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Crosswords

International Version N°13

Dear Reader, This thirteenth International edition of Crosswords magazine focuses on the Red Cross's reconstruction and rehabilitation activities overseas following disasters. Our year-end campaign is focused on supporting these actions. We wish you a great week! International Section Contact details for the International Section and further information: T: 27 55-2100 - section.internationale@croix-rouge.lu

Interview with Madame Marie-JosĂŠe Jacobs, Minister for Family Affairs and Integration Humanitarian Aid and Development Policy of the Directorate of Development Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Humanitarian aid is an essential part of the Luxembourg spirit. It reflects Luxembourgers' solidarity towards the populations who live in very vulnerable conditions due to humanitarian disasters or who find themselves living in a chronic situation of crisis. The Luxembourg strategy in this matter is based on three actions: urgency, rehabilitation/reconstruction, and prevention/reduction of risks. At least 20% of the annual budget of humanitarian aid is dedicated to rehabilitation and reconstruction activities to populations affected by a natural disaster. The aim is to help the populations recover their livelihood and reconstruct their lives while at the same time improving their resistance toward new disasters where possible. Faced with an increasing number of natural disasters with even more devastating outcomes, these outreach programs aim to limit the disasters' impacts on the populations and improve the capacity of communities at risk to react to external trauma. Luxembourg maintains excellent relations with the Red Cross: the government recently signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement (2012-2015) with the ICRC and continuously supports the DREF (Disaster Response Emergency Fund) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Luxembourg Red Cross undeniably brings added value to the field of disaster relief, particularly when it comes to supplying first-aid materials (covers, tents, hygiene kits), deploying experts (especially those in logistics and temporary shelters), and sending research and rescue teams.

November 2012 www.croix-rouge.lu


Crosswords

International Version N°13

The Luxembourg Red Cross continues its commitment to the Medical Center in Haiti After two years of activities in the medical center in Gressier, Haiti, the Red Cross continues its efforts and is preparing to expand the range of medical services offered to the local community. Faced with a perpetual increase of patients, in particular pregnant women and children under the age of 5, the medical center will reinforce its community health programs such as vaccinations, mother and child follow-up, family planning, nutrition, and even sessions with psychologists. Additionally, the medical center is developing maternity, emergency, and hospitalization services that are foreseen for January 2013. Special attention has been given to the cholera epidemic which continues to strike throughout the territory, and the solution lies in a new specific service within the hospitalization service dedicated to the cholera epidemic.

Michel Würth, Vice President of the Executive Committee Luxembourg Red Cross’ international action A child of war, the Red Cross has always aspired to be an organization of reference when it comes to handling humanitarian disasters. Saving lives, alleviating survivors' suffering, and reestablishing humane and dignified life conditions for the populations affected by disasters are the primary objectives of this extraordinary movement that today consists of more than 100 million volunteers and employees in 186 countries. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, the Luxembourg Red Cross has been able to considerably develop its capacities in disaster response over the past ten years. After putting into place professional means of coordination and program management, our organization has managed to build a team of volunteers specially trained for interventions in case of disasters. Called the Emergency Response Units (ERUs), they are specialized in setting up distribution systems for humanitarian aid that ensure worldwide help for those in need. More recently, the first Shelter Research Unit (SRU) was created thanks to cooperation among the Red Crosses in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The IFRC thus confirms the specialization of the Luxembourg Red Cross in humanitarian emergencies and the construction of a related research network. Situated in Luxembourg, the research center documents the experience gained in emergency sheltering, analyzes existing solutions, and encourages research and development of new solutions by involving field experts, academic researchers, and financial partners. These examples really show that the Luxembourg Red Cross’ international action revolves around the role it plays in emergency scenarios, in its response capacities as well as its preparation for inevitable situations. Our organization will naturally continue to contribute to the efforts of rehabilitation and reconstruction for populations affected by disasters, as well as support certain development programs where we can provide added value. November 2012 www.croix-rouge.lu


Crosswords

International Version N°13

The construction of the medical center in Haiti and houses in Burundi, or even the prevention of disasters in Laos, are good examples of this. We would like to give a big thank you to all of the volunteers who support the causes of our movement with their talent and competencies as well to all those who support with any means possible.

Disasters Prevention is better than cure This old adage fits the Luxembourg Red Cross' activities perfectly when it comes to the prevention of disasters from natural causes. Droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, and storms—what the philosopher John Stuart Mill called Nature’s “injustice, ruin, and death”—show no sign of abating. Instead, global climate change and environmental damage have led to an increase of some of these disasters in frequency, complexity, scope, and their capacity for destruction. Faced with this increase, it is essential to prevent catastrophes by intervening before they happen. Targeting the occurrence or impact of disasters It is possible to prevent disasters. The best example of success in this area is the complete eradication of smallpox in the mid 70s. Through a global effort to vaccinate and monitor this epidemic that resulted in hundreds of thousands of th deaths in the 19 century, the world was able to remove one of the major causes of the epidemic. Another prevention option is to try to reduce the impact of the event. For example, by purifying the water supply in a cholerainfested region, the number of patients suffering can be reduced and the cycle of transmission can be broken. Working to prevent the consequences of disaster It has long been established that the same events don't have the same consequences everywhere, depending primarily on the wealth of the society affected. An earthquake striking, for example, in southern Ethiopia that causes a grass roof to fall in on a family has different consequences from an earthquake in Aquila, Italy for the Italian inhabitants and their medieval houses. The same disaster can be managed in different ways by working on the environment, the housing, and with people. Projects in Burundi, Nepal, and Haiti show work moving in this direction. In Burundi, the Luxembourg Red Cross has reforested hills to prevent landslides during heavy rains to avoid burying the villages below. In Nepal, the houses are being rebuilt on pilings to avoid flooding. The program of hygiene education in Haiti is aiming to reduce the transmission of cholera. Working locally, regionally, and internationally To reinforce the prevention of disasters, measures must be taken at local, regional, and international levels, most notably in the training and dispatch of rescue teams and in the interventions in disaster-affected areas. In conclusion: work on prevention to reduce the scale of a disaster. Prevention is also cheaper in the long run than waiting passively for disaster to happen. November 2012 www.croix-rouge.lu


