In response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya, two cargo planes have been loaded with 16 tonnes of medical supplies, including surgical equipment, dressing kits and drugs. The planes are due to take off from Geneva, Switzerland, late Friday night (25 February), one bound for Cairo, the other for Tunis. The ICRC plans to move these supplies into Libya by road as quickly as possible to treat those injured by the violence of recent days.
The number of war-wounded treated at the two main referral hospitals in the Somali capital Mogadishu sharply increased last year. More than 6000 such patients were admitted to Medina and Keysaney hospitals in 2010 compared to 5000 in 2009 and around 2800 in 2008. More than a third of the wounded (2300) were women and children, caught in the fierce fighting between the Transitional Federal Government forces, backed by the African Union, and armed groups such as Al-Shabab.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has launched a record appeal to cover its response to increasingly complex humanitarian needs worldwide. The Geneva based organisation is calling on donors for 1.047 billion Swiss francs for field operations - a 12 percent increase on the 2010 budget.
Though the July rains this year held the promise of a more or less normal harvest in Mali and Niger, for many years both countries have been hit by repeated droughts. The lack of heavy rain from September 2009 to July this year is one of the main causes of the serious food crisis in the region. Grazing land is dwindling and herders are having to cover ever greater distances with their animals to find green land. But this land often belongs to farmers, who are themselves increasingly struggling to find cultivable land. Scarcer resources exacerbate intercommunal tension, and conflict is particularly violent in the dry season.
Several rebel groups and bandits are spreading fear and chaos in many parts of the Central African Republic. Regular attacks on civilians are resulting in killings, abductions, rapes and looting. They are forcing people to flee their homes to find a safe haven. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced, putting pressure on already impoverished host communities.
Pakistan's record floods continue to take a massive toll on rural communities in eastern Balochistan, a remote region already reeling from armed violence. As floodwaters slowly recede, an estimated 600,000 displaced flood victims are preparing to return to what is left of their homes.
During two decades of internal violence in Peru in the 1980s and 90s, thousands of people died and 15,000 have been reported missing. Ten years on from the end of violence, great efforts have been made in Peru to respond to the needs of the surviving families.
Today, more than 60,000 IDPs in Mindanao are unable or for various reasons unwilling to return home. In some cases their houses have burned down or their land is occupied by other people, in others they fear for their safety because conflict could resume or violence erupt in connection with the ongoing elections... Clashes between the armed forces of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in August 2008 triggered the displacement of more than 500,000 people. Although most displaced people in Central Mindanao have returned to their homes over the past year, thousands have yet to do so.