Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Red Cross/Red Crescent’ Category

Finally, the Venezuelan government allows the Red Cross to send in 24 tons of medical equipment.


“……A recent United Nations report found about a quarter of the country’s population is in dire need of food and basic supplies — and the need is expected to grow. The International Monetary Fund estimates the Venezuelan economy will shrink by 25 percent this year as infrastructure continues to crumble.

Around 5,500 Venezuelans flee the country daily in what has become one of the world’s biggest refugee crises, according to the United Nations…..”


Potential humanitarian crisis: The number of people entering Europe through Greece and then making their way towards Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is increasing.



“….More than 5,600 people have reached Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of January…. The Red Cross of Montenegro has assisted more than 1,000 people since the beginning of the year with food, clothes and medical supplies at reception centres and border crossings.


In north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 1,000 people are gathered close to the border with Croatia, trapped by the terrain and closed border crossings. Many are sleeping in the open and do not have access to food, water, hygiene and sanitation.

One hundred Red Cross volunteers are serving hundreds of hot meals a day at an abandoned university campus in the town of Bihac. Volunteers are also distributing sleeping bags, clothes and hygiene kits, and providing medical assistance……

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most mine contaminated country in Europe, with land mines covering 2.2 per cent of its territory. Some mine fields are still active in the areas where people are trying to cross the border…..”


Emergency response teams from the Guatemala Red Cross are giving medical and psychosocial support to survivors, and ambulances from three Red Cross branches have been deployed to take wounded people to hospitals.




Madagascar: IFRC to deploy first-ever plague treatment centre, releases 1 million Swiss francs as infections spread


“…..A full medical team will be deployed along with the 50-bed treatment centre that has the capacity to isolate and treat patients suffering from plague. The treatment centre will operate using national health staff in addition to the international medical team, and will significantly bolster in-country capacity to respond to the outbreak…..”


“….. Between 1 August and 12 October 2017, a total of 684 cases (suspected, probable and confirmed) including 57 deaths (case fatality rate 8.3%) have been reported from 35 out of 114 districts in the country. Of these, 474 cases (69.3%) were clinically classified as pneumonic plague, 156 (22.8%) were bubonic plague, one case was septicaemic plague, and 54 cases were unspecified. At least fifteen healthcare workers have contracted plague since the beginning of the outbreak…..”

What is Red Cross doing after Maria……..

Dear Friend,
The devastation from Hurricane Maria is truly heartbreaking in its impact on millions of people. We know this is a challenging and emotional time, and the American Red Cross is working around the clock to get help to those who need it most.   Maria was the most intense hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years. Striking just days after Hurricane Irma had thrashed the U.S. Virgin Islands, Maria carved a severe trail of destruction across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands again, devastating homes, businesses, infrastructure and crops; knocking out power and cell phone service; and spurring widespread flooding and mudslides.


Impacted communities in these two U.S. territories need critical relief like clean water, food, hygiene items and cleanup kits as they work to return to a normal life.



The Red Cross has mobilized hundreds of its disaster workers and relief supplies to support our response efforts in the islands. As of September 29, this includes:

  • 20,000 comfort kits with hygiene items
  • 6,000 blankets to keep warm
  • 5,000 cleanup kits including items like mops and shovels
  • 8,000 tarps to cover damaged portions of homes
  • Thousands of flashlights, batteries, dust masks, hand sanitizer and more.


In addition, we are helping to reconnect families, distribute food and water and support sheltering where possible.


Getting more supplies to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands remains difficult, but we’re working with federal, corporate and community partners to get relief to the regions by both sea and air.

Sincerely, Harvey Johnson

Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services American Red Cross

Hurricane Harvey & The Red Cross


“……In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Red Cross has mounted a massive relief effort and is spending donations from the public on the following:


  • Along with partners, providing approximately 186,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters across Texas.
  • Serving more than 906,000 meals and snacks with the help of partners.
  • Mobilizing more than 3,100 Red Cross disaster workers currently on the ground in Texas with more than 400 on the way.
  • Sending trailers of kitchen supplies throughout the affected areas to support 16 partner kitchens, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day.
  • Activating more than 190 emergency response vehicles to help deliver meals and relief supplies in affected neighborhoods.
  • Providing mental health and health services professionals who have made nearly 30,000 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees.
  • Distributing more than 194,000 relief items like diapers, cleaning supplies, coolers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items……….”


The American Red Cross during the Harvey response up to 8/31/17



  • Served more than 180,000 meals and snacks;
  • Activated 200 emergency response vehicles to bring meals, water, information and support with damage assessment;
  • Positioned six kitchens capable of producing 10,000 meals a day, with six more trailers on the way.
  • Provided safe refuge for 32,000 people in more than 230 Red Cross and partner shelters in Texas, including people affected in Louisiana;


The Red Cross right after Matthew laid out Haiti

International Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies

Published: 5 October 2016

Haiti / Panama, October 5, 2016—Red Cross teams have started assessing needs and aiding hurricane-ravaged communities in Haiti, but damage and flooding in the battered southern coastal region is limiting access to the worst affected areas.

