Published on 12 September 2017
More than 1.2 million people have so far been exposed to the effects of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It made landfall on several eastern Caribbean islands on 6 September, sweeping through the region and hitting the US state of Florida on Sunday 10 September. “The number of people directly exposed to the storm is growing every day. It is a catastrophe by any measure,” stated Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
A large donation from the EU regional Trust Fund in response to the Syria crisis, the ‘Madad’ Fund, enables the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to assist up to one million Syrian refugees and their host communities in the region over the next three years.
In recent years, European cities have been facing new kinds of risks requiring stakeholders to rethink their strategies on how they respond to multi-site disasters, with their added level of complexity in terms of coordination. A new Red Cross project across five EU countries (France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal) aims to tackle this issue, so as to contribute to strengthening the resilience of people and communities living in large urban areas.
The increasing number of people in need of international protection perishing on their way to safety is a sinister reminder of the limitations of the current international protection regime. Entitlements to the rights recognised by international and regional protection systems, including under the EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS), are accessible only to those who manage to reach the physical borders of the host state.
Plagued by conflict and with very little hope for the future, the people of Catatumbo in Norte de Santander are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Disease prevails due to poor water and hygiene conditions, and unexploded ordnances and land mines pose the constant threat of detonation. With almost no transportation and a general absence of basic health services, the population in Catatumbo face high levels of vulnerability and isolation.