The Finnish Red Cross is donating EUR 100,000 from its Disaster Relief Fund for humanitarian aid in Ethiopia. In addition to the acts of inter-communal violence that escalated in June, the people of Ethiopia suffer from malnutrition and lack of clean water in Kochere and in the Gedeo Zone.
The violence in West Guji and the Gedeo Zone in the southern parts of Ethiopia, which escalated in June, have displaced more than 820,000 people to date.
The Finnish Red Cross continues to close down reception units. The reception centres of Kitee and Kotka will be closed at the end of June, in accordance with the plans of the Finnish Immigration Service. Starting from July 2018, 21 reception units for adults and families and three units for children maintained by the Red Cross will remain. These have a total of 3,500 residents.
Today, once again, on World Refugee Day, the UN refugee agency UNHCR reports the number of people trying to reach the shores of Europe and those drowned at sea during the journey. Images of drowned refugees catch the interest of people every once in a while, but the fate of these people is ignored more often than not.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement operates worldwide to help people who have had to flee their home country. The Red Cross is there to receive, protect and help people suffering from both natural disasters and conflicts alike.
The Finnish Red Cross is sending two mobile clinics and two aid workers to assist the Kenya Red Cross Society as the flood situation escalates. A large part of Kenya has suffered from exceptionally heavy rains and floods on the Tana River.
The aim of the mobile clinics provided by the Finnish Red Cross is to improve the availability of health services in Madogo – one of the most severely affected areas in the country.
In Syria, millions of people are in need of help due to the violence that has continued for nearly seven years. The International Red Cross is appealing to all the parties in this conflict to protect civilians.
The situation in Eastern Ghouta has escalated into catastrophic proportions in the bombings of the past few days. The number of people injured and killed is growing, and the civilians in the besieged areas cannot escape the bombings or receive the treatment they need.
Large-scale power outages in the beginning of January demonstrated the strength of the Red Cross volunteers’ aid in Kainuu. The situation was worst in Suomussalmi and Hyrynsalmi.
Juha Hankkila from Hyrynsalmi has been volunteering with the Red Cross for two years. When a power grid failure caused problems in the local community, volunteers were ready to act.
Ali Ihsan became a Finnish Red Cross volunteer when he was still living at the reception centre. Helping has become an important part of his life.
When Ali Ihsan came to Finland as an asylum seeker, he was impressed by the Finnish Red Cross volunteers he saw working at the reception centre.
– These people, with their work and families, came there to help us without pay. It was amazing, describes Ihsan, 29.
A severe, 7.3 magnitude earthquake has caused widespread devastation in the border regions of Iran and Iraq.
Following the earthquake on Sunday evening, volunteers from the Red Crescent societies of both Iran and Iraq have been providing assistance in searching for victims and conducting rescue operations.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located south of the city of Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan. The earthquake caused the most damage in Iran, where, according to the Iranian Red Crescent, at least 328 people were killed and another 3,950 were injured.
The autumn of 2015 was a challenging time for the Red Cross workers and volunteers. Emergency accommodations for asylum seekers had to be established at a few hours’ notice, and there could be as many as three reception units set up in one day. How does the Finnish Red Cross assess the past two years?
The first Finnish Red Cross aid workers will be flying to Bangladesh tomorrow at the earliest. The Disaster Relief Fund has granted 500,000 euros to managing the refugee crisis.
The refugees’ situation in the Cox’s Bazar area in Bangladesh is very serious. Since the end of August, more than 420,000 refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, mostly women and children.
They are in desperate need of food, clean water, shelter, basic supplies and health services.
A total of 11,581 Finns and 41 organisations are petitioning the Finnish Government to raise its refugee quota. The petition was submitted to Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko on Wednesday, 16 August.
“I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition for their support. This support is needed not only here, but especially in refugee camps, where the need for aid is now greater than ever before,” said Minister of the Interior Risikko.
More than 58 000 people suffering from the drought received food thanks to cooperation between the Finnish Red Cross and the Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross, financed by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid.
The window blinds have been lowered. No one needs to know whether someone is home in the flat. The two-room flat in Pori houses a varying number of men whose application for asylum was rejected.
One of them is Ali*, a 29-year-old telecommunications engineer from Baghdad.
“When you don’t have the necessary documents in Finland, you don’t have a future. I haven’t come up with a good solution for my situation. There are only bad options available to me.”
The Red Cross is supporting two hospitals by sending three nurses and medical supplies from Finland to Iraq. The hospitals are being used to treat people wounded in the fighting in Mosul.
"The local hospitals in Mosul can no longer provide effective treatment to all the people who have been wounded in the battles. Care capacity is at its peak, and triage and patient transport are lagging behind. Hospitals are also suffering from a lack of basic supplies and medication", says Head of International Disaster Aid Andreas von Weissenberg.
Southern Africa experienced an unprecedented El Niño phenomenon affecting the region with two consecutive years of drought and erratic rains. The year 2015 was the hottest and driest year on record (in over a century) for South Africa and 2016 is set top this record. With numerous member countries affected by drought1 , SADC announced a regional state of emergency, requesting US $2.4 billion to address the effects of the crisis.
CONTEXTE NATIONAL ET POLITIQUE
More than half the patients at Red Cross clinic are children.
Mothers with small children wait to see midwife Arja Savolainen. They remain calm and patient, even though they and their families are struggling in the face of almost impossible odds.
– I cannot imagine anything worse than being a refugee when you are pregnant or have a newborn or a very small child, says Savolainen.
– To have no home, no support from family or community, and not know what the future holds. Many of these women have been separated from their husband, their sisters, their mother.
By Sanna Ra, Finnish Red Cross
Baatar Dambasuren, 51, chops firewood in front of his Ger. It’s warm and cosy inside the traditional nomadic dwelling as he throws more chipped wood into a stove. This winter his family has been using more fuel in the stove than usual.
“It’s been so cold. Temperatures have dropped to -50 Celsius at night and stayed at -40 during the day,” said Mr. Dambasuren . Spring hasn’t brought much relief and he worries about his animals. A few of them have already died of starvation and he cannot afford to lose more.
By Sanna Ra, Finnish Red Cross
A pile of sheep, dead and frozen. Cold grassland wind moves their wool. A skinned goat, so starved it’s all bones. Herder Bayankhand Myagmar, 50, drags her dead animals out of sight with a heavy heart.
“If they die further away in the field, it’s better because then I don’t witness them dying. If they get weak and die in front of my eyes, it’s very, very hard,” she sobs.