a European Union humanitarian air bridge flight. The IFRC is hopeful that this air bridge will be maintained to ensure further aid is provided in the coming weeks. Among the household items delivered were blankets, jerricans, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and tarpaulins for 500 families. This dispatch will be followed in the coming days by a second batch of medical supplies including Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) to increase access to much needed healthcare services for thousands of people affected by the conflict. Upon arrival, they will be handed over to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society. Mohammed Mukhier, IFRC Regional Director for Africa said: “Most of our aid supplies were already distributed to people in need, despite some being looted in Khartoum and Darfur. So, this international humanitarian shipment comes at a crucial time as it will help the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to assist people caught between the conflict and the next flooding, which is typical in the country.” Since conflict escalated, thousands of families have been cut off from basic services, including health services, food, water, and shelter and are in desperate need of help. Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers have been working tirelessly, right from the start, to provide lifesaving assistance to affected people, despite the dangers they face and the fact that they are also affected. They are running a broad range of humanitarian services, including first aid, psychosocial support, family reunification for people who have been separated from their loved ones, food and water distribution, shelter provision, and safe and dignified burials for those who lost their lives. On May 4, the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to deliver assistance to 200,000 people affected by the conflict. “Our volunteers will deliver the relief items wherever access and security allow. For that purpose, we renew our call for safe and unhindered access and passage to allow humanitarian help to reach those in need,” said Mr Mukhier. While supporting the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in assisting people in Sudan, IFRC is also scaling up its response to meet the urgent needs of those fleeing the conflict and crossing into neighbouring countries: Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: [email protected] In Nairobi: Rita Nyaga, +254 722 527553, [email protected] In Geneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924 Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367 In Dakar: Moustapha Diallo, +221 77 450 10 04, [email protected]

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24/04/2023 | Article

Ukraine one year on: seven things to know about the ongoing humanitarian crisis

1. Millions of refugees are still adjusting to life in a new country Since 24 February 2022, more than 8 million people have fled Ukraine to seek safety abroad. Forced to leave everything behind, and unable to safely return to their homes, they’re still trying to adapt to their new “normality”. That’s one year of fear, sorrow, uncertainty, separation from friends and family, and worrying about the people and homes left behind. For the past 12 months, the IFRC, along with 58 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, has been working in Ukraine and the wider region to provide essential aid to people fleeing the country—including women, children, older people, and people with disabilities—and to help them integrate in their new communities. 2. Millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine are still in need of basic assistance The displacement of more than 5.3 million people within Ukraine remains a staggering humanitarian crisis. Many of these people fled their homes with only the clothes they were wearing and are still staying with relatives or host families, in collective shelters or rented apartments. Working together with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, the IFRC network has been there from the very beginning, providing crucial relief items to those who need them. While the initial shock of displacement may have subsided, the need for ongoing support and assistance remains critical. 3. Some people have returned to their homes, but rebuilding their former lives is a daunting challenge Despite ongoing hostilities, more than 5.5 million people have chosen to return to their homes—whether from abroad or within Ukraine. Many of their houses, however, have been damaged or destroyed. The cost of rebuilding or repairing them can be prohibitively expensive, and many families simply cannot afford the materials or labour needed to make their homes habitable again. Members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are providing vital support to people in Ukraine, including assistance with rent and utility payments, refurbishment of collective centres hosting IDPs and of individual housing, and providing building materials for home restoration. However, many people, particularly those in frontline areas, are still suffering. 4. The significant toll on people’s mental health remains The ongoing conflict has had a devastating impact on the mental well-being of people inside and outside of the country. Many have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. People—including children—have been uprooted from their communities. The long-term uncertainty and instability are weighing heavy on so many people’s minds. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has provided psychosocial support to more than 328,000 people this past year. While this is a significant achievement, there are still so many more people who need a listening ear and professional support for their mental health. 5. For many, access to medical services is limited The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 700 attacks targeting health facilities in Ukraine since February 2022. Many hospitals and medical facilities have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving people—especially those living near the front lines—with little or no access to medical services when they need it most. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement continues to provide basic medicines and medical equipment to health facilities across Ukraine. Together, we’ve launched nearly 100 mobile medical units, providing vital medical care to people living in hard-to-reach areas throughout the country. The IFRC is funding a health centre in the city of Uzhhorod, run by the Ukrainian Red Cross, which provides essential healthcare services to vulnerable people and IDPs. And funding from our Emergency Appeal is also helping the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide home-based care and rehabilitation services to older people, those with disabilities, and wounded veterans. 6. The country's energy infrastructure has been severely damaged While the cold season has now ended, and the energy provision within Ukraine somewhat restored, social and health institutions across Ukraine continue to face the threat of recurrent power shortages. These facilities, particularly those in frontline areas, often suffer from electricity cuts, depriving the local population of basic services. The IFRC has already delivered 130 high-power generators to Ukraine over the course of the last winter. However, the country still needs further support to ensure the basic delivery of public services for millions of people affected by the conflict. 7. The country's economy has been severely affected In 2022, Ukraine experienced a staggering 35% decrease in GDP and a shocking 30% annual inflation rate. This means that families across the country are struggling with skyrocketing food and rent costs. For many households, savings have been all but depleted, leaving people in a state of financial hardship and uncertainty. National Societies in Ukraine and the surrounding region, supported by the IFRC, have been running several cash assistance programmes to help the most vulnerable get by. The crisis is ongoing: what comes next? Though this crisis has slipped from the headlines, the world cannot forget what’s happening in Ukraine. This past year, our Movement has worked tirelessly to support people affected in Ukraine and beyond. But despite our efforts, the scale of this crisis demands more, and continued, support and attention. Thanks to its auxiliary role and permanent presence in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Red Cross is best positioned to support affected people now and long into the future. The IFRC network will continue to support the Ukrainian Red Cross and the people affected, as long they need us. -- Click here to access the IFRC’s recently revised emergency appeal for Ukraine and impacted countries. And if you would like to support our life-saving work, please donate to our appeal here.

