This Week in Restoring Family Links: 11/16/16-11/18/16

Sophia Fredericks, Social Engagement Intern, National Headquarters Washington, D.C.

Red Cross volunteers running welfare centre in Kaikoura. Photo credit: Simon Makker/ New Zealand Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers running welfare centre in Kaikoura. Photo credit: Simon Makker/ New Zealand Red Cross

New Zealand: After earthquakes hit Marlborough and Kaikoura in New Zealand, the Red Cross is on the ground and providing psychological support to those affected. In Marlborough the Red Cross is providing support by going door to door and trying to ensure people’s emotional health. In Kaikoura the Red Cross is working to provide aid and essential equipment through the use of helicopters. Welfare centers are also being run by Disaster Welfare and Support Team Members.

New Zealand’s earthquake had a magnitude of 7.8 followed by severe aftershocks. The aftershocks are expected to continue and people still remained stranded near the quake’s epicenter. There are also fears for wildlife in the areas most affected by the earthquake. Many seals were most likely killed along with half of the colony of the endangered Hutton Shearwater seabird.

The HMNZS Canterbury was sent to the coast of Canterbury and took back 450 travelers, the last of 1000 who were stranded during the earthquake. So far, the earthquake has killed two people on Monday. As aftershocks continue to affect New Zealand, people are showing kindness. Julian Wilcox who resides in Kaikoura has sheltered as many as 500 people on monday. “In times of trouble, our role is to look after people, no matter who they are” said Wilcox.

Yemen: The ICRC has provided 400,000 people in Yemen with food and other necessities. They have also created various projects to help those who have been displaced from the conflict get back on their feet and make a living for themselves and their families. So far, three million people have been displaced because of the conflict.

Delegate of ICRC among rubble post air strike in Sanaa. Photo Credit: Samar Kadi

Delegate of ICRC among rubble post air strike in Sanaa. Photo Credit: Samar Kadi

The conflict in Yemen involves those who have allied themselves to the Houthi rebel movement and those who have remained loyal under the current presidency of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. As many as 35,000 people have been injured and 6,800 have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. Eighty percent of the population is currently in need of humanitarian aid.

Many call the war “The Forgotten War.” The Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen said “ It’s probably one of the biggest crises in the world but it’s like a silent crisis, a silent situation and a forgotten war.” He also said that many children are dying due to a failure of health services. 21.2 million people remain in need of humanitarian aid with over half of that number being children. The ICRC continues to provide Yemen with humanitarian assistance.