This Week in Restoring Family Links: 1/30/17-2/1/17

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

Malaysia: The lunar new year in Malaysia will be facing disruption as floods affect as many as 15,000 people. Hamilah Binta Isa from the village of Buloh Kasap said “it has been four days since the flood waters forced us to evacuate and I still can’t get to my house.” The Malaysian Red Crescent society has been having its staff and volunteers provide relief to those affected. Basic necessities have been distributed as well as support in rescue activities. There has also been a need for psychological support following the traumatic effects of the flooding.

Photo Credit: Ika Koeck/IFRC

Photo Credit: Ika Koeck/IFRC

The flooding has not only been traumatic for many people but also caused many physical effects. Roads were closed and many people lost their homes due to flooding and were forced to relocate to relief centres. The flooding has certainly decreased the mood of what is normally a festive time. Those who were forced to evacuate their homes said they had an adequate amount of food but were rather worried of hygiene and sanitation.

Others said they had other concerns such as having drinking water in the future, thieves robbing their homes as well as losing income. The Malaysian Red Crescent in Johor through the help of the IFRC is set to donate as many as 3000 kits with the ultimate goal of maintaining personal hygiene. 7,800 people are currently in evacuation centers but hopefully with the help of the IFRC and Malaysian Red Cross those affected will receive well needed support to help them through this natural disaster.

Ukraine: Detainees residing in Ukraine are receiving much needed humanitarian aid through the help of the ICRC. Chyngyz Rayimbekov of the ICRC said “we visit all of the facilities used for and by the detainees to evaluate the material and psychological conditions of detention.” Many of those residing in these prisons are lacking basic necessities. Therefore the ICRC is now checking these prisons in order to assure conditions are up to standards.

Scars of a detainee held in eastern Ukraine. Photo Credit:  © 2016 Tanya Lokshina

Scars of a detainee held in eastern Ukraine. Photo Credit: © 2016 Tanya Lokshina

It is found that since the conflict began in Ukraine, both sides involved have not only detained people but abused them as well. While the ICRC is working to aid detainees facing inadequate conditions, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released a report titled “You Don’t Exist” with the aim of bringing to light and documenting the poor treatment of detainees as well as secret detentions and disappearances. The detainees in Ukraine have rights which are protected under international humanitarian law and therefore deserve to have these rights acknowledged and enforced.