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02/05/2023 | Emergency

Sudan: Complex emergency

Fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in the capital, Khartoum, on 15 April and spread rapidly across the country. More than 1,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands of people are internally displaced or have fled across borders to neighbouring countries to escape the violence.Through this Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in at-risk locations and on the move.

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04/05/2023 | Press release

IFRC increases support in Sudan to assist people in at-risk locations and on the move

Khartoum/Nairobi/Geneva, 4 May 2023 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an Emergency Appeal to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to deliver assistance to 200,000 people affected by the recent conflict. Since fighting broke out in several parts of the country on 15 April 2023, access to basic services such as healthcare and water provision have been deteriorating. Many families cannot access food, medicine, or water due to fear of being caught in the crossfire and the escalation of prices. Around 15 million people were already in need of humanitarian assistance prior to the conflict. Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC head of Country Cluster for Sudan said: “Despite these difficult circumstances, Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers have remained on the ground, providing psychosocial support and first aid services since the fighting started. Those close to hospitals are working alongside the healthcare staff and providing medical support.” Damage caused by the fighting is immense and the people will need to rebuild their lives in the months to come. Many have been moving to neighbouring countries in search of safety or to seek medical assistance. This has led to separation of families, causing further psychological strain on communities being forced to make decisions between remaining and leaving. “This means that many are remaining inside Sudan because they are not able to make this choice and more cannot leave because they do not have the means to do so. All of them need support and we want to work alongside the SRCS to ensure as many people as possible get the assistance they need,” said Mr Abdulkadir. Through the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF), the IFRC previously activated funds to support mobilization of volunteers to help with emergency activities across all SRCS branches in Sudan. By launching this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is seeking 30 million Swiss Francs to assist the SRCS in providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in at-risk locations and on the move. The SRCS has 18 branches and 40,000 volunteers spread across the country, including at border points with Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Red Cross Red crescent teams in these countries have also been mobilized to provide humanitarian support to the influx of people crossing the borders and seeking safety. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: [email protected] In Nairobi: Rita Nyaga, +254 722 527553, [email protected] In Geneva: Anna Tuson, +41 79 895 6924 Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367

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01/05/2023 | Article

Myanmar: IFRC Regional Director reiterates need for principled humanitarian assistance

