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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 03/27/2022 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ukraine and Impacted Countries Crisis Response 

    Read the IFRC Staff Report on response as of March 23, 2022. It covers such items as:

    Coordinated Movement-wide HD messaging

      • Neutral and impartial, independent humanitarian action 
      • IHL and use of emblem 
      • Differential treatment of refugees and other migrants 
      • Protection concerns 
    • Leveraging expertise across the Movement 
      • Bringing together IFRC HD expertise in Budapest, Brussels, Geneva, New York
      • Additional expertise from ICRC and National Societies across the network 
      • Establishment of global HD network & regular dialogue (IFRC, ICRC and NS)
      • Engagement with external coordination mechanisms (IASC, HCTs, NGO Forum, EU dialogues, UN meetings in NY, etc.

    Read the full brief Here

  • 03/18/2022 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    As fighting in Ukraine continues, the Red Cross is providing lifesaving aid to those in need — both in the country and in neighboring areas. More than three million people have fled Ukraine to nearby countries and an estimated 18 million — a third of the country’s population — will need humanitarian assistance. As the fighting intensifies, so does the dire humanitarian situation and needs on the ground.

    “Many of the people affected were already vulnerable before the conflict and now face an even harsher situation as they are losing their homes and their livelihoods, being forced to seek shelter wherever they can or fleeing their country in search of safety. They urgently need food, water and shelter, but also emergency medical care, protective measures and psychosocial support to avert an even greater humanitarian catastrophe,” said Birgitte Bischoff Ebbesen, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Regional Director for Europe.

    In Ukraine: Aid Amidst the Violence

    Over the past eight years, teams have been on the ground delivering assistance to at-risk families including providing food, fuel for heating, medical supplies and support for housing.
    Under mortal danger to themselves, Red Cross teams are still working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by conflict. Significant infrastructure damage has left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity or water, while damaged roads have disrupted supply chains, leaving communities cut off from food and basic supplies.

    Around the clock, teams are providing emergency aid amid fear and uncertainty. Since the conflict intensified on February 24, Red Cross teams have:

    ·         Distributed more than 90,000 food and hygiene parcels to families on the move across Ukraine, including to Mariupol.

    ·         Supported the evacuation of over 57,000 people from the towns of Energodar and Sumy and the Kviy, Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

    ·         Provided first aid training to more than 42,000 people across the country.

    ·         Delivered more than 400 tons of food, blankets, medicine, medical supplies, trauma kits and household items.

    ·         Assisted with the evacuation of people with disabilities.

    ·         Supported logistics pipelines into Ukraine to ensure critical items can be delivered.

    In the coming weeks, Red Cross volunteers will increase their work reuniting separated families, providing food and other household items, and increasing awareness about areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance. The current needs are tremendous, critical among them include water delivery, support to health facilities and medical care for families wounded.

    Read more and see photos at redcross.org

  • 03/11/2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Wreaths Across America Radio's  roundtable discussions for 2022 focus on Veteran Healing through shared stories of resilience, purpose, and success. This first of five discussions will air on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 7 PM EDT and can be heard exclusively on Wreaths Across America Radio.

    The March RoundTable will focus on Military Caregivers with a special emphasis on Vietnam-era Veterans as we approach National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29.

    Guest panelists include:

    Melissa Comeau, Director of the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network - Melissa is a Marine Corps spouse, director of the American Red Cross’ Military and Veteran Caregiver Network, and a writer. She is known for her book “Sleeping with the War,” published in 2015 by the War Writers’ Campaign. The book offers a family and caregiver perspective on life after combat.

    Molly Brooks, CEO, and Founder of Hero’s Bridge - Molly is a registered nurse with over 23 years of experience with specialty certifications in gerontology and hospice and palliative care. Throughout her professional and personal life, she has dedicated herself to caring for others, especially aging veterans.

    Guest panelists will be interviewed by Wreaths Across America’s Executive Director Karen Worcester and Director of Military & Veteran Outreach, former United States Army Captain Joe Regan. 

