Razan Rashidi, communication officer with UNICEF in Damascus, describes how ordinary people have become essential partners to international organisations who are responding to the crisis. Thousands of people have had to leave their homes to seek refuge in safer places, often schools and mosques. By last weekend, at least 15 schools in Damascus and 18 more in outlying areas were housing displaced families. Some people have taken displaced families into their own homes, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for local residents to meet their own needs, let along those of their guests. Conditions in the local schools and mosques are not easy, either, and even young children are stepping up to help.
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Last Friday, a powerful storm ripped through Port-au-Prince leaving 6 dead and 67 injured. Today, some 11,000 families in over 160 displacement camps require immediate assistance. The winds and heavy rains lasted only 30 minutes, but still caused widespread damage to tents and disrupted electricity for some of the 1.3 million people who remain displaced by the quake. Shelter, food, safe drinking water, and blankets and sanitation assistance are urgently needed.
Only a few days have passed since we last checked in on the growing crisis in Pakistan, but those few days have been enough time to change thousands of lives. In the month of May alone, more people have been displaced in Pakistan than were displaced over 3 years in Darfur.
Since August of last year, conflict between pro-Taliban militants and Pakistan’s government forces has seethed in Pakistan’s northwest frontier region. Over the last month, as fighting has intensified, the number of people who have fled their homes has swollen to 2.4 million. That’s the single largest movement of people in Pakistan since the partition that created the country.
Most frightening of all, it’s estimated that 65% of the displaced are children.
Last December, as fighting increased in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and thousands of children continued to flee the ravages of war, Mungwiko landed at the Virunga Hospital in Goma
For many children around the world, fall means it’s time to go back to school after the long summer holiday. Not so this year in Haiti, which has been pummeled by four back-to-back hurricanes in the past few weeks. Storm winds and floods have destroyed many thousands of homes and businesses, left large parts of the country under several feet of mud, and disrupted the lives of 800,000 people
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