The IFRC Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Alexander Matheou, visited Myanmar from 23 to 29 April 2023. The purpose of the visit was to meet the new leadership of the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and to discuss with them the importance of applying the Red Cross’ Fundamental Principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence to provide principled humanitarian assistance in a complex emergency. To this end, Mr. Matheou also met State Administration Council ministries, including the Minister of Health, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Cooperation. The Regional Director highlighted the special auxiliary role of MRCS in the provision of humanitarian services in Myanmar, and the importance of respecting its independence and neutrality as it delivers assistance in response to natural disasters, in health crises, and in situations of conflict. Noting the role of the IFRC to support and strengthen the actions and institutional capacity of the MRCS, the Regional Director also called for facilitation of humanitarian assistance, especially in areas that are hardest to reach. He confirmed IFRC’s commitment to supporting the MRCS to respond to humanitarian needs, aligned with the Red Cross’ Fundamental Principles. Mr. Matheou said: “Over 17 million people need humanitarian assistance in Myanmar. It is one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world. No single organization can reach everyone in need or reach all parts of the country affected by the crisis. Like other organizations, we have our limitations. However, Myanmar Red Cross is the country’s largest humanitarian organization, and it has a key role to play in communities across the country, through its local branches and its trained volunteers." "Our job as IFRC is to assist Myanmar Red Cross to fulfil that role in a principled way, to the benefit of as many people as possible in Myanmar, in response to both natural and manmade disasters, and strengthen its role as a local community actor.” With a nationwide network, Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) is the country’s largest humanitarian organization delivering humanitarian assistance across the country. The MRCS, supported by the IFRC network, provides services in disaster management and risk reduction, health and care, mental health and psychosocial support, water and sanitation, restoring family links, and first aid and safety services, amongst others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MRCS assisted millions of people through risk awareness messaging, vaccination support, quarantine support and distribution of protective items, as well as providing oxygen to dozens of thousands of people in need, along with cash assistance to support socio-economic recovery of affected households. In the past two years since the military intervention, the MRCS has assisted hundreds of thousands of people across the country, in hard to access areas such as Chin, Magway, Sagaing, Kayah and Kayin, as well as Shan State and Yangon, through food assistance, cash distributions, medical assistance and non-food items such as hygiene kits, dignity kits, water filters, amongst others. The MRCS works as an auxiliary to public authorities in the humanitarian field, like all 192 National Societies of the Red Cross or Red Crescent around the world. Media contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, Regional Communications Manager, [email protected], +60 19 271 3641

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01/05/2023 | Article

"Lucky boy": Mother reunites with Myanmar Red Cross health worker who saved her baby's life

The two women in the back of the ambulance held each other’s hands tightly as the vehicle rushed through the night on the rough road to Than Phyu Zayat, Myanmar. Late in the afternoon, the Myanmar Red Cross ambulance crew had collected a young pregnant woman from her home in Kyaik Kha Me Township, taking her to the local hospital as her contractions intensified. But with no doctor available they were directed to the regional hospital some 70 kilometers away. With the baby in a breech position, it was going to be a difficult delivery for the 27-year-old first time mother, Moe Thuzar. Public services had been drastically disrupted following the military intervention of February 2021. The combination of the political crisis and COVID-19 had put healthcare services – including maternal and new-born health – under severe strain. Recently divorced and living with her widowed mother, Moe worked late into the pregnancy doing “Kya” jobs (random tasks at people’s houses) to make ends meet, and was often forced to skip meals as food prices increased sharply. That afternoon when her contractions began, a Myanmar Red Cross volunteer in the neighbourhood took her to the local hospital. When they found there was no doctor there, a call for help was sent to take Moe to the next town. As night was falling, Myanmar Red Cross ambulance volunteer Thi Thi Mon received the emergency call to transport the young expectant mother. As a Red Cross veteran of 25 years, Thi Thi Mon quickly jumped into an ambulance to collect Moe from the local hospital. The team rushed to the regional hospital but the doctor there didn’t have the facilities to deliver the baby, which was now blocking the birth canal. He urged the ambulance to drive to Than Phyu Zayat township, Mon State. But, halfway between hospitals, Moe Thu Zar said that she could not cope anymore and begged Thi Thi Mon to help. The former midwife made the choice to deliver the baby there and then. The baby was born in the back of the ambulance, his umbilical cord wrapped dangerously around his neck, but breathing. “The baby did not make any sound at first, so I had to shake him a little before he cried out loud,” Thi Thi Mon recalls. The team resumed their journey at top speed reaching the hospital in Than Phyu Zayat township in ten minutes. They provided oxygen to the baby and transferred the mother and child to a state hospital for intensive care. “She named my boy as “Maung Kan Kaung” (Burmese translation: Lucky boy). I am grateful towards the Red Cross members who helped us. We are alive only because of them,” says Moe Thuzar. “Since I was a child, I loved one of the Red Cross’ seven fundamental principles: humanity” “I will never forget this memorable night. I believe if everyone gets First Aid training like I did, there will be fewer helpless people, ” says Thi Thi Mon. -- From February 2021 to December 2022, Myanmar Red Cross First Aid teams have helped with the referral of around 12,833 patients. The ambulance service has helped more than 300 pregnant women and newborn babies to access emergency treatment. In areas where local communities lack access to medical facilities, the Red Cross has established First Aid Posts and community clinics where volunteer doctors and medical staff provide basic healthcare. These volunteers keep the spirit of humanity alive. -- To read a longer version of this story, click here.

