This Week in Restoring Family Links: 11/2/16-11/3/16

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

Temporary shelters set up following the earthquake. Photo credit:  Angela Dewan and Lorenzo D'Agostino, CNN

Temporary shelters set up following the earthquake. Photo credit: Angela Dewan and Lorenzo D'Agostino, CNN

Italy: The Italian Red Cross is working to provide aid after the strongest earthquake to take place in Italy since 1986. It was found that over 40,000 people had to leave their homes and many buildings are now in ruins. The Italian Red Cross has been working to provide psychological support as well as food and medical care to those affected.

The earthquake was at a 6.6 magnitude and killed as many as 300 people. There are currently more than 15,000 people displaced who are now residing in shelters. Central Italy continues to be hit by aftershocks which poses a danger to rescue workers who could be harmed by falling debris. There were electrical problems and people were unable to access the most accessible highway in the area. Rescue workers worked to clear the debris.

The Italian Government will be providing about 40 million dollars to areas affected by the Earthquake. Aleandro Petrucci, the mayor of Arquata del Tronto said “Everything has been destroyed. The towns no longer exist.” Regardless of the damage, volunteers of the Italian Red Cross are continuing to work to provide aid to the areas hit the worst and are assuring assistance in any way possible.  

Mosul: Thousands of displaced civilians are flooding back to Mosul. Many of the displaced are now able to enter central Mosul as ISIL forces retreat. However, it appears that many civilians from southern villages in Mosul are being forced back by ISIS without being provided any food or other basic necessities. Those being forced into southern villages are being used as human shields.

Iraqi girl displaced due to battle to retake Mosul. Photo credit:  By Sheena McKenzie and Tim Lister, CNN

Iraqi girl displaced due to battle to retake Mosul. Photo credit: By Sheena McKenzie and Tim Lister, CNN

This confirms the fear of the UN that ISIS would use civilians as human shields. It was also found that any civilian suspected of being disloyal would be killed. ISIS used the same tactic in Falluja, a city that was similarly held by ISIS. 50,000 people were used as human shields with as many as 20,000 of them being children.

Executions are continuing in Mosul with 232 civilians killed so far. Camps are being set up for displaced civilians since it was estimated that as many as 16,566 are so far displaced. Many civilians want to flee regardless of the dangers that this poses to them. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights remains fearful of the possible civilian casualties that may take place in the future as Iraqi forces continue to advance.