Crosswords

International Version N°13

Burundi: Support for self-build houses Since its independence in 1962, Burundi has been overwhelmed by political and ethnic conflicts. Particularly following the violent crises of 1972 and 1993, many hundreds of thousands of Burundians have sought asylum in neighboring countries, mostly Tanzania. Between 2002 and 2012, with the return of peace, 566,688 Burundians have gradually been repatriated from their refugee camps to Burundi In most cases, these refugees have received little assistance upon their return and found their houses wrecked and their possessions looted. Many of them still live in extreme poverty, completely uprooted from their communities. Since 2009, the Luxembourg Red Cross, in partnership with the Burundi Red Cross, has implemented four socio-economic reintegration projects in different communes of Burundi, currently the fourth poorest country in the world. These projects aid the refugees returning from Tanzania along with other vulnerable people in the communes "The project involves the construction of decent housing for the most vulnerable of the returning households, establishes access to water, and provides support for income-generating activities. The beneficiaries are chosen publicly by the residents of the communes involved. The construction process is participatory. Dried adobe bricks are made by the project's beneficiaries and Burundi Red Cross volunteers. The project supports them with building materials and with specialist local labor. Each house also has a kitchen and a latrine," says Caroline Ledent, Burundi delegate and project coordinator. "This is an unexpected support for the hundreds of highly vulnerable families, once at the mercy of rain and bad weather, who have reclaimed a little human dignity lost through the war and their overwhelming poverty,” says Ledent. You can sponsor a family in Burundi! €480 can build one house, and with only €10 per month you can help a family get their income-producing activities up and running.

Year-end campaign 2012: Show solidarity with concrete action Christian Theis, Chargé des Relations Donateurs Through its 2012 year-end campaign, the Luxembourg Red Cross wants to mobilize the population to finance projects of reconstruction and rehabilitation following humanitarian disasters. Without your support, the Red Cross will not be able to meet the enormous challenge represented by the projects described in this CrossWords. Everyone can get involved within their means and capacity From a simple donation to a group initiative, the ways of helping are very diverse and every gesture of support is useful. You can make a donation—with the option of selecting a specific cause—as a one-off donation or in regular payments. If you would like to know how your donation is used, please don't hesitate to contact us directly to learn more about a project or to arrange a visit with a branch of the Red Cross. November 2012 www.croix-rouge.lu


Crosswords

International Version N°13

You can become involved in a more long-term way by sponsoring a project. This allows you to closely follow the impact of your donation and find out more about the lives of the beneficiaries. Act together with friends and colleagues Try to get your work, school, or clubs involved in campaigns and projects to raise awareness or funds. Put up a stand at a Christmas market, organize an activity during a year-end party, or request donations instead of gifts. Unleash your imagination and motivate the people around you. We're available to help you set up an engaging and innovative event. It will be our pleasure to provide you with the equipment and the know-how necessary for its organization. Please feel free to invite us to your event to give a detailed presentation of one of our reconstruction or rehabilitation projects. Join in with the initiative: “Red Cross Christmas Tree,” the Sapin de la Croix-Rouge Participation is easy: just set up a Christmas tree in a visible and accessible place, and invite anyone who passes by to make a donation and, in a show of support, hang an ornament on the tree. As the tree becomes more covered in ornaments, it becomes a symbol of the generosity of the donors and represents the project that you've chosen to support. For more information on this campaign or to develop your own project, Christian Theis, our Chargé des Relations Donateurs (Donor Relations Officer), is at your disposal at 2755-2132 or christian.theis@cross-rouge.lu

Calendar December 2012 1 – World AIDS Day December the first is fast approaching and, as in every year, the Aidsberodung is hard at work organizing a national event to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. This year, the Aidsberodung is holding a photography competition: “Pictures4Life: Living with HIV in 2012.” The exhibition of all photographs in competition opens on December 1, 2012 at 5pm at the Utopolis. Prizes will be awarded at the opening event. The exhibition runs from December 1 to 15, 2012 on the first floor of the Utopolis. December 1 & 2– The Red Cross Christmas Tree The Red Cross Christmas Tree, organized by the Red Cross Youth Sections, will be on the Place des Capucins from 11h and ready to receive any gift that you can bring for a disadvantaged child. Cactus Charity – Put your points to good use! For each 500 points spent, €5 will be donated to one of the six associations participating in the initiative as specified by the customer at checkout. Use your points to support the Red Cross and get your friends involved!

November 2012 www.croix-rouge.lu


Crosswords International n13 - Humanitarian Reconstruction Projects