Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
"Existing infrastructures can't deal with rising prison populations, and the problem is getting worse across the board… not just in developing countries," says Robert Mardini, head of the ICRC's Water and Habitat Unit.
"Too often, communities turn a blind eye to what goes on inside their prisons, but everyone has a fundamental right to use a proper toilet, clean themselves regularly, eat healthy food and drink safe water, including people behind bars," he adds. "Ensuring adequate living conditions is also one of the best ways to prevent illnesses, such as cholera, scabies and hepatitis from spreading among inmates, as well as to the outside population."
Mardini's comments come ahead of World Water Day 2008, which will be observed on 20 March and will highlight global sanitation challenges.
The ICRC works with the authorities in charge of detention centres to encourage and support improvements to the living situation of inmates and detainees. This support comes in various forms, including monitoring, expertise in identifying problems and solutions, materials and project implementation.
"For the ICRC, sanitation, water, health and protection issues go hand-in-hand", says Mardini. "That's why we look at the situation as a whole and try to help prison officials in finding appropriate, sustainable and inventive solutions."
In Rwanda, the ICRC has come up with an innovative alternative to septic tanks, thanks to a biogas system, which turns gas collected from wastewater and sewage into an additional source of energy that can be used to heat the stoves in prison kitchens, thus reducing costs.
"This is a great illustration of how waste can be treated in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, and transformed into a useful by-product," says Mardini. "The problem of detention overcrowding isn't going to go away anytime soon so we have to start coming up with more solutions like this, which meet multiple needs and challenges."
The ICRC's water and habitat programme isn't limited to detention centres only. Its activities also meet the water and sanitation needs of more than 14 million people in over 40 countries every year.
Insecurity and displacement are often exacerbated by prolonged drought or poor infrastructure. When water is scarce and hostilities are high, the combination can increase competition among communities, generate tensions and spur people to leave their homes.
For example, some areas of Somalia, which has seen a recent increase in fighting in the capital of Mogadishu, have experienced very little rainfall for more than two years. In places where water is already in short supply, an influx of people displaced by violence can prove devastating.
"With very limited water and pastures which are beyond reach, the population can't do much more than hope for rain," says Julian Jones, the ICRC's water and habitat coordinator for Somalia.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
For hundreds of thousands of women one of the worst consequences of armed conflict is the long and agonizing wait for news about their missing relatives
Since the vast majority of those who are killed or disappear are men, the burden of trying to find out what happened to them usually falls to the women in their family. On International Women's Day (8 March), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) highlights its commitment to easing the plight of these women.
Ashwak, an Iraqi refugee now living in
For those who are left behind like Ashwak, not knowing the fate of a relative is emotionally devastating. No matter how difficult it is to mourn the loss of a loved one, it is even more distressing not to be able to mourn at all. Many women spend years and their life’s savings on a fruitless search. For those trying to trace a missing child, husband or father, peace in their country does not automatically bring peace of mind, because abandoning their quest would seem like a betrayal.
The missing person is often the family’s breadwinner or the sole owner of property. Women who lack skills and training are therefore left destitute and are often poorly prepared to take his place. In addition, the undefined legal status of a missing person's spouse or descendants can have an effect on property rights, guardianship of children, inheritance and the possibility of remarriage.
For further information, please contact:
Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 2271 or +41 79 217 3217
Solomon Islands Red Cross is a non profitable humanitarian organization different from non governmental organizations established by the Solomon Islands National Parliament in 1983 as an auxiliary to public authorities in humanitarian assistances.
SI Red Cross as one of the 186 Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (National Societies) has things in common with other National Societies: Observe the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement (Movement) 7 Fundamental Principles, Code of Conduct in disaster response, Observe the Movement’s Constitution, and carrying out voluntary service to all corners of its territory without any consideration nationality, sex, race, political or religious beliefs. While on Voluntary activities there are four core activities (Promotion of International Humanitarian Law and Fundamental Principles, Health and Care in the communities, Disaster Preparedness, and Disaster response) you can find anywhere in the Red Cross/Red Crescent family.
