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SUMMER 2011/12  Volume 1

New Zealand Red Cross aid worker Andrew Cameron is awarded the highest nursing honour What recovery really means

Drought stricken Tuvalu

Red Cross shops go retro


elcome to the first edition of Always Red, a new publication replacing Red Cross News. I hope you enjoy reading this new format with longer more in-depth stories, a focus on beneficiaries and great coverage of Red Cross people in action, messages from those who support us and even a thank you from a Christchurch family who benefited from your donations. As the days get warmer and we begin a new year, filled with potential, new opportunities and challenges it is inevitable we will continue to reflect on a year that has been. In his book “A Memory of Solferino” Henry Dunant wrote about the good “that a host of active, zealous and valiant helpers” would achieve. In the last year we have witnessed at home and abroad, trained, well-resourced New Zealand Red Cross volunteers and staff providing a range of emergency, disaster and welfare support time and time again. We have also continued to expand our reach and capacity in New Zealand to ensure we remain an essential part of communities, helping those most in need. Mobilising the power of humanity is as important today as it was in 1859. We understand that we need to be relevant and appropriate for the world in this century and this new look, new named publication epitomises that. New Zealand Red Cross needs to be dynamic and appropriate for the needs of today.

John R. Ware Chief Executive

In this issue Far from a quick fix More than just a small potato 2. 10. Recovery programming is new to New Zealand New Zealand Red Cross aid worker Andrew Red Cross but not to Elizabeth McNaughton.

hristchurch will 6. Ckeep on smiling

The story of 15-year-old New Zealand Red Cross volunteer, that like hundreds of others, keeps on giving.

On-going pursuit of a 8.  nuclear free world

Cameron on his Florence Nightingale medal.

Tuvalu’s grim situation 16.  The small pacific island nation recently declared a state of emergency.

Red Cross shops go retro 24. A vintage and retro clothing stall turns into a fashion frenzy with retailers.

Humanity is at a crossroads.

New Zealand Red Cross ALWAYS RED Official National Newsletter of New Zealand Red Cross ISSN 1178-8461 Summer 2011/12  Volume 1 National President Penny Mason Chief Executive John R. Ware

National Office PO Box 12140, Wellington 69 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6144 Phone: 04 471 8250 Fax: 04 471 8251 Email: Website: Editor: Justine Turner Email: Design & Print: MakeReady Email:

New Zealand Red Cross and 185 other National Societies are members of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies. Together with the International Committee of the Red Cross, they make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It is an independent humanitarian organisation based on the fundamental principals of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. New Zealand Red Cross is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and enhancing community resilience.

 New Zealand Red Cross Emergency Response volunteers inspect damaged buildings following February’s Christchurch earthquake.

Far from a quick fix W

hen a violent, destructive earthquake ripped through Christchurch for the second time in six months, New Zealand was thrust into a state of emergency. Lives were lost, homes were destroyed and for thousands, life would never be the same again.

Close to a year later, the city is still broken. Large aftershocks are a continuous reminder of that haunting day; a day that, for everyone, holds a story, an ordeal and is a painful contributor to a life that is still very much in a state of uncertainty. Many New Zealanders have no idea that hundreds of people still remain homeless, others try to start again in other cities and some still live day-to-day unsure of what the future holds. The psychological effects are starting to materialise and the rebuild is just beginning.

“It’s far from a quick fix and requires a long-term strategic commitment,” says Elizabeth McNaughton who is leading New Zealand Red Cross’ recovery response. What happened in Christchurch that day was a ‘game changer’ and there was an understanding amongst those who were working on recovery efforts from the September quake that a different approach was now needed. For New Zealand Red Cross it was clear that ‘business as usual’ would no longer suffice. Following the example of other national societies,


“Through my work with Red Cross I am able to shine a light on vulnerabilities that otherwise may not be seen or understood,” she says. “It’s about improving quality of life and helping people to become more resilient.” When the devastating Earthquake hit Christchurch McNaughton was on secondment working with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Recovery Policy team. “Returning to the Red Cross ‘family’ was an opportunity and a privilege that I could not turn down,” she says. “We recognise that events in Canterbury are of national and international significance with wide implications for New Zealand. We note that a number of affected people now reside outside Canterbury and acknowledge our responsibility to offer Red Cross assistance to those people across the country.”

Elizabeth McNaughton meeting with local women in Nepal affected by floods and landslides.

a recovery programme needed to be developed. A programme that aligned to the needs and capabilities of the people of Canterbury to ensure New Zealand Red Cross became involved where it was needed for the medium and longer-term recovery. “Cantabrians are impressive in their spontaneous efforts to cope, recover and rebuild. As Red Cross we need to bolster this resilient spirit where we can accompany people on the recovery journey over the long term. Organisationally we must recognise this process is not a quick fix,” McNaughton says. Recovery planning in the aftermath of a catastrophic disaster is nothing new for Elizabeth; she knows all too well what a recovery really means – its highs and its lows. Working for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in South Asia in the aftermath of disasters such as cyclone SIDR in Bangladesh, 2007 Nepal floods and the Boxing Day tsunami projects has prepared McNaughton well for this new role. 4    NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS

It’s far from a quick fix and requires a long-term strategic commitment. When reflecting on her experience she says: “Sometimes, irrespective of age, ethnicity, language and circumstance we can share a moment filled with deep understanding, enriching to both parties, where we literally feel the oneness of humanity. Moments like this are precious and for me the greatest privilege of being a New Zealand Red Cross aid worker.” Providing community lead recovery through connecting, caring and preparing for those affected by disasters remains important and is a lesson learnt that McNaughton has brought back to New Zealand.

A New Zealand Red Cross Recovery Framework has been developed and is being implemented outlining the overall vision, strategic direction and programming principles of New Zealand Red Cross recovery activities. The framework is a high-level strategic document that outlines a way forward. “International experience shows that good recovery requires solid but flexible planning, is evidence-based and involves community consultation. This comprehensive research phase is likely to continue until the end of the year and will leverage from other recovery activities, such as the psychosocial training, torch radio program, outreach service and the establishment of an emergency operations centre. In this way we aim to build internal capacity while simultaneously gathering information from the field.” Recovery is not a uniform process. McNaughton knows from our experience that the relocation of families and communities is a highly complex and challenging task for all involved. “It is essential that we continue to work together if we as Red Cross are to effectively serve the most vulnerable.”

© Mitsutoshi Oshima / Japanese Red Cross (or JRC)


Still so much to be done.


n 11 March, 2011 Japan was shaken by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, 120 kilometres off the north eastern coast. The earthquake generated a huge tsunami, reaching heights of 40 metres and devastating communities along the coastline. By October, the number of confirmed dead was 15,822, with 3,926 people still missing or unaccounted for. The two large scale natural disasters wiped out 114,464 houses with thousands more partially damaged. The tsunami also severely impaired three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing a nuclear crisis. In the seven months following the disaster there have been 50,000 aftershocks, including two measuring 6.0. Many households remain without gas or water supplies and the destruction of 2,000 mobile transmission towers has made getting in touch difficult. Many people have lost their jobs, homes and belongings after fleeing their homes and are now living in evacuation centres with little

or no supplies. “The shock from the event affects old and young alike, and it impacts on their health and mental wellbeing,” Japanese Red Cross says. “Extreme weather conditions meant that people struggled to reach even basic facilities. With so many people in close proximity, infections among the children and elderly could become a very serious situation if left unattended.” Japanese Red Cross has received generous financial support from many countries including Australia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, New Zealand and Mexico. So far, Japanese Red Cross Society has received more than $4.5 billion dollars, with a further $8.2 billion pledged from 73 sister national societies from all over the world. Japanese Red Cross volunteers have provided invaluable support for displaced victims. Water tanks and taps have been set up in nine evacuation centres in Ishinomaki to encourage proper sanitation and therefore keep down the risk of infection. In the freezing cold temperatures, people who struggled

Devastation in Ishinomaki, Miyagi. The city hospital still stands (top left) but all medical function was lost as the tsunami washed away medical equipment.