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24/03/2023 | Article

Giving the gift of light: Donated generators provide vital electricity to hospital teams in Ukraine

"How can a person feel when they used to have everything? I had a home, a stable job, and relatives. Now, I call myself an elderly homeless person. I no longer have a place to live. Only a crater from an aviation bomb remains where my house used to be. How can I feel?” Ihor Manohin spent his entire life in Bakhmut, Donetsk oblast. There, he had a place to call home, his family, and his livelihood. Ihor worked as Head of the X-Ray Department at the local Bakhmut hospital. For many years, life was normal. Life was peaceful. But since the international armed conflict escalated in Ukraine in February 2022, Ihor has had to work in a situation of increasing violence and danger. “The X-Ray Department kept running until August 9th. Our team was working around the clock, providing medical care to around 300 people injured by the conflict every day. But after weeks without electricity, and due to the constant shelling, we had to leave the city. It simply became impossible to leave my house to get to work,” he recalls. Many of the Bakhmut hospital medical staff evacuated on August 9th, along with the hospital's equipment, to the city of Brovary in Kyiv oblast. Though heartbroken at having to leave Bakhmut, Ihor and his team remained committed to providing life-saving medical care to the wounded. In their new location, they continued to provide medical assistance to fellow displaced citizens who had lost everything. But the challenges continued in Brovary. Ongoing attacks on infrastructure regularly left Ihor and his team without power, hampering their vital work. Recognising the urgent need for support, the IFRC, together with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, donated a high-power generator to Ihor and his team in their relocated hospital. The generator provides a reliable source of electricity, heating and light, enabling them to continue their life-saving work supporting the local population and those fleeing the conflict. The generator handed over to Ihor’s team is one of 150 delivered to Ukraine by the IFRC as part of a programme to support the country’s vulnerable population during the cold season. Another 30 generators are soon to be delivered. Speaking about the programme, Jaime Wah, IFRC Health Coordinator in Ukraine, said: “At the end of the day, it's about people. Our commitment to delivering high-power generators to Ukraine is not just about powering equipment, it's about ensuring uninterrupted access to life-saving medical care for those who need it the most. We are honoured to support Ukraine's most vulnerable communities in their time of need”. -- These generators are just one part of our response in Ukraine and surrounding countries. One year on from the escalation of conflict, the devastation continues to affect every aspect of people's lives. The IFRC continues to support the Ukrainian Red Cross, and other National Societies in the region, who are standing side-by-side with communities, providing crucial and long-term humanitarian aid to meet a wide range of needs. Read more here. Ihor’s story is sadly shared by so many people in Ukraine, including many Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers. But despite everything, they have found the strength to help their communities in the most difficult of times. We will be there for people like Ihor, as long as they need us.

