The American Red Cross, along with the global Red Cross network, is helping amplify efforts and strengthen capacity of the Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia Red Crosses as a devastating outbreak of Ebola wreaks havoc on the region. Since March 2014, some 1,200 cases have been reported and more than 670 deaths have been linked to the virus, making it the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in recorded history.
As the security situation in the Occupied Palestine Territories and Israel continues to deteriorate, Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers in the region are helping people in need.
Israel’s Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent are providing support to the victims of airstrikes, rocket firings, and other hostilities. As part of the same global network, both societies follow the same guiding principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.
In the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the Palestine Red Crescent has been at the forefront of relief operations since the beginning of the crisis. Red Crescent hospitals, clinics, staff and volunteers are delivering emergency medical care to the wounded and evacuating residents to safer locations. This past weekend, two Palestine Red Crescent volunteers lost their lives while providing humanitarian assistance in Gaza.
In Israel, Magen David Adom’s ambulance teams are responding to rocket attacks by providing first aid, medical care and transportation as needed, as well as psychosocial support to victims. The society has increased blood service operations, ensuring that hospitals have sufficient supply. In addition, staff and volunteers are offering first aid training to the public and have distributed first aid kits to some 80 public shelters as part of its preparedness initiatives.
[Infographic] Crisis in Iraq
With the media focus on Gaza, it’s easy to forget that there are humanitarian crises going on both in the Middle East and beyond. Our global Red Cross colleagues in Beirut have put together a new graphic which manages to explain the scale and seriousness of the population movement in response to violence in Iraq. As with the Red Crescent societies in Syria and the Occupied Palestine Territories, the Iraqi Red Crescent is responding to help support the needs of all those affected by the crisis. See infographic here.
“It was like finally waking up from a bad dream.”
That’s how Sylvester Gboya describes reuniting with his wife and children after five long years of separation. Through the American Red Cross Restoring Family Links program, however, Gboya was able to send Red Cross Messages through to his family and reconnect. Eventually, his wife and two children were able to join him in the U.S.
Last year, the Red Cross assisted those seeking to reconnect with their loved ones from countries such as the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, South Sudan, Syria, and Afghanistan and facilitated the exchange of 279,000 messages. For more information visit redcross.org.
The Paraguayan Red Cross is carrying out response operations following the recent floods that have affected the southern part of the country and left more than 200,000 people homeless. The American Red Cross is providing 2,000 hygiene kits, which contain personal hygiene supplies like soap and toothbrushes. Additionally the American Red Cross is contributing $45,000 to assist with transportation of relief supplies from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama.