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Haiti: opening of Our World – At War photo exhibition

08-10-2009 No 09/205

Port-au-Prince (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has teamed up with five of the world’s top war photographers to put on the Our World – At War photo exhibition.

  ©James Nachtwey/CICR/VII / ph-e-00198    
Philippines, January 2009. Clashes in the southern Philippines caused the displacement of about 300,000 people. A 79-year-old woman and her grandson near the house they were forced to abandon in August 2008.    
ht-e-00408   ©Ron Haviv/CICR/VII /    
Haiti, January 2009. Roudeline Lamy and her daughter live in a house that is flooded every time it rains. In 2006, during a clash of rival gangs in Cité Soleil, Roudeline was hit by a bullet to the stomach. She was holding her little girl who fell to the ground and is now paralysed from the waist down. 
  ©Ron Haviv/CICR/VII /cd-e-00932    
Democratic Republic of the Congo, January 2009. In an ICRC-supported 'listening house', counsellor Sifa Huhima (right) listens to the story of a woman who was raped.    

The exhibition, which will be held from 9 to 26 October at the Musée d'Art Haïtien in Port-au-Prince, presents the work of five photojournalists from the New York-based VII Agency. The photographs offer a unique and first-hand look at what war and other armed violence do to people’s lives. They also highlight the solidarity of ordinary men and women helping those who are suffering to maintain their dignity and hope.

The photographers went to eight different countries. James Nachtwey journeyed with the ICRC in Afghanistan and in central Mindanao, a conflict-ravaged area of the Philippines. Ron Haviv covered the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti, Chris Morris Liberia, Franco Pagetti Colombia and Antonin Kratochvil Georgia.

 Our World – At War is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Our world. Your move. campaign, aimed at highlighting today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and the power of individuals to make a difference.

As part of the campaign, the ICRC conducted a survey in the eight countries covered by the photographers in order to raise awareness of the suffering of civilians living amid armed conflict and other violence. In Haiti, almost everyone surveyed (98%) declared that they had felt the effects of armed violence, whether or not they had been directly affected. Over half (66%) of those directly affected said they had limited access to such services as water, electricity and health care.

The survey revealed that for 41% of respondents the greatest fear was that they might los e their source of income, while for 37% it was simply that they might have to " live with uncertainty. "

The ICRC has been working in Haiti without interruption since 1994. The organization is supporting four Haitian Red Cross first-aid posts in Cité Soleil and Martissant (Port-au-Prince), enabling them to evacuate the sick and injured to health facilities. In Cité Soleil, the ICRC is enhancing the water system, working with the local water authority and water management committee.

One of the ICRC's major activities in Haiti consists in boosting the capacity of the Haitian National Red Cross Society, particularly in the areas of management, preparing first-aid workers for emergency situations and spreading knowledge of humanitarian principles.

In addition, the ICRC regularly visits people detained in civilian prisons and police stations in order to improve their living conditions through confidential dialogue with the authorities responsible.

Finally, the ICRC encourages weapon bearers to uphold basic humanitarian principles such as the obligation to spare medical facilities and first-aid workers, and to preserve human dignity at all times.


For further information, please contact:
  Jean Jacob Charles, ICRC Port-au-Prince, tel: +509 34 58 41 86
  or visit our website: www.icrc.org


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