ICRC Media Brief – September 2011
ICRC Media Brief – September
Somalia: The ICRC continues to respond to the appalling humanitarian situation in Somalia. In the southern part of the country, the numbers of malnourished children and mothers have been rising rapidly. The Somali Red Crescent Society, with ICRC support, has just launched four new outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes in clinics in the conflict- and drought-affected regions of Gedo and Bakool. For more information, have a look at http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-release/2011/somalia-news-2011-08-24.htm. The ICRC website on Somalia continues to be regularly updated.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Libya: The armed conflict continues to take a heavy toll on civilians. The ICRC is addressing the most pressing humanitarian needs, stepping up its assistance for the wounded in Tripoli, redoubling efforts to obtain access to hundreds of detainees and taking steps to ease water shortages. Check the latest update on the Libya web page (http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/africa/libya/index.jsp) to read more about the humanitarian situation and the ICRC's response. Video footage is available on http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-footage/libya-tvnews-2011-09-02.htm: "Armed conflict hinders urgent health care".
Syria: People in Syria are still suffering the effects of the ongoing violence. The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are focusing their efforts on providing food and health care for those who need them most. More information about the activities of the ICRC and the visit of the organization's president to the country from 3 to 6 September are available on our website.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Afghanistan: In an interview that will soon be available on our website, a member of the ICRC staff in Kabul reviews the challenges and developments in the organization's detainee-welfare activities in Afghanistan over the past 10 years, and challenges for the future.
A feature story focuses on the ICRC's efforts to rehabilitate mentally ill detainees. It describes the simple but effective methods developed by ICRC doctor Eva Gerber-Glur. The aim is as much to give the men back their dignity and self-respect as to improve their health.
India: In violence-stricken eastern Maharashtra, the ICRC and the Indian Red Cross Society are striving to help improve people’s livelihoods and health care, particularly in Gadchiroli district, where Naxalite Maoist rebels are active and there is a heavy presence of government security forces. A feature will be available shortly our website.
Brazil: Urban violence can be just as horrific as armed conflict for those affected, although its effects may not be as visible. In some neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, gun battles pitting rival armed factions or gangs against police put residents at risk. People struggle to obtain health care and suffer from stigmatization and psychological stress. By providing training in first aid and also by other means, the ICRC has been endeavouring to ease the suffering and make local communities more resilient to the effects of violence. ICRC head of project Stephan Sakalian explains the ICRC's activities in Rio in a web interview that has just been published in Portuguese and in Spanish (http://www.icrc.org/spa/resources/documents/interview/2011/brazil-interview-2011-09-01.htm). French and English versions will follow soon.
New weapon technologies: The International Institute of Humanitarian Law (http://www.iihl.org/Default.aspx?pageid=page1) and the ICRC are jointly organizing a round table on the topic of “International humanitarian law and new weapon technologies” from 8 to 10 September in San Remo (Italy). The discussions will focus on the impact, from a legal perspective, of the new weapon technologies that characterize modern warfare: drones, robots and military technologies designed for use in outer space, but also cyber technology and other developments that raise important legal questions and humanitarian concerns. A news release will be issued on 7 September. The keynote speech by the ICRC's president will be posted on our website on 9 September. For more information about cyber warfare and international humanitarian law, read our interview with Cordula Droege, an ICRC legal expert, on http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/interview/2011/cyber-warfare-interview-2011-08-16.htm
Women and war: A book of photographs by World Press Award winner Nick Danziger, entitled Onze femmes face à la guerre (Eleven women facing war) is going on sale in France, Quebec, Belgium and Switzerland. The book offers a glimpse into the lives of women affected by armed conflict in Sierra Leone, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Colombia. A news release will be issued on 7 September. For French-speaking readers, more information is available on http://cicrblog.lemonde.fr/category/visa-dor-humanitaire-du-cicr/
Children and detention: In an interview to be posted on our website later this month, an ICRC staff member talks about the risks to the well-being and security of children whose parents are detained, and the protection those children are entitled to. She gives examples of activities the ICRC is carrying out to help them.
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