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23/02/2023 | Press release

Ukraine: IFRC warns of psychological wounds adding cruel layer of pain one year on

Geneva / Budapest / Kyiv 23 February 2023 -The psychological wounds of the international armed conflict in Ukraine are adding another cruel layer of pain to people already struggling to cope with shelter, hunger, and livelihoods needs, warns the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). As the effects of the last year continue to impact families, the IFRC network is running the biggest humanitarian response in its history. With a CHF 1.6 billion appeal spanning 58 countries, the IFRC network has reached more than two million people with medical care, mental health support and shelter; and so far has distributed more than CHF 87 million in cash assistance to bring choice and dignity to families who have lost everything. A total of 42 IFRC member National Societies are engaged in activities supporting people from Ukraine, domestically. IFRC Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain, said: “This grueling year has devastated the lives of millions of people and that brings with it psychological harm as significant as physical injury. We are preparing to expand our mental health interventions alongside cash, shelter, medical care and urgent assistance to help people manage the harsh winter with power cuts and water shortages.” Red Cross and Red Crescent teams are working everywhere—from bomb shelters in Bakhmut to refugees’ new homes across borders—and have provided more than a million people with psychosocial support since February 2022. As time marches on, more must be done to address mental health. “Trauma knows no borders: those in Ukraine and those who have fled are equally in need of comfort, stability, and a sense of normalcy,” remarked Mr. Chapagain. The Ukrainian Red Cross has provided psychosocial support to hundreds of thousands of people since the start of the conflict’s escalation. An additional 34 IFRC member National Societies are delivering specialist help to hundreds of thousands who have sought safety in other countries. Ukrainian Red Cross Director General, Maksym Dotsenko, said: “They have lost loved ones, homes, jobs, everything—this is devastating enough. People’s lives are in limbo and this anguish is eating them up inside, compounding the mental health crisis even further. “Helping families find coping mechanisms, treatment and support is crucial for us. We are training people on how to respond to mental health emergencies and this training is happening in bomb shelters and basements.” In neighbouring countries, IFRC member National Societies are receiving a growing number of pleas for mental health help via their community feedback systems. “We are a long way away from recovery for people from Ukraine, but ensuring support for mental health, alongside cash support, protection and other basic services is a way we can contribute to that eventual recovery,” said Mr. Chapagain. Over the past year, the IFRC network has mobilized more than 124,000 volunteers to respond to urgent needs of people affected by this international armed conflict. For more information, please contact: [email protected] In Kyiv: Nichola Jones, +44 7715 459956 In Budapest: Corrie Butler, +36 70 430 6506 In Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202 603 6803 A/V materials available to media on the IFRC Newsroom. Note to editors: In a regional initiative to meet the massive need for mental health support, National Red Cross Societies in Ukraine and 24 countries across the EU/EEA have joined forces to provide mental health and psychosocial support services to more than 590,000 people over the course of three years. Target audiences include displaced people in Ukraine and impacted EU countries, caregivers, children, older persons, people with disabilities, host communities, as well as Red Cross volunteers and staff. Funded by the European Union and with technical assistance from the IFRC and the IFRC Psychosocial Centre, the EU4Health project connects vulnerable people with mental health professionals and volunteers from the 25 National Societies.

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04/02/2023 | Article

IFRC Secretary General on the year ahead: "Hope in the midst of hopelessness"