“Our staff and volunteers had to wait for storm conditions to calm before heading out to assess the devastation and start delivering assistance, but they have been deployed and are out there trying to reach people in need,” said Inés Brill, Head of Office of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

“What we know so far is that hundreds of thousands of people are in dire need of help and tens of thousands will need shelter assistance as evacuations continue. Damage to infrastructure has been extensive in a region where access is always difficult due to poor infrastructure. We anticipate an extremely challenging response logistically, to a major humanitarian crisis.”

The numbers are alarming: Over 1.24 million people affected in Haiti, nearly half of them children, and 350,000 in need of humanitarian assistance[1].

Towns and cities are inundated, particularly the city of Les Cayes, and life-threatening flash-floods remain a serious concern. Likely damage to sewage infrastructure and water sources threaten to worsen existing diseases in the region, including cholera, dengue fever and Zika.

Over 3,000 volunteers and staff of the Red Cross in Haiti have been mobilized to help communities in the path of powerful Hurricane Matthew and are prepared to deliver first aid and other medical care, clean water and sanitation and shelter assistance. IFRC has dispatched health, sanitation and emergency experts to Haiti to supplement the Haiti Red Cross teams, although airport closures prevented them from reaching Haiti today.

Emergency managers in Louisiana turned to the Red Cross when record floods swept the state in March, but many say they received little help.


Regional Directors Meeting 28 June 2016

Talking Points on American Red Cross

Concerns Continuity of Personnel- High turnover has caused confusion as to the proper Point of Contact for local Directors when attempting to contact ARC. This is an issue not only during disaster response but for planning purposes as well.

Communications with local Directors- Opening/closing shelters without notifying local OHSEP. Not returning telephone calls/emails.

Evacuation Support – Food, Snacks and Water for Parish Pick Up Points

Shelter Support – Lack of support in shelter management and wrap around services during recent shelter operations in St.John/Ouachita/Calcasieu Parishes

How does the ARC propose to support the Point to Point/Blended shelter operations that they are committed to which include the following: Natchitoches NSU-PE Majors Building 500 evacuees from St. Bernard West Carroll Lingo Center 450 evacuees from St. John Ouachita Marbles Recreation Center 465 evacuees from St. John Adler Recreation Center 496 evacuees from St.John Johnson Recreation Center 452 evacuees from St.John West Monroe Sports Complex 250 evacuees from Plaquemine Robinson Center 445 evacuees from Lafourche Benoit Center 576 evacuees from Lafourche Powell Street Community Center 452 evacuees from Lafourche. This totals a commitment to 9 facilities with a total number of 4,086 evacuees.

Note: ARC was committed to the Monroe Civic Center in Ouachita Parish for 3000 Terrebonne Parish evacuees. Because of the concern that the ARC could not provide support for this facility, shelter management has been contracted with the Oklahoma Shelter Team. The same is true of the facilities at Grambling State University for 1000 evacuees.

General Concern Statewide there is a serious concern among Parish OHSEP Directors as to whether the ARC is prepared to provide the disaster response services that they traditionally have delivered.

The Red Cross response:  

This past spring, the American Red Cross responded to devastating floods across Louisiana to help thousands of people in need, and we stand by that response. More than 1,100 Red Cross volunteers delivered vital humanitarian aid and critical relief services there over the course of 10 weeks. More than half of those volunteers are residents of the state and dedicated members of the community, and throughout this spring flooding event, were committed to alleviating the suffering of over 9,000 of their neighbors in 37 of the state’s 64 parishes.

You have asked us to comment on a handful of emails and quotes from four emergency managers and three residents out of the 37 parishes and the 9,000 Louisianans we served regarding a complicated response effort spanning more than half of Louisiana. Very simply, these emails and quotes are not representative of the Red Cross response in Louisiana.

Throughout the entire Louisiana relief operation, Red Cross volunteers – funded by the generosity of donors from across the country – helped parish governments, community partners, and flood survivors meet their disaster needs through the provision of 30 shelters, 29 mobile feeding vehicles, 12 relief item distribution sites, 5 feeding sites, and 4 mobile kitchens. Red Cross volunteers also disbursed emergency cash assistance to more than 8,000 Louisianans to assist with their immediate needs.

Every day, the Red Cross takes decisive and actionable steps with our partners across the country to improve operational readiness and relationships with emergency management officials and community leaders. We also engage in candid conversations about the capacity and capabilities of our organization to best serve disaster victims. The Red Cross, as a donor-funded, volunteer relief organization, remains committed and ready to always seek the best outcomes for the communities we proudly live in and serve.


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