    The goal of the roundtable series is to help reduce barriers for veterans by:

    • Supporting generational bonds between service veterans through stories of service and success;
    • Destigmatizing issues faced by veterans and asking for help;
    • Combating inaccurate perceptions of veterans by discussing the diverse experiences, challenges, and success of service members, veterans, and their families; and
    • Connecting veterans with valuable resources.

    Submit questions in advance of this discussion via the Facebook page and directly at waaradio@wreathsacrossamerica.org.

    You can listen live at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/radio and via the iHeart Radio app, or download it at the App Store or on Google!


  • 03/09/2022 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    International Red Cross teams are on the ground in Ukraine delivering urgent assistance. For the past eight years, international Red Cross teams have provided food, fuel for heating, medical supplies and support for housing to those living close to or on the line of contact (the eastern border of Ukraine with Russia). As conflict spreads, Red Cross teams are increasing their support across the country and providing first aid and medical supplies to those in need in the region.

    Over the past week in Ukraine, Red Cross teams have:

    • Distributed more than 90,000 food and hygiene parcels on the move across Ukraine, including Maripol.
    • Provided first aid training to more than 12,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters.
    • Delivered more than 32 tons of food, blankets, medicine, medical supplies, trauma kits and household items.
    • Assisted with the evacuation of people with disabilities.
    • Distributed critical care items to over 7,000 people seeking safety from shelling in bomb shelters.

    In the coming weeks, Red Cross volunteers will increase their work reuniting separated families, providing and other household items, and increasing awareness about areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance.  The current needs are tremendous, critical among them include water delivery, support to health facilities and medical care for families wounded.

    In Neighboring Countries:  Help to those fleeing their Homes

    People impacted by the conflict are heartbroken, as they are forced to flee from their homes.  Red Cross and Red Crescent teams in the region are rolling up their sleeves to assist with the dire humanitarian crisis as it unfolds. In Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Lithuania and Russia, Red Cross volunteers are supporting displaced people.

    Teams are:

    • Distributing food, water, clothing, bedding, hygiene sets, blankets and even handing our SIM cards so families can stay connected amid the turmoil.
    • Supplying baby products and services for children.
    • Pitching tents and preparing shelters for refugees who need a comforting place to sleep and feel safe.
    • Providing much-needed mental health and emotional support.


  • 03/07/2022 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    Geneva, 1 March 2022 - With the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and neighbouring countries deteriorating rapidly, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) fear that millions of people face extreme hardship and suffering without improved access and a rapid increase in humanitarian assistance. To respond to this sudden, massive need, the two organizations together are appealing for 250 million Swiss francs ($272 million).

    The ICRC is appealing for 150 million Swiss francs ($163 million) for its 2022 operations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

    ICRC Director General Robert Mardini said:

    “The escalating conflict in Ukraine is taking a devastating toll. Casualty figures keep rising while health facilities struggle to cope. We already see long-term disruptions in regular water and electricity supplies. People calling our hotline in Ukraine are desperately in need of food and shelter. To respond to this massive emergency, our teams must be able to operate safely to access those in need.

    In the coming weeks, the ICRC will increase its work reuniting separated families, providing food and other household items to the internally displaced, increasing awareness about areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance, and carrying out its work to ensure that dead bodies are treated with dignity and that family members of the deceased can grieve and find closure. Water trucking and other emergency water delivery is now needed. Support to health facilities will be increased, with a focus on providing supplies and equipment to care for people wounded by weapons.

    The IFRC is appealing for 100 million Swiss francs ($109 million) to support National Red Cross Societies to assist an initial two million people in need due to intensified hostilities in Ukraine

    Among these groups, a special focus will be on vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, elderly, and people with disabilities. Investment will be significantly increased in capacity building of Red Cross teams in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to bolster locally led humanitarian action. They have already mobilized thousands of volunteers and staff and are providing life-saving assistance such as shelter, basic aid items, medical supplies, mental health and psychosocial support and multi-purpose cash assistance to as many people as possible.

    IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said:

    "In the middle of so much suffering, it is heart-warming to see the level of global solidarity. The needs of the people affected by the conflict are increasing by the hour. The situation is very desperate for many. A rapid response is needed to save lives. Our member National Societies are uniquely positioned to respond, and, in some contexts, they are the only actor that can deliver humanitarian assistance at scale, but they need support to make it happen. I call for global solidarity to ramp up the assistance to people suffering because of this conflict.”