It’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness these days – climate crises, people on the verge of starvation in parts of Africa, multiple wars, protracted conflicts, people having to leave their homes out of desperation, shameful cases of exclusion in many parts of the world, rising mental health crises, people not having basic access to water and sanitation. This list can go on and on. While these crises are affecting everyone, the marginalized, excluded, and last mile communities are bearing the brunt of these crises disproportionately. Some 43 years ago, I signed up to be a young volunteer of the Nepal Red Cross. I joined not knowing how my life would unfold and where this would lead. I didn’t fully understand then, but I do now – the mission and mandate of our IFRC network, and the fundamental principles that guide our work with a very simple vision--to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Three years ago, we didn’t know the scale of impact of a global pandemic, international armed conflict in the middle of Europe and all other global crises we have been responding to. In this context, let me share some of my reflections on the current state of play. Reflection on the IFRC’s mandate and relevance As the world grapples with “polycrisis”, our mandate becomes as relevant as ever, if not more. The IFRC is at the forefront of humanitarian efforts in times of disaster, crises, and other emergencies. By providing immediate assistance and long-term sustainable development programmes, the IFRC network puts people at the centre of vital, life-saving assistance. We work to strengthen the resilience of communities in vulnerable settings, ensuring they are better prepared for and better able to cope with our changing world. In a time of great global disparities in terms of access to services, we bridge the gap. The role of truly local organizations like our member National Societies is critical to reach the most disadvantaged sections of societies. Localization is fundamental as crises grow; but resources do not keep pace with them. Business as usual is not going to work. True empowerment of community organizations and decolonization of aid will be critical in 2023 and beyond. Reflection on our fundamental principles, particularly the principle of neutrality The threat to our principles, particularly the principle of neutrality, lies in the fact that the international armed conflict in Ukraine has taken on a much-heightened political dimension. This has placed great pressure on the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. We must maintain a neutral stance and perform impartial aid operations, to ensure our principle of neutrality is observed. While we remain sensitive to the challenges emerging out of the conflict and we will be doing everything in our capacity to deliver on our mandate, it is essential that our fundamental principles remain the bedrock of our actions. Failing to do so will irreparably damage the notion of neutral, independent humanitarian action. Amid rapid changes in the global humanitarian landscape, one thing remains constant – that’s our fundamental principles. Our values and principles transcend all the divisions that exist in the world. Reflection on current trends We closely monitor the global trends that impact our work. Climate and Environmental crises have been at the forefront. Social issues like the erosion of trust, migration and displacement, inequality, global health and food crises are directly linked to our mandate. Economic issues like the cost-of-living crisis and energy crises will impact our work. Technological issues, like the opportunity created by digitalization as well as the risks arising from the digital divide and those linked to humanitarian data security, will have to be considered. We must also be mindful of the global political landscape and current lack of global political leadership able to deal with multiple crises. The international armed conflict in Ukraine will significantly impact the geopolitical landscape and will exacerbate the humanitarian situation across the globe. We must be humble enough to acknowledge that there is no humanitarian solution to most of these crises. There must be a political solution and we must support and advocate for the same. Reflection on our ambitions Our ambitions are simple as we deal with these trends. We will continue to be bold in our support to our membership both on humanitarian action and in building resilience. We will work harder to build a trustful relationship with our membership and governance structure. We will invest more in National Society transformations leveraging the power of youth and volunteers. Advancing gender and inclusion will require consistent push. We must do more to be a learning organization that continuously evolves. Within the family, we will continue to build mutually respectful movement cooperation. We will expand our humanitarian diplomacy efforts and further strengthen our highly professional partnership with all partners. Further building on the new operating model and new resourcing architecture, we will develop more inclusive IFRC wide approaches. We will accelerate our digitalization journey. We will continue to strengthen agility and accountability. Respectful workplace, issues of fraud and corruption, sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, racism, and discrimination will be dealt with proactively and decisively. The world is full of daunting challenges. But it is also full of people and organizations committed to confront them and work together to bring about positive change. We are one of those organizations. We will lead from the front, working with our membership and their volunteers. We will be bold in our actions, but calm and composed in our approaches. There will of course be challenges along the way, but we will always move forward with integrity. We will have to be at our best when the challenges are the greatest. And we will have to always bring hope amid hopelessness.

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14/10/2022 | Press release

Sri Lanka’s vulnerable forced to risk “a pathway to destitution"

Colombo/Kuala Lumpur, 14 October 2022 – The deepening economic crisis is forcing people to make heartbreaking choices between going hungry, buying life-saving medicine, or finding the money to send children to school. A needs assessment conducted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 11 of the country’s 25 districts has found that 96% of the more than 2,900 households surveyed have been affected by the current crisis in some way—with food insecurity, health, livelihoods, and nutrition among the top concerns. Deteriorating physical safety and security, as well as violence against women and children, stood out. The report uncovered worryingly high problems of access to food, either because of high cost, income stress or lack of availability. Runaway inflation and loss of livelihoods have doubly impacted people’s ability to cope with the record cost of living. Income loss is causing significant food insecurity, while inflation is driving up the cost of medicine and fuel costs are preventing access to essential healthcare. The report gravely warns that without immediate humanitarian interventions, the impact on communities is likely to be long-lasting and cumulative. Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Dr Mahesh Gunasekara, said: “We work on the ground and at the heart of communities. We hear the most heart-wrenching stories of loss of hope and gripping fear for the future. Life for them is like losing the battle for survival; for single women with children, people living with disabilities, the elderly, casual labourers, and fishermen. “The most vulnerable need our help now so they can get through the worst of the economic crisis. We need to act to ensure lives are saved and restored.” Speaking on a visit to Colombo to meet affected communities, the Government and the diplomatic community, the Regional Director, Asia Pacific of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Alexander Matheou, said: “The report provides first-hand evidence of how the most vulnerable people, who are already under the poverty line, are being driven further towards despair. As a result, people are resorting to borrowing heavily, eating less food and fewer times per day, pawning valuables and assets, and using other survival strategies just to scrape by. “Our main priorities remain meeting humanitarian needs at its worst. Unless this is done effectively and quickly, people who are struggling now will find themselves on a demeaning pathway to destitution from which there is no escape. The time to act is now.” To meet the country’s spiralling needs, the IFRC has launched an Emergency Appeal for urgent humanitarian assistance for 28 million Swiss francs in support of Sri Lanka Red Cross. In line with the IFRC appeal, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supports the Sri Lanka Red Cross to respond to the humanitarian issues arising from the economic crisis with a focus on providing medical equipment to the healthcare system and economic assistance to vulnerable people. To arrange an interview, get access to audio-visuals, or for more information, contact: In Colombo: Kate Marshall, +94 77357 6408, [email protected] In Kuala Lumpur: Rachel Punitha, +60-197-913-830, [email protected]

