Red Cross

Red Cross calls for urgent help for PNG after record COVID surge

Concerted international action is necessary to help Papua New Guinea (PNG) deal with a record surge in COVID-19 cases that is overwhelming the country’s health system, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said.

The latest wave of COVID-19 has seen PNG report the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The country reported 376 new cases on Saturday and is dealing with nearly 3,000 active cases of the disease, according to the latest government data.

Vanuatu Red Cross maps out 2017-2020 Strategic Plan

The organization used the Vanuatu National Provident Fund boardroom to review its strategy.

According to VRCS, this is essential because it will increase focus, help VRCS be proactive and attract opportunity, help guide operations decision making, budgets, priorities and overall, better help achieve its mission within the country.

The 3-day review focused on the set aims of the VRCS, the output of the aims and the challenges faced from 2017-2020.

Red Cross relief supplies bound for Vanuatu islands

At the weekend the NGO received 3 containers of supplies from New Zealand and Australian chapters of the Red Cross.

The Secretary-General of Vanuatu Red Cross, Jacqueline De Gaillande said it's the first significant relief to come in after last month's category 5 cyclone disaster.

She said the containers are under quarantine at the Port Vila wharf, after some delays in getting into the country because of border restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic.

"We had to wait for the stop of the bans to travel around the islands. And this is happening on the 10th (May)."

Red Cross releases extra funds to Vanuatu

The cyclone, which also caused damages in Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands, struck Vanuatu earlier this month as a powerful category five storm, the highest possible on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

At the time of TC Harold's arrival, the country, which is one of the most disaster-prone in the world, was already dealing with immense humanitarian challenges, including Covid-19 preparedness as well as ongoing volcanic eruptions in Tafea province and localised flooding.

Afghan conflict: Red Cross forced to scale down

Two ICRC offices will close and a third will see operations scaled down.

The ICRC country head said the "painful decision" meant people in the north would no longer get help they needed.

She stressed the Red Cross would not leave Afghanistan, but said the organisation had to limit the risks faced by its staff.

Many other humanitarian organisations have pulled out of Afghanistan in recent years as Taliban and so-called Islamic State militants have stepped up attacks.

Suspected chemical attack in Mosul, Red Cross says

The patients, who are being treated in hospital in nearby Irbil, are "showing clinical symptoms consistent with an exposure to a blistering chemical agent," said Robert Mardini, the organization's regional director for the Middle East.

The five children, three women and four men have symptoms that include blisters, coughing, redness in the eyes, irritation, and vomiting.

Louisiana flood: Worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy

"Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now," said Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross' vice president of disaster services operations and logistics.

Red Cross responds to Cyclone Winston in Fiji

Melanie Ogle, a New Zealander with Red Cross in Suva says Fiji Red Cross is a strong organisation and is already responding to the damage caused by Cyclone Winston. 

“Over 300 Fiji Red Cross staff and volunteers of have so far been mobilised to support at-risk communities and people in evacuation centres. Volunteers are trained in emergency response and propositioned relief aid was on hand.”

Red Cross has enough emergency relief stock prepositioned across Fiji to support 12,500 people.

Vast destruction feared as Winston makes landfall on Viti Levu

The country had spent much of Saturday in lockdown, with transport cancelled and nationwide curfew and state of emergency declared by the government.

Already there are initial reports of severe damage across the country, with reports of houses being flattened and heavy swells washing away sea walls.

Unconfirmed reports suggest one person died when they were struck by falling debris on Koro island, according to local media, but a police spokesperson was unable to confirm reports.