On World Red Cross Red Crescent Day (May 8) the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) marks 150 years since it was founded. Speaking from the ICRC headquarters in Geneva, Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, said, "This means 150 years of engagement in conflict in which ICRC brought assistance to millions of people."
Violence has reached unprecedented levels in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as fighting between the army and armed groups intensifies. The situation is compounded by inter-ethnic tensions and violence between armed groups in North Kivu and South Kivu.
The ICRC deputy head of operations Regis Savioz announced today in the Malian capital Bamako that his organization is launching a 40 million Swiss Francs public appeal to respond to the acute humanitarian situation still prevailing in northern Mali.
At the end of a nine-day conference in New York, States failed to reach an agreement on an Arms Trade Treaty. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deeply regrets that States were unable to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty at the diplomatic conference that ended yesterday in New York.
Hospitals in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic are overwhelmed with injured following the intense fighting of recent days. More than 200 people were admitted following the violence and 40 patients are still waiting urgent operations.
The conflict in Syria began two years ago and has caused immense suffering, for which no end is in sight yet. There is no let up in the fighting, which remains intense, and living conditions are deteriorating by the second; millions of people have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere within Syria or in neighbouring countries. Many of these people are living in exceedingly grim conditions. Tens of thousands are unaccounted for or have been detained. Families have been dispersed: people are searching desperately for their relatives, about whose whereabouts they often have no information at all. Standards of health have declined sharply, medical facilities have been targeted and health-care workers have been killed.
While the humanitarian situation in Somalia has improved slightly, there remain significant humanitarian concerns across the country. After two decades of fighting, tens of thousands of people have been separated from their families. The whereabouts of at least 12,000 people are unknown. Despite the passing of time, some Somalis are as determined as ever to find their loved ones.
Female detainees are often the sole providers for their families so their detention results in great hardship for their loved ones. However in Paraguay an innovative income generating project is helping the detainees and their families better cope mentally, economically and socially.
Less than one month on from signing a peace accord (the Libreville agreement), thousands are living with uncertainty in the Central African Republic. There is a risk of fighting breaking out and many remain displaced, unsure whether to return home.
One year on, the conflict in Mali continues. The result, an unsettled life for much of the civilian population. More than two hundred and fifty thousand have been internally displaced and almost as many have become refugees in neighbouring countries, since last year. Many fled their homes with only the clothes they were wearing, leaving their lives behind.