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South Asia News

May 2016

Daniel Bolanos
Dear Red Cross and Red Crescent friends
 
In a few days, some 5000 global leaders - from government, business, Red Cross and Red Crescent, civil society, affected communities and youth, among others – will gather in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit. They will discuss a new agenda for humanity with five core responsibilities:
  • Prevent and end conflict
  • Respect the rules of war
  • Leave no one behind
  • Work differently to end need
  • Invest in humanity.
Many National Society leaders from the South Asia region and beyond will take part, voicing key Movement-wide messages on behalf of those we serve. The world is witnessing the highest level of human suffering for many decades, and global leaders will discuss how to effectively respond to major humanitarian challenges, and how to be better prepared to meet challenges of the future.
 
In this newsletter you will find concrete examples of how National Societies in South Asia are already responding to these challenges in many different ways, as always meeting urgent needs and being “everywhere for everyone”.
 
Happy reading!

Leon Prop

Head of Country Cluster, South Asia

Top Movement News 

Zika: new resources

IFRC is continuously updating resources to help National Societies control and prevent Zika virus disease, which is spread by mosquitos. Log in to see the latest resources on FedNet. Watch a short video on Zika.

Nepal earthquake: One year on

It has been a hard year for people in Nepal affected by earthquakes on 25 April and 12 May 2015. The Nepal Red Cross Society, IFRC, ICRC and many other Movement members are working to help people recover. Read more, watch videos and browse photo galleries here.

Radio saves lives

In disasters and emergencies, the Movement uses radio to spread messages that can save lives. This year, IFRC and Unesco celebrated World Radio Day by sharing stories of great radio initiatives from Nepal, Guinea, Haiti, the Solomon Islands and beyond. Read more

Celebrating women

The Movement celebrated International Women’s Day by sharing inspiring stories of the women and men who serve humanity all around the world. An example from South Asia is Farzana Akther, a regional disaster response team member from Bangladesh who helped after the Nepal earthquake. Read more about her

Updates from National Societies
Unloading relief supplies

Help after Maldives fire

Two new volunteers were immediately able to help when they joined the Maldivian Red Crescent team who were in action after a major fire cut electricity to 5,000 people on the island of Thinadhoo. The team assessed needs, gave psychosocial support and coordinated relief distribution. Find out more

Pakistan launches World Disasters Report

IFRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent launched the World Disasters Report 2015, which calls for greater recognition and support for local humanitarian actors. The event included high level panellists and guests from the government, diplomats, United Nations, Movement partners and others. Read more

Sri Lanka: Home at last

More than 21,000 of the most vulnerable families have new homes, thanks to a community-driven post-conflict recovery programme run by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. Read more and watch a video on the programme.

Earthquake rocks north-east India

In January, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked India’s north-east Manipur district. Indian Red Cross Society staff and volunteers helped with first aid, evacuation, assessments and relief. Read more

Afghan Red Crescent helps displaced families

Afghan Red Crescent Society sent food, blankets, clothing and other aid to more than 1,200 families displaced by armed conflict in Samangan province. The Red Crescent emphasized its independence, neutrality and impartiality in giving humanitarian aid to the people most in need. Read more

First aid at book fair in Dhaka

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society provided first aid to stall holders and book lovers at the country's most popular book fair, Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, in Dhaka. Find out more on Facebook  

Social media wins for Nepal Red Cross

A three-minute video created by Nepal Red Cross Society on fire safety has had more than 500,000 views so far. Watch the video here. In another milestone, more than 72,000 people now like the National Society on Facebook. Nepal Red Cross' strategy: frequent posts in English or Nepali on local, national and international Red Cross news. Go to the page 
 

Volunteers

Volunteering news on Facebook

Find out the latest about Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers – and share your own volunteering news – at this Facebook page
 

Asia Pacific news


Keep up with news from the Red Cross and Red Crescent family in the Asia Pacific region by reading and subscribing to Asia Pacific Voices newsletter here

ICRC in South Asia

Top footballer skypes Afghanistan

Losing a leg to a landmine need not mean the end of a young person's footballing ambitions. ICRC videoed French superstar footballer Paul Pogba skyping a group of disabled footballers in Afghanistan about football, hard work and holding on to your dreams. Watch the video

Ebola: second anniversary

23 March 2016 marked the second year since the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in West Africa. Guinea and Liberia have ended the outbreak. While the Red Cross is maintaining a response capacity, we are also now shifting towards recovery. Read more and watch a video that has already been viewed 800,000 times  

Focus on children
In a blog, Majda Shabbir, from the IFRC in Pakistan, recalls a day she will never forget. "Despite the urgency of the situation, I could not focus on what I needed to do... This was the bloody day of 16 December 2014, the day every Pakistani heart ached regardless of colour, race or religion. One hundred and forty-four innocent schoolchildren were brutally murdered and we watched in horror as the scenes unfolded." Read the blog

 

Learn more about child protection

A short course on the IFRC Learning Platform explores some forms of violence, exploitation and abuse that children risk throughout the world, and illustrates how we can protect children better. Take the course








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