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12/09/2022 | Article

Ukraine crisis: Red Cross health centre in Uzhhorod offers relief and comfort

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.

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23/08/2022 | Press release

Ukraine: Six months in, IFRC warns of ripple effects and mounting humanitarian needs

Geneva/Budapest/Kyiv, 23 August 2022 – Six months into the escalation of conflict in Ukraine, humanitarian needs in and outside the country continue to grow. With the entire humanitarian system stretched, the conflict could have lasting impacts on the capacity of organizations and their donors to respond in Ukraine and to emergencies elsewhere. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Ukrainian Red Cross and 46 other Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies continue to scale up one of their largest responses in history to meet the humanitarian needs. IFRC President Francesco Rocca says: “People are at a critical breaking point. The human cost continues to mount, and the suffering has been unimaginable for millions. The devastating knock-on effects are only growing as the conflict drags on with rising food and fuel prices and worsening food crises. IFRC is continuing to scale up with the humanitarian need, but we cannot do it alone.” In Ukraine and neighbouring countries, inflation, and shortages of essential products, such as fuel and food, impact the ability of people to afford basic supplies. The imminent arrival of colder weather in the weeks to come will bring additional humanitarian needs. While we have seen an incredible outpouring of generosity, these economic strains can affect how much host communities are able to assist people who have fled from conflict. On top of this, people who have fled are stuck between starting over or going back to uncertainty and potentially danger. The conflict continues to have far-reaching consequences. The cost of food has gone up around the world. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters. The country’s grain exports are down 46 per cent so far this year. This massive drop is having a major impact on the Greater Horn of Africa where more than 80 million are experiencing extreme hunger, the worst food crisis in the last 70 years. As millions of people have been displaced, more than 100,000 local Red Cross volunteers and staff have rapidly mobilized in Ukraine, in bordering countries – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Russia and Belarus – and in 17 additional countries in the region. Ukrainian Red Cross Director, General Maksym Dotsenko, says: “People have had to leave everything behind and escape with their lives, many are living and planning day-by-day. With winter around the corner, we know that this will only become increasingly difficult for people who need the basics to survive – a warm place to live, food, goods, and services.” “Our staff and volunteers continue to work around the clock to support people, even when many worry about their own families and their safety. Yet they continue to put on the Red Cross vest to deliver critical aid to those who need it. We are focused on being adaptable, flexible, and responsive to whatever happens next.” Much about the future of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine remains unknown. Even if the conflict were to end tomorrow, it will take years to repair the damage to cities and homes and the impact on families. This outlook requires humanitarian organizations, governments, and donors to commit for the long term. New sources of funding and resources will have to be found outside of humanitarian budgets. Guided by impartiality, the IFRC, along with other members of National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, will continue scaling up, providing essential humanitarian aid; cash and voucher assistance; healthcare, including mental health support, first aid and medical supplies and care; and water and sanitation. Note to editors: We have experts available to provide the latest information from different countries and audio-visuals for use by the media. For more information and to arrange an interview please contact: In Budapest: Guy Lepage, +1 (365) 885-3155 (WhatsApp) | +36 204597933 | [email protected] In Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202-603-6803 |[email protected]

