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22 Dec 2017 description
report British Red Cross

In 2017 the world faced a series of devastating humanitarian emergencies, not least here in the UK - making it one of the most demanding years for the British Red Cross since WWII. Here’s a look back at 2017 in numbers

  • 9m – people in the UK reported as always or often lonely

  • 200 – tonnes of donated clothes, blankets, toiletries and essential items by members of the public following the Grenfell Tower Fire

  • 24.1m – people facing food shortages in East Africa (across Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan)

26 Oct 2016 description


In 2015, models by metrological agencies globally, including the Kenya Metrological Department (KMED), predicted a 90% probability of El Niño conditions1 during the "short rains" of the October, November, December (OND) season. The forecasts predicted above average rainfall in parts of Kenya and an approximate 80% chance of the El Niño conditions lasting into early 2016. The impacts were expected to vary geographically, with some areas experiencing seasonal flooding and others experiencing just good rainfall for agricultural production.

23 Oct 2016 description
report British Red Cross

Few kind words have been written about El Niño – that dreaded bearer of floods and droughts. Yet a bit of planning and investment has seen communities in Kenya benefit from the weather phenomenon, as Sarah Barr from our international team explains.

The semi-arid landscape of Kitui County hides no secrets. Droughts in the dry season, floods during the rainy season, it’s little wonder that farmers face such difficulty growing crops in a climate that fluctuates so wildly.

20 Feb 2015 description
report British Red Cross

In one of the driest parts of Kenya, a community is enjoying clean water for the first time with the help of renewable energy.

The scenery shifts dramatically on the road north from Nairobi. The rolling green fields and spectacular views of Mount Kenya quickly give way to the parched earth of Samburu County.

The climate in Samburu County is harsh and the arid landscape gives an indication of the paucity of rainfall in these parts. It is one of the driest counties in Kenya and is plagued by cycles of drought.

30 Sep 2013 description
report British Red Cross

In the aftermath of disaster, the physical scars inflicted upon communities and their inhabitants are all too apparent. But emotional trauma can be harder to spot and can leave an indelible mark on an individual.

Providing emotional support to people recovering from a traumatic experience is now a fundamental part in the training of British Red Cross volunteers, who are there to help people in crisis.

Two volunteers have been sent to Nairobi, Kenya, as part of a Foreign and Commonwealth Office rapid deployment team.

21 Jun 2013 description
report British Red Cross

This is a guest blog by Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, who recently visited the Red Cross programme at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

Dadaab refugee camp is said to be the largest in the world. With an estimated population of 500,000 people, no one can say exactly how many people live here – it changes every day. But many have been here for 20 years, and others have known no other home.

16 May 2013 description
report British Red Cross

The recent elections in Kenya saw millions of people queuing for long hours to vote, highlighting their commitment to influence social and political change.

Sadly, this ballot paper has often come at a cost. Election campaigns in the past decade have seen violence, loss of life and thousands of people forced to leave their homes.

26 Nov 2012 description
report British Red Cross

Across the planet, in every society, from the personal to the political, climate change poses a formidable challenge. It’s about restraint; producing and consuming less, sharing more.

17 Oct 2012 description
report British Red Cross

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been able to help millions of people affected by the 2011 food crisis in east Africa.

19 Jul 2012 description
report British Red Cross

Our east Africa representative, Karen Peachey, has been working in the region – or supporting work there – for over 20 years. She answers some questions about our response to east Africa’s food crisis.

One year since the British Red Cross launched its East Africa Food Crisis Appeal, what is the situation?

Rains have been good in many parts of the region and this has improved the overall food security situation. However, the rains have not come in some areas – which means some communities are still at risk.

13 Jul 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

One year on, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has supported millions of people across the horn of Africa.

Click here to view the slideshow.

04 Jul 2012 description
report British Red Cross

The Kenya Red Cross has helped cut the number of people suffering from severe malnutrition in part of the world’s largest refugee camp by 75 per cent over the last nine months.

It began providing essential healthcare and nutrition services at the Ifo II section of Dadaab refugee camp complex in October last year. Nearly two out of every ten children under five there then were severely malnourished; now, it’s fewer than one in 20.

17 May 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

The Kenya Red Cross is managing Ifo II West refugee camp in Dadaab and providing essential health and nutrition services, psycho-social support, security training and hygiene promotion services in Ifo II East. At the request of the UN Refugee Agency it is also taking on other health, water and sanitation services that were previously provided by other agencies.

27 Apr 2012 description
report British Red Cross

“Aid money only goes into the pockets of rich leaders, despots and tyrants, so why bother donating?”

Corruption is an issue in some of the countries where the Red Cross works, so it is understandable that donors want to know where their money is going.

Both in the UK and overseas, we are extremely careful to ensure that your donation reaches the people who need it most.

04 Apr 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews April 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

Dadaab – the world’s oldest and largest refugee camp complex – is facing ever more serious and complex problems. But, while many organisations have pulled out due to the deteriorating security situation, the Kenya Red Cross is scaling up its operation.

The camp was established in Kenya in 1991, when many people fled their homes during the civil war in Somalia. Although originally designed for 90,000 people, the camp now holds over 450,000 refugees – in terms of population, Dadaab camp is effectively Kenya’s third largest city.

27 Feb 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

Southern Somalia is no longer in famine. While this is an improvement, it is not the end of the story. Nearly a third of Somalia’s population remains in crisis. That means 250,000 people still risk starving to death.

Moreover, if the causes of this famine are not addressed, it will continue to be a recurring threat in Somalia and elsewhere in the region.

Annual hunger

23 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

The Red Cross is carrying out assessments in the Sahel region of west Africa where millions of people are at risk of a food crisis this year.

Low and erratic rainfall and insect infestations have led to poor harvests and lack of pasture in parts of Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Communities are also dealing with high food prices and reduced cash flow from migrant workers sending money back to their families from Libya and the Ivory Coast.

Unless urgent measures are taken now, the Sahel region could experience a major food crisis.

19 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

Oxfam and Save the Children yesterday published a report – titled A Dangerous Delay – on the food crisis in east Africa. It says that thousands of needless deaths occurred and millions of extra pounds were spent because the international community failed to take decisive action on early warnings of a hunger crisis in east Africa.

The importance of preparing for disasters

The humanitarian aid that was provided saved many lives, but we agree that taking action earlier would have saved even more.

17 Jan 2012 description
report British Red Cross

By Ellie Matthews

In East Africa, continued difficulties accessing food – coupled with recent flooding and conflict in the region – have made life hard for many people. While working with communities in East Africa to improve their long-term resilience to food insecurity, the Red Cross is also providing immediate relief to thousands of vulnerable people in refugee camps.

Difficult conditions