As a result of the recent and ongoing fighting in Libya, unexploded weapons left from the conflict are a major hazard for the country's civilian population. Unexploded ordnance and armoured vehicles, including rockets, shells and mortars, are strewn across public places and residential areas in Misrata, Ajdabiya and Benghazi. The risk for civilians is high.
More than thirty years of war and internal conflict in Iraq has left a legacy of despair. Millions of men and women are unable to care for themselves or their families because they have been severely disabled or have lost their main means of support. Despite the efforts of the government to provide social welfare programmes, many of these people do not get the support required to stay afloat.
Today the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) evacuated more than 600 civilians from the city in western Libya. This was the fourth rotation of an ICRC-chartered boat to evacuate mainly foreign nationals stranded in dire conditions. In total the ICRC evacuated more than 2300 civilians mainly from Niger, Chad, Mali, Ghana, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, and Morocco, in addition to Libyan nationals.
At over 3.5 million people, Colombia has one of the biggest displaced populations in the world. In a 'forgotten conflict' that has rumbled on for 5 decades, civilians often get caught up in the crossfire.
Every day, thousands of litres of untreated wastewater are dumped into the Wadi Gaza River. The polluted water snakes through urban areas on its way to the sea, jeopardizing the health of the many families living on its banks, contaminating the coastline and endangering biodiversity. Sixteen sewage outfalls in the Gaza Strip lead directly to the sea.
The ICRC in cooperation with the Japanese Red Cross Society has established a family links website to reunite families affected by the earthquake and the tsunami. This Public Service Announcement raises awareness of this vital service.
At a press conference in Geneva (10.03.11), ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger urged all those involved in Libya's armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and, in particular, to take all possible precautions to spare civilian lives.