The Red Cross Round-Up

 The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

A resident of Bangladesh standing in front of the wood logs bought by Red crescent cash grant to repair her house. A resident of Bangladesh stands in front of the wood logs bought by Red Crescent cash grant to repair her house.

Bangladesh: After the storm that occurred this past October, the Red Cross continues to work to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Since the storm approached so fast, people in the affected area had little time to prepare. Homes were swept away, boats and fishing nets destroyed, acres of farmland damaged and livelihoods lost. Volunteers and staff from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society provided emergency relief to almost 25,000 people of the affected islands including food, drinking water, and emergency shelter. Families also received small cash grants to meet other immediate needs. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate risks, tropical cyclones and storm surges, affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. It is also one of the poorest and most densely-populated countries on the Asian continent. This means  that while many people have been able to return to their damaged houses to begin rebuilding their lives, they remain vulnerable.

Uganda: When the first case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a highly infectious and contagious virus, was confirmed in Uganda,  the Uganda Red Cross Society swung into action with a campaign to inform people on how best to prevent, or limit, the spread of the disease. Red Cross volunteers visited homes throughout the area putting up posters, handing out brochures and giving practical advice on what to do should a member of the household have a suspected infection. Also in 2012, Uganda encountered two outbreaks of Cholera and one outbreak of Marburg.  Similar to the Ebola outbreaks, the Uganda Red Cross provided essential health and hygiene information to nearly 7 million people in all affected areas of the country to help stop the diseases from spreading. These epidemic outbreaks in Uganda are proof of the increasing trend of smaller, recurring ‘silent’ disasters and health emergencies around the world today.

 To learn more, visit the IFRC to see how the Federation, Red Cross societies in Europe, and the  European Commission’s Humanitarian Assistance and Civil Protection(ECHO) have joined together to support international silent disasters.

Glossary:

IFRC= International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

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