Red Cross celebrates 150 years

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Sunday 17 February is the official 150th anniversary of the founding of what was to become the ICRC: “On 17 February 1863, a group of citizens of Geneva founded an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross“, the organization says […]

Refugee aid group says second Syria convoy a success

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN’s refugee organization, UNHCR, says a second humanitarian aid convoy has reached northwest Syria, “where thousands of internally displaced people are in acute need of humanitarian help. The operation was carried out in collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the local community,” the Geneva group said at a press […]

Myanmar gets Swiss aid boost

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss federal government will be increasing financial aid to Myanmar/Burma, it said Saturday. Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said at the opening of the new Swiss embassy in Yangon that Switzerland will “increase its development cooperation and humanitarian aid with Myanmar substantially over the next years: from 11 million dollars in 2012 […]

Deadly attacks continue in Syria as UN refugee estimates soar

UNHCR-led group of 52 UN agencies revises funding needs: new appeal for $487.9 million GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The numbers continue to shock: 107 residents of Al Thiabieh died in four days of fighting in the suburb of Damascus, reports CNN. More than 300 and perhaps 400 people died a month ago in Darayya, near Damascas, […]

Switzerland sends half million francs in aid to Iran earthquake victims

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has sent two logistics experts with 40 tons of emergency supplies to northwestern Iran, scene of a series of earthquakes earlier in August. A four-person Rapid Response Team has been on the site since 16 August. The new supplies sent to Tabriz include 200 tents, 200 tent insulation accessories, 200 heaters […]

Geneva meeting pushes to get humanitarian aid to Syrians

Tunis conference on Syria goes ahead without China, Russia Deaths Thursday include 13 members of one family GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Syria’s neighbours, other key countries and international organizations met in Geneva Thursday 23 February at the invitation of Switzerland to resolve a number of issues related to the tough task of getting humanitarian aid into […]

Swiss send four humanitarian aid experts to Thailand

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Four specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) were dispatched to Thailand by the Swiss government, which is also supplying CHF100,000 to help Thailand and Cambodia organize their flood aid efforts. The team of four experts is made up of a water specialist, microbiologist, and two experts on flood containment and […]

Red Cross starts to feed Somalis, with Al-Shabaab’s agreement

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The ICRC (International Red Cross) said Wednesday 5 October that it has started to distribute food to help 1.1 million Somalis living in the areas hardest hit by war, in southern and central Somalia. Enough beans, rice and oil to survive for one month are already being given to 72,000 people in […]

Geneva groups call for donor “stamina” as Libya migrants funding dries up

Situation becoming desperate as funds to evacuate dry up, human smugglers find victims Some 84,000 migrants evacuated from Libya have been sent home, but another 75,000 will need help Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The International Organization for Migration, at its weekly Friday briefing in Geneva, has asked for “donor stamina” in the face of fresh […]

Japan’s tsunami images hint at scope of disaster (update 3)

Update 15:15  Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The International Federations of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has given indications of how its societies in the tsunami-affected areas, mainly Japan but also Indonesia and the Philippines are responding to the emergency. The 8.8 earthquake (some reports say 8.9), it notes, struck at 14:46 local time […]