    Read more here https://www.ifrc.org/

  • 03/07/2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Kyiv (ICRC) – "As the conflict evolves and escalates, the anguish and fear people have endured for the past three days deepen.

    We are extremely concerned that the conflict is affecting very densely populated areas, including the capital Kyiv and other major cities. As we have seen time and time again in our work all over the world, when neighborhoods become the frontline, the consequences for people – including children, the sick, the elderly - are simply devastating.

    We are calling urgently on parties to the conflict not to forget their obligations under international humanitarian law. They must ensure the protection of the civilian population and those no longer taking part in the fighting, such as detainees or the wounded and sick. International humanitarian law is clear: all parties to the conflict have a legal obligation to ensure that military operations are planned and conducted in a way as to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian objects. They must take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited, and ICRC therefore strongly urges the parties to avoid the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area in populated areas and to avoid locating military objectives within or near such areas.

    Considering mounting tensions and more arms in the streets, it will also be vital to keep taking steps to ensure law and order is maintained so the civilian population is not placed at further risk.

    Any disruption to essential services like water, power, health facilities, can cause huge ripple effects. We have seen too many times in conflicts that the use of explosive weapons that have wide area effects can cause death, damage and destruction on a dramatic scale.

    They leave deadly reminders of their destructive capacity, with unexploded ordnance that do not explode on impact often remaining buried in the ground or amid the rubble, endangering people long after the fighting ends.

    After a grueling eight years of conflict, the last thing people need is more violence, death, destruction and despair. We call for all states to do everything in their power and influence to avoid escalating a conflict whose cost and consequences for civilian populations outpaces the capacity to protect and assist them."

    ICRC
    Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. A neutral, independent and impartial organization, its mandate stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. it is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and works in more than 100 countries.

    The ICRC has been working in Ukraine since 2014. Our operations in the country are among the ten largest ICRC operations worldwide with a team of over 600 staff members. Working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, we are increasing our response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine. Our support to people includes emergency assistance such as food, water, and other essential items. We also support hospitals and primary healthcare facilities with medical equipment and emergency preparedness. We repair water stations and support households to rehabilitate their damaged homes. We also help families separated by the conflict reconnect.

    Read more here https://www.icrc.org/en/document/ukraine-amid-mounting-human-cost-parties-must-uphold-international-humanitarian-law-0

  • 02/27/2022 8:34 PM | Anonymous

    February 25, 2022

    As the fighting intensifies in Ukraine and conflict roils the region, the Red Cross remains committed to assisting those in need. The American Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Ukrainian Red Cross and others are chipping in to help families impacted by the conflict.

    Over the past eight years, the hostilities in Ukraine have regularly left towns, villages and rural communities on either side of the line of contact without essential water, gas or power for days or weeks on end. As fighting intensifies, the delivery of key essential services remains a concern. 

    Q: Is the Red Cross in Ukraine?
    A: The American Red Cross does not have team members in Ukraine. Instead, international Red Cross teams are on the ground in Ukraine delivering urgent assistance — food, fuel for heating, medical supplies and support for housing — to those living close to or on the line of contact (the eastern border of Ukraine with Russia). These team members are from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Ukrainian Red Cross.  

    Q: How are the international Red Cross teams helping those in need?
    A: The combination of cold temperatures, COVID-19 and chronic uncertainty make basic needs in Ukraine a challenge. And for hundreds of thousands of people living in this area, their key needs continue to be water, gas and electricity. So far, the ICRC has helped over 35,000  people to heat their homes and over 37,000 people have received food and hygiene items. The Red Cross has provided water to over 870,000 people.  

    Q: How is the American Red Cross helping? 
    A: Recently, U.S. military troops deployed to neighboring countries in Europe. In line with our Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) mission, the American Red Cross is deploying specially trained SAF staff to support service members’ emergency communication needs. To be clear, American Red Cross staff are not in Ukraine; they are deployed instead to nearby countries.

    Q: Is the American Red Cross doing anything else?
    A: Red Crossers are also distributing comfort kits, containing hygiene items and other necessities, to service members and U.S. State Department staff. Red Crossers in this role remain at the ready to assist U.S. service members as the needs in Ukraine may evolve.  

