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“The last time he called us, my son Arcesio* said that he was coming to see us,” said Ancízar Osorio in a faltering voice. That was eight years ago.
In Osorio’s country of Colombia, disappearances are a tragic normality; some 68,000 people are currently missing. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people have disappeared as a consequence of armed conflict, natural disaster or migration. For those left behind facing a future uncertainty, the Red Cross is often their last hope for answers.
The resounding success of the American Red Cross First Aid and disaster apps has created a great demand for these simple lifesaving tools in Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world.
To help meet this need, the Global Disaster Preparedness Center in May launched the Universal First Aid App Pilot, which will give 17 Red Cross partners access to app development tools. This allows them to localize all of the content - from language to images - and adapt it to their country’s context.
The new American Red Cross program in Latin America and the Caribbean seeks to build “a culture of safety” in communities throughout the region.
Events in Trinidad, Nicaragua and Peru kicked off a series of community lead initiatives the brought together Red Cross staff and community leaders in shared learning and planning to help build stronger, safer neighborhoods. These programs are based on the success of previous disaster risk reduction and community health programs in the region.
by Tamara Braunstein
As Tropical Storm Chantal moves westward across the Atlantic Ocean, the American Red Cross is working with its Caribbean partners to prepare for high winds and heavy rains from the storm.
The storm sustained top wind speeds of 50 mph early July 9, and forecasters predict that it could gain strength throughout the week as it enters the Caribbean Sea.
Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by destructive winds, tornadoes and flooding from these storms. How great is the danger? For 1970-2010, the average numbers per year were as follows:
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico: 11 tropical storms, 6 of which became hurricanes
East Pacific Ocean: 15 tropical storms, 8 of which became hurricanes
A group of experienced disaster managers from Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world are meeting this week in Washington DC coordinate and strengthen disaster response practices on international relief operations, with a special focus on urban disasters.
Posted September 04, 2012 , By Tamara Braunstein
The town of Lira in Northern Uganda does not have a fire department. Its buildings are built so closely together that a small fire can quickly escalate into a major disaster as commonly used construction materials like straw and wood fuel the flames.
In neighboring Gulu, a town about 64 miles away, emergency responders face equally daunting circumstances. Response teams are often hindered by a lack of planning capacity because even the largest roads are not mapped out.
by Tamara Braunstein
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 — With the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season underway, the American Red Cross is supporting several national Red Cross societies in the Caribbean to bolster disaster preparedness.
L’augmentation des flambées de rougeole montre la nécessité de renforcer les investissements et la volonté politique pour atteindre les objectifs mondiaux
24 avril 2012, ATLANTA, GENÈVE, NEW YORK, WASHINGTON DC – Aujourd’hui, les partenaires qui dirigent les efforts de lutte contre la rougeole annoncent une nouvelle stratégie mondiale visant à ramener à zéro la mortalité par rougeole et par syndrome de rubéole congénitale.
Joint News Release American Red Cross/CDC/UN Foundation/UNICEF/WHO
Global partners launch new plan to control and eliminate measles and rubella
Increasing measles outbreaks prove need to bolster investment and political commitment to reach global goals
24 April 2012 | ATLANTA | GENEVA | NEW YORK | WASHINGTON, D.C ― Today, the partners leading efforts to control measles announce a new global strategy aimed at reducing measles deaths and congenital rubella syndrome to zero.
Measles – Rubella campaigns will reduce child mortality, birth defects
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 17 November 2011 - Today the Measles Initiative applauds the GAVI Alliance board decision to fund rubella campaigns in the countries with the greatest need. The decision will result in the introduction of a combined Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccine in many more countries. This will save lives, protect hundreds of thousands of children against birth defects and help to eliminate measles and rubella from the world.
Community learns pre-disaster training can be the difference between life and death
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 — The American Red Cross is working with partner Red Cross societies in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to implement community disaster response training and, as one small community in St Lucia discovered, pre-disaster training can be the difference between life and death.
WASHINGTON D.C., 4 August 2011 – The Measles Initiative today announced it has helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries since 2001, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles.
Although disasters wreak havoc, the rebuilding efforts that follow represent a significant and important opportunity to restore communities in a more environmentally and socially sustainable way. Humanitarians, conservation practitioners, government officials, local communities, and donor organizations can take steps to ensure reconstructed communities are built back safer through actively addressing environmental sustainability, reducing risk and vulnerability to future disasters, and adapting to the realities of our changing climate.
by Alice Willard, PhD
Understanding and learning occur when evaluation processes and findings are effectively communicated and reported. Active involvement of evaluation stakeholders in all phases of an evaluation ensures ownership and use.
ATLANTA/GENEVA/NEW YORK/WASHINGTON - Measles deaths in Africa fell by 91% between 2000 and 2006, from an estimated 396 000 to 36 000, reaching the United Nations 2010 goal to cut measles deaths by 90% four years early.
The media is focusing a lot of attention
on the increase in Pacific Ocean temperatures in what is called the "El
Niño" (pronounced "ell-neenyo"). This ocean surface
temperature effect was named originally by Peruvian fishermen after the
Christ Child because the El Niño effect often is most noticeable around