This Week in Restoring Family Links: 1/4/17- 1/5/17

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

Photo Credit: IFRC

Photo Credit: IFRC

Haiti: The American Red Cross is working to build resilience in Haiti through the use of Community Engagement and Accountability  or CEA. The community engagement aspect means providing communities with information, involving them with programs in which they are able to participate and have their wants and needs listened to. The accountability aspect of the program ensures that the Red Cross will be held accountable and follow through with its commitment.

This program works to build trust between The Red Cross and Haitian communities. According to Pablo Diez Delalastra, a delegate of FACT Livelihoods, “You have to tell people what they need. And it is here where the partnership with the Haitian Red Cross volunteers is the key to success as they are the cultural bridge between the community and the Red Cross.” An additional aspect will also be the set up Radio Kwa-Wouj also know as the Red Cross Radio. This is a live radio program that is being implemented to inform Haitian communities of disaster preparedness, health and risk reduction.

A final aspect of the CEA program is a common database that will allow the programs to be evaluated. CEA is being implemented in response to Hurricane Matthew which affected an estimated 1.4 million people. Through the Red Cross’s efforts to implement CEA and its investment to improve health, sanitation water and shelter, the resilience of a community is improved. A community with the ability to make its own decisions and remain informed and organized is much more equipped to face whatever uncertainties the future may hold.

South Sudan: South Sudan is found to hold one of the largest populations of cattle in the world which means that many individuals depend on cattle to sustain their everyday living. However, ongoing armed conflict is causing the health of cattle to be at risk through the undermining of veterinary services. The ICRC has so far vaccinated over 550,000 cattle while training 180 community health workers in South Sudan. Through the ICRC’s vaccination efforts the health of cattle is being protected from diseases and people can continue to use cattle to sustain their survival and livelihood.

Boy stands among cattle in South Sudan. Photo Credit: Jared Ferrie/IPS

Boy stands among cattle in South Sudan. Photo Credit: Jared Ferrie/IPS

The conflict in South Sudan began in 2013 and is still ongoing.  It is a civil war between opposition forces and the government and an estimated 300,000 people have so far been killed from the fighting. The ICRC continues to provide assistance to South Sudan due to the ongoing civil war. From January to June 2016 the Red Cross has provided food rations, supported health facilities, provided clean water, vaccinated livestock. They have also visited detainees, facilitated phone calls and trained members of armed groups on international humanitarian law. The ICRC continues to help meet the most urgent needs of the South Sudanese.