ICRC media brief January 2013

AFRICA

Central African Republic: The situation remains difficult for thousands of people still displaced in the north of the country. In the capital, Bangui, people are anxious. Read more about the efforts of the ICRC and the Central African Red Cross Society to help people throughout the country affected by the conflict in an operational update to be issued by mid-January. A map is already available: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/map/map-central-african-republic.htm. For further information, please contact Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, at mdesjonqueres@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 60 or +41 79 536 92 58.

Mali: Communities in northern Mali are still struggling to cope with the ongoing crisis. To help displaced people and vulnerable residents, the ICRC is distributing food and other essentials as well as providing support for agricultural production and the vaccination of livestock. More detailed information will be available in an operational update to be published in mid-January and in an overview of the ICRC's activities in 2012, available on our website. For further information, please contact Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, at wsaugeron@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: A new series of film clips and photos will be available soon on www.icrc.org showing the dire consequences of the recent fighting as well as the humanitarian response: lost children being helped back to their homes in Goma, people wounded in the conflict undergoing life-saving surgery, victims of rape and other sexual violence receiving the help they need, displaced people obtaining essential aid. For further information, please contact Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, at mdesjonqueres@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 60 or +41 79 536 92 58 or Didier Revol, ICRC Geneva, at drevol@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 36 81.

Somalia: Since the onset of the conflict in 1987, many people have lost contact with their loved ones. The ICRC is working hard to reunite Somali families all over the world. News footage on the tracing activities of the ICRC in Somalia will be available by the middle of January on www.icrcvideonewsroom.org. The ICRC and national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies work together around the world to locate people and put them back in touch with their relatives. This work involves looking for family members, restoring contact, reuniting families and seeking to clarify what happened to those who remain missing. Looking for a family member? Go to the new website, familylinks.icrc.org. For further information, please contact Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, at jclemenzo@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 22 71 or on +41 79 217 32 17.

Sudan: Sporadic fighting in some parts of Darfur between government forces and various armed opposition groups continues to take its toll on civilians. Even in relatively peaceful areas, people need help regaining self-sufficiency. Updated information about the humanitarian situation and the ICRC's activities in Darfur and elsewhere in the country will be published in the course of the month. For further information, please contact Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, at jclemenzo@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 22 71 or on +41 79 217 32 17.

Libya: An overview of ICRC's activities in 2012 will be published on www.icrc.org. For further information, please contact Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, at wsaugeron@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05.

MIDDLE EAST

Syria: Marianne Gasser, the head of the ICRC delegation in Damascus, returning from a visit to Idlib, in the north of the country, explains in a video interview available on www.icrc.org on 10 January how the conflict is affecting people and how the ICRC, together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, is responding to the most urgent needs. For further information, please contact Marie-Claire Feghali, ICRC Geneva, at mfeghali@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 25 78 or   +41 22 730 34 43.

Jordan/Lebanon: A story of the reunification of a Syrian refugee boy in Lebanon with his family in Al Zaatari camp in Jordan will be published on www.icrc.org at the end of the month.  For further information, please contact Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, at aisyuk@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 22 730 34 43.

Lebanon: Updated information about the humanitarian situation and a feature story on the plight of Syrian refugees and the local communities hosting them will be published on www.icrc.org at the end of the month. For further information, please contact Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, at aisyuk@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 22 730 34 43.

Yemen: Updated information about activities across the country and a new photo collection are coming soon on the Yemen web page on www.icrc.org. For further information, please contact Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, at aisyuk@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 22 730 34 43. A new film, "I Know Where I'm Going", tells the story of Hussein Saleh, an ICRC staff member based in Aden, south Yemen, where thousands of civilians have been displaced in the last year and casualties are reported almost daily. Mr Saleh networks with the government and other parties to ensure that our Yemen delegation can do its humanitarian work. His work bears fruit during the course of the film, when the ICRC is able to visit detainees held by an armed group for the first time. Watch it here: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/film/2012/12-18-yemen-hussein-saleh-film.htm. For further information, please contact Simon Schorno, ICRC Washington, sschorno@icrc.org or on +1 202 587 46 04, or Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, aisyuk@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 22 730 34 43.

Iraq: Updated information about the humanitarian situation and the ICRC's activities in the country, as well as feature stories on visits organized for families and their detained relatives in Chamchamal prison, in the north of the country, will be published on www.icrc.org in the course of the month. For further information, please contact Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, at aisyuk@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 22 730 34 43.

Iran: At a workshop to be held from 15 to 17 January in Tehran, representatives of the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies of Afghanistan, Australia, Britain, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of PERCO will discuss such issues as the main challenges to meeting the needs of migrants and how to strengthen the network of national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. Updated information will be published on the Iran page of our website: http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/middle-east/iran/index.jsp. For further information, please contact Mojgan Mohammad, ICRC Tehran, at mmohammad@icrc.org or on +98 21 22 64 58 21-4 or +98 919 830 11 61.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Philippines: An operational update with facts and figures about the ongoing efforts of the Philippine Red Cross and the ICRC to assist victims of typhoon Bopha (also known as Pablo), with a focus on a field hospital, will be issued in mid-January. A map will be available on www.icrc.org. In addition, AV material and a photo slideshow on the humanitarian response in eastern Mindanao will be released. For further information, please contact Cynthia Lee, ICRC Manila, at clee@icrc.org or on +63 918 9072125 or Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, at pstoll@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49.

LATIN AMERICA

Colombia: In an interview posted on our website, Stéphane Jacquier, outgoing ICRC project leader in Medellin, takes stock of the humanitarian situation and the ICRC’s activities in the city, explaining what is being done there to help reduce urban violence. Read the full interview at http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/interview/12-19-colombia-medellin-project.htm. For further information, please contact Alexis Heeb, ICRC Geneva, at aheeb@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 37 72 or +41 79 218 76 10.

OTHER TOPICS

Chemical weapons: In an interview to be published on www.icrc.org in mid-January, Neil Davison, the ICRC's expert on chemical weapons, talks about the use of toxic chemicals as weapons for law enforcement: why is the ICRC calling on all States to clearly restrict the use of any chemicals as weapons for law enforcement to 'tear gas' only? Why is the ICRC concerned about the interest in using anaesthetic and sedative chemicals as weapons? For further information, please contact Philippe Stoll, ICRC Geneva, at pstoll@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 31 40 or +41 79 536 92 49.

2012: a year in pictures, a collection of photos that illustrates the scope of the ICRC's work in 2012 in a wide variety of contexts: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/photo-gallery/2013/01-07-icrc-a-year-in-pictures.htm. For further information, please contact Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, at dkrimitsas@icrc.org or on +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 22 730 34 43.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE ICRC

ICRC website: www.icrc.org

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For ICRC news footage, contact Jan Powell at jpowell@icrc.org or Didier Revol at drevol@icrc.org

For films and archive footage, contact Marina Meier at mmeier@icrc.org or Florence Zurcher at fzurcher@icrc.org

ICRC photo collection: www.icrc.org/eng/resources/photos/index.jsp

For photos, contact Fania Khan Mohammad at fkhan@icrc.org, Sabine Haberler Kreis at shaberler@icrc.org or Thierry Gassman at tgassmann@icrc.org.

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