Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Glimpse World-wide

Something that we are often unaware of is the number of disaster happening across the globe.  They often get overshadowed in the news by a more geographically relevant story or a pop singer’s engagement to a no-body, which is just one of the many reasons working and being involved with the American Red Cross is such an honor.  Every day we are made aware of disasters, man-made and natural, happening across the globe that, for the most part, you won’t be hearing about on the regular 6 o’clock news.
For instance:

Photo courtesy of
In Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya water sources are dwindling, rural families are increasingly consuming untreated water, collected directly from streams and rivers, putting them at serious risk from waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

Fields used by farmers for grazing livestock have dried up in the worsening drought, causing many families to uproot and migrate in search of viable food and water sources.
The rising cost of fuel and food as well as political insecurity in some areas of Somalia has also exacerbated problems.

“The need is dire at best as families grapple with the lack of food, water and health services, and the American Red Cross is eager to support our local partners that are tackling malnutrition, providing water and medical care, stabilizing livelihoods, and mitigating other consequences of this complex crisis,” said Apu Patel, regional director for Africa with the American Red Cross.

In the Philippines, Typhoon season has begun.  In the past 36 hours more than 645,000 people have been evacuated after Tropical Storm Nock-Ten caused major flooding and damage across the county. 
Photo courtesy of

“Thanks to our network of skilled and experienced volunteers, we have fulfilled our auxiliary role by supporting evacuation and rescue efforts of local disaster authoriti[es],” said  PRC Secretary General, Gwendolyn Pang.  “Our staff and volunteers are currently undertaking surveys on the ground to determine the extent and nature of assistance that may be needed by affected families.”

This storm is now heading towards Vietnam.  Local authorities have already been reporting high wind and rain, and warnings have been issued to local boaters and fisherman.  Preparedness is helping the Vietnamese breathe a little easier since 10,000 household kits (made up of blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and water containers) are available in-country and there is one water treatment unit on standby along with one million water purification packets.  

Visit the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies online to learn more about the international relief and disaster preparedness efforts happening across the globe. 

Visit the American Red Cross online to learn more about the relief and disaster preparedness efforts happening across the country.  

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