Earlier this week, the Canadian Red Cross was shocked and devastated to learn that six staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were killed in Afghanistan while trying to deliver much-needed livestock materials; two other staff members are still missing.

The daily challenges of delivering humanitarian aid in Afghanistan are plentiful - from access to remote, mountainous, disaster-prone parts of the country; to limited resources and conflicts. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is uniquely positioned to reach the most vulnerable people, who might not otherwise receive assistance after a disaster. 

The Canadian Red Cross is working with the Afghan Red Crescent Society to increase its ability to support Afghans affected by natural and man-made disasters. The three-pronged approach includes enhancing the ability of the Afghan Red Crescent Society to respond to disasters by refining systems, knowledge and skills; managing services for health; and improving organizational capacity.  

Afghan Red Crescent Society staff and volunteers.
Afghan Red Crescent Society staff and volunteers taking any means necessary, in this case – a boat, to access a remote village in the Bamyan province that was affected by flooding.
Red Cross relief supplies being loaded into a helicopter
Disaster Response Unit team members carrying supplies to be loaded onto a helicopter to be distributed to people affected by avalanches.
Disaster Response team members push vehicle through snow.
Red Cross Disaster Response Unit team members push a vehicle through avalanche affected areas in Panjsher province.
Red Cross midwife gives out dignity kit to an Afghan woman.
A Red Cross Mobile Health Team midwife distributing a dignity kit, which includes female hygiene products, to one of the women staying in the Internally displaced person (IDP) camp.
Red Cross doctor provides health services in internally displaces persons camp.
A Mobile Health Team doctor delivering health services to the people staying in the IDP camp.
Disaster Response Team member conducting assessment.
A Disaster Response Unit team member conducting an assessment of a village affected by flooding in Balkh province.
Afghan Red Crescent workers go through disaster simulation.
Afghan Red Crescent staff and volunteers work through a disaster response simulation exercise during the Disaster Response Unit integrated training in Mazar-e Sharif.
Red Cross pharmacist distributing medicine at a displaced persons camp.
A pharmacist with the Mobile Health Team distributing medicine to occupants of an Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camp in the Baharak district of Badakhshan province.

Photos: Afghan Red Crescent Society

The Canadian Red Cross will continue to work closely with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, empowering them to provide effective and efficient emergency humanitarian aid throughout the nation.

Learn more about our collaborative work with the Afghan Red Crescent Society, thanks to funding provided by the Government of Canada.