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17/08/2022 | Press release

In Yemen, response to deadly floods and critical health care services are key

Beirut / Sanaa /17 August -More than a month after heavy thunderstorms wreaked havoc in Yemen, their effects are still being felt. More than 31,000 households experienced the loss of life or property—in a country where food insecurity was already at an all-time high. To best understand the needs and work being done, the Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s (IFRC) Delegation in Yemen, Sami Fakhouri paid a 4-day visit to Yemen Red Crescent’s (YRCS) branches and health centres in Hajjah and Saadah. Fakhouri saluted the outstanding job done by YRCS volunteers and staff—their dedication and hard work despite challenges. Tireless team members are working around the clock to provide primary, secondary, inpatient, and outpatient care entirely free of charge at 23 Yemen Red Crescent health centres throughout Yemen in addition to acute flood response. During the visit earlier last week, Fakhouri was briefed on the urgent needs and the ways in which Red Crescent teams are alleviating the suffering of local communities. He said: “IFRC will continue to support the Yemen Red Crescent in health, disaster management, water, sanitation, and hygiene and National Society Development, by providing technical and financial support.” On July 30, IFRC released more than CHF 452.000 from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Yemen Red Crescent’s response, which includes providing families impacted by the floods with food, hygiene, and household items, shelter kits, and water and sanitation services. In turn, Abdullah Al Azab, YRCS Disaster Management Coordinator said: “We need to be ready to support the population rendered more vulnerable by these natural catastrophes, in addition to the difficulties they are already experiencing in a country in war, and despite massive challenges, the Yemen Red Crescent tries to provide a fast life-saving response to victims of natural disasters in all governorates". Fakhouri concluded that IFRC in collaboration with The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and partner National Societies will continue to advocate with local and international authorities to remind stakeholders of the immense humanitarian needs of the Yemeni populations, not to forget supporting Yemen and its people, and to enhance the coordinated InternationalRed Cross and Red Crescent Movement response in the country. For more information, contact: In Beirut, IFRC-MENA: Mey Al Sayegh, +961 03229352, [email protected] In Yemen -YRCS: Nesreen Ahmed, +967 775322644, [email protected]

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13/09/2021 | Speech

Statement on the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is an honour to address you on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and our member National Society, the Afghan Red Crescent. I give this in complementarity to ICRC’s President, Peter Maurer’s earlier statement. As current events in Afghanistan unfold, the Afghan Red Crescent continues to carry out critical humanitarian work through its network of 34 provincial branches, 2,000 staff and more than 30,000 trained volunteers. The Afghan Red Crescent and the IFRC’s staff have been there through it all and are always there to fulfil our humanitarian mandate. We had no option to leave. We continue to deliver. The IFRC has been in Afghanistan for more than 30 years uninterrupted. We have worked with the Afghan Red Crescent throughout this time in their institutional development, in bringing much needed humanitarian supplies, in bringing the community voices to the global stage and in providing leadership in coordination. We will remain by their side, for as long as we are needed. Last week we launched arevised Emergency Appealfor 36 million Swiss Francs to ramp up support to the work of the Afghan Red Crescent in meeting the needs of those affected by one of the country’s worst ever droughts, acute food shortages, a fractured health system, displacement as well as the devastating impact of COVID-19. We have also provided support to the neighbouring countries’ National Red Crescent Societies, and we will need an additional 15 million Swiss francs to continue to do so. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have three messages for you to consider, and act upon: We must work together to ensure that humanitarian corridors are kept open.This may include making exceptions to sanctions, which allow for medical and urgent humanitarian supply chains. Now is the time to ensure that there are no bureaucratic obstacles to committing humanitarian aid. In return, we will ensure that support is provided to the most vulnerable, to enable locally managed and delivered aid, in line with our fundamental principles. Now is the time to support local action, empower strong local organizations and make good on your localization commitments in the Grand Bargain.The Afghan Red Crescent has unique access to people in need - recognized for its neutrality, impartiality and independence. Its’ Afghan staff and volunteers work every day in every province of Afghanistan, with direct access to support communities with ongoing relief and health services. Now is not the time to ignore Afghanistan; it is vital that we look to the future and support the people of Afghanistan as they work hard to heal and recover. I thank you.

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