As Red Cross people we are ought to observe the Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality,
Naturally to follow those action principles especially in circumstance directly affecting us is difficult. But please look up to your principles as the working tools to reduce human suffering- as stated in the Principle of Humanity.
Weather it be a health promotion in our communities, promotion of disaster risk reduction from Climate Change, campaign for blood donors to give blood to those need it to see another sunrise, someone saved by our knowledge sharing about the rules of war to those fighting, efforts we put to raise funds to support those lost all their belongings in fires, or actively involving the vulnerable communities in our disaster preparedness, this is another expression of our caring and love to humanity.
This inner fire is what Red Cross asks from us.
This is an address given by Niniu Oligao (SIRC Dissemination & Information officer) to the two new SIRC staff during their dissemination briefing today.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Aloysius Erobaea (new Business Development & Fundraising officer) called some of his new fund raising team members today lunch hour. Those new committee members are part of the existing SI Red Cross fund raising committee.
In his address Erobaea said the aims of the meet were to firstly, introduce his action plan for the first half of 2008. These include annual fund raising events and major special fund raising activities like Dine & Dance Cruise to Ngella. Second, to set up a Fund raising activities taskforce to spear head the fund raising activities.
ICRC News Release No. 08/46
19 March 2008
For further information, please contact: Serge Marmy, ICRC Suva, tel. +330 21 56 or +992 1151 or visit our website: www.icrc.org
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Solomon Islands Red Cross (SIRC) has taken in Aloyius Erobaea and Mrs. Masia Vaieke after their interviews a week before.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Training facilitator, Mr. Douglas Clark from the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (Federation) said the aim of the training was to train the Pacific Red Cross personnel to be professionals in coordinating & managing disaster responses.
He was glad with the performances & interest shown by the participants of the sister red cross societies (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, & Solomon Islands) over the five days of training.
At the closing of the workshop Mr. Clark told the participants the level they were at could enabled them to be fore runners in disasters.
The regional Red Cross should be grateful with the efforts Mr. Martin Blackgrove (Regional Disaster Management coordinator) to bring them together for the training.
Date for the Solomon Islands Red Cross General Assembly (the highest conference of the Local Red Cross) has been announced by an extra ordinary meeting of the SIRC Governing Board to be held on May 8, 2008.
The Governing Board has the power to confirm or change the General Assembly date as covered under Articles 11. 2, 11. 3 & 11.4 of the SI Red Cross Constitution.
According to Charles Kelly, the SIRC Secretary General of the Solomon Islands Red Cross will hold the General Assembly on the day the organization will celebrate the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Day with its annual public appeal.
“Also we are looking forward to launch our invitations to donor partners and friends to attend that highest meeting”, he said.
So our regional partners like the Australian Red Cross, ICRC, IFRC, and government agencies should look at your plan trips to Honiara in early May 2008.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Nine new dissemination trainers completed a five days training at the Solomon Islands Red Cross head quarters on March7, 2008.
According to Niniu Oligao (SIRC Dissemination officer) the training aims at equipping the dissemination trainers volunteers with dissemination tools in return will train and give awareness to both external and internal audiences (volunteers, Branch Governing Board, and members) on the Humanitarian Values and Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Fundamental Principles.
The trainers learnt about the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement Fundamental Principles, International Humanitarian Law, and how safer the Red Cross could access to affected people during armed conflict, whether to apply First Aid, relief distributions, or giving medical attention to those who no longer or not fighting but suffering.
“The trainers were privilege to have various presentations from SIRC personnel who under went diverse experiences in disaster responses”, he said.
In regard to dissemination materials, the participants discussed with him on appropriate materials like posters and brochures which could still be used in their talks in the absence of electricity.
On the fourth day they had a fieldtrip to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation studio to record a 15 minutes programme for SI Red Cross.
The challenge he left with the new trainers now is their turn to work closely with him through a network had been formulated during the training to effectively spread of the red cross by speaking on behalf of those silently suffering that make sure their physical and psych-emotional integrity is respected during disasters.
All the participants assured their confidence to do their new task when they admitted their gratitude at the end of the workshop.
And Niniu thanked the Australian Red Cross to financially support that Trainers training. He said such help was really a noble gift to humanity to discourage their suffering.