    Q: How many American Red Crossers are being deployed?
    A: A total of 30 SAF staff will deploy in support of this endeavor. These trained staff members are coming from all over the U.S. and from bases abroad.

    Q: Is the Red Cross sending blood products internationally to the Ukraine to help those impacted by the conflict there? 
    A: At this time, the American Red Cross is not shipping blood products to Ukraine. The American Red Cross does not ship blood products outside the U.S. without a specific request from the U. S. State Department for U.S. citizens overseas, from the United Nations, or unless we have request from the affected Red Cross or Red Crescent society abroad. Learn more about the Red Cross response to the devastating situation in the Ukraine.

    Q: Can I donate blood <platelets or plasma> to help those impacted by the conflict in the Ukraine?
    A: No - The American Red Cross does not ship blood products outside the U.S. without a specific request from the U. S. State Department for U.S. citizens overseas, from the United Nations, or unless we have request from the affected Red Cross or Red Crescent society abroad. Learn more about the Red Cross response to the devastating situation in Ukraine.

    Q: How can I help provide humanitarian relief in response to the Ukraine crisis? 
    A: For those interested in helping provide humanitarian relief in response to the Ukraine crisis, we ask that they write “Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis” in the memo line of a check and mail it to their local Red Cross chapter with the completed donation form at redcross.org/donate.

    Q: How can I find out more information?
    A: For the latest updates, please visit Ukraine: How the Red Cross is Helping.


  • 02/11/2022 5:17 PM | Anonymous

    IFRC ALUMNI was launched at the end of 2019, linked to the 100th anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to re-establishing friendships with former colleagues. 

    IFRC ALUMNI membership is free, reflecting the vast history of volunteerism in the Movement. Membership is open to all those who have worked with the Federation: IFRC Staff, and Delegates on Federation or National Society contracts and national ("local") staff who have worked with Delegations worldwide.  Currently, there are alumni from 81 different countries and includes the last five available Secretary Generals.

    Each week, Alumni members receive articles relating to the work of IFRC and humanitarianism e.g.,Important IFRC Information, Key Movement News; Areas of IFRC History; Interviews with Key Humanitarians, Special Contributions from Alumni, Humanitarian Book Reviews, Academic Research Requests; IFRC Consultancies; and Volunteer Requests.

    For free membership, please enter IFRC ALUMNI in the web or go to the website for further details and an Application Form:     https://www.ifrc.org/alumni-association


  • 02/11/2022 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    Blood transfusion would not be possible without the contributions of Dr. Charles R. Drew, an African American surgeon who became the medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank in 1941. Drew’s research about the storage and shipment of blood plasma proved that blood could be stored for transfusions.

    And, if you've ever been to a blood drive in your community, you've seen another of Dr. Drew's innovations at work. He is well known for the introduction of bloodmobiles, which were trucks containing refrigerators to store blood that improved reach and accessibility to potential donors in the community.

    During #BlackHistoryMonth, learn more about the impact of Dr. Drew and other Black Americans on the Red Cross at rcblood.org/3swAu8P

    The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Your donation is desperately needed. Please schedule a donation appointment today.  https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive


  • 02/03/2022 4:41 PM | Anonymous

    February is National Heart Month and the perfect time to take an American Red Cross course to learn what to do if someone is having a heart attack, how to perform CPR, use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and help save lives.

    • TAKE A CLASS - Online, in-person and blended courses are available. If you are taking a course to fulfill a job requirement, check with your employer so you know exactly which course you need.
    • DOWNLOAD the free Red Cross First Aid app - Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies, including how to perform CPR and use an AED. Those with Alexa-enabled devices can also activate the Red Cross First Aid skill.
    • STOCK UP - Be prepared for emergencies at home, at work and on the go. First aid kits, emergency preparedness kits and supplies are available through the Red Cross online store.
    • KEEP UP TO DATE - Connect with American Red Cross Training Services Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
    • NOMINATE A HERO - If you know someone who has helped save or sustain a life, you can nominate them for a national lifesaving award.

    Learn more at the American Red Cross

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