to reach bathing facilities were refreshed by volunteers providing warm towels and hot foot baths. In the searing summer heat, cooling kits were distributed consisting of cooling pads, coolers, paper fans and insect repellent to ease discomfort. Japanese Red Cross has been responsible for many crucial services, including the distribution of emergency relief supplies, prefabricated house sets and household appliance packages and the establishment of a free shuttle bus service to improve access to supermarkets for evacuees and residents. There is still much to be done to help the people of Japan recover. Many require ongoing care and comfort in evacuation centres and it will take time for the physical and emotional scars to heal. Collaboration with the Japanese Red Cross Society, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as the support from national societies from around the world, will continue to ensure that Japan and its people work towards recovery after the disaster. ALWAYS RED     5

Christchurch will keep on smiling


ew Zealand has seen some of its darkest days of late, but through adversity we have witnessed the power of humanity. New Zealand Red Cross volunteers, members and staff have remained resilient and committed to making a real difference every day for those who need it most. Some teams barely returned from one disaster before being thrust into another. Christchurch 15-year-old Mikaela Rugg is one of many Red Cross volunteers that has continually stepped up to help, while also dealing with the disaster personally – this is her story. “It all started when Christchurch was fast asleep. The first jolt of energy rumbled and violently shook the earth at 4:30am. I thought it was a dream but was desperately failing at waking myself, at this point I was already safe under my bed listening to my brother scream out, ‘Earthquake!’ A magnitude 7.1 quake had crept up on Christchurch while it slept and rudely awakened the city. No one got any more sleep that night.

All I could do was hold onto my friend as the ground beneath me shook more violently then I had ever felt. Daylight came and my elder sister and I set off on a journey into the centre of town. We walked around town surprised at the number of people we saw who had set out on the same


New Zealand Red Cross volunteer Mikaela Rugg helping out.

science was a struggle at first. All the 1000 people. It wasn’t as easy to typical social dramas and problems at cope with as it had been in the first school, now seemed so insignificant, quake. I had no idea if the friends I but soon enough I got back into the had left to shop in the city were still groove of being a teenager. Despite alive. At midnight I returned home and being changed Christchurch almost didn’t go back to Red Cross for three went back to normal: until Boxing days. These three days were spent Day. The city with friends I was reminded was grateful of how unstable were alive. Those red uniforms the ground really Not long after the walk, it was After my little you got there, even is. A shallow time to put my energy towards Red break, my magnitude 5.3 from a distance you Cross volunteer work. In June 2010, next task was earthquake struck three months before the September guys look like help. to work with Christchurch. earthquake, three of my brothers and Red Cross Again, no one I joined the Christchurch Red Cross media. My died, but many response team. Now it was time to sister arranged for me to be able to chimneys toppled to their deaths and put what little training we had had work with Michael Gillies-Smith Red we were all reminded what it is like to to good use. We started out helping Cross Media Advisor from Australian be shaken-up. at welfare centres. I was sent to the Red Cross. Since my goals in life are Soon enough, the unrest and anxiety Burnside Welfare Centre with my aimed at a career in journalism, I was from the Boxing Day earthquake brother Corwin and four teammates. beyond grateful for this opportunity. died down and the New Year came My first Red Cross duty was truly The earthquakes brought out the best bringing with it the new school year. enlightening. Helping people in need in the people of Christchurch. Just Everything was just fine. There were is the most satisfying experience I about everyone was eager to help new kids at school to meet. Classes have ever had. Seeing people so in anyway possible. It was amazing. were great. Friends were good. grateful for our help in their time of It was also incredible meeting Red February was turning out to be a great need warms the heart. One family, Cross teams from all over the country month for me. staying at the centre, even went as here in Christchurch to help. There is far as saying they would include us in Tuesday the 22nd of February came nothing better after a day of volunteer their prayers. with a weird start as my film class to coming back to base for a debrief watched horror movies and in drama After countless duties at various and seeing a room full of people we discussed racism. Relief from welfare centers across Christchurch, dressed in red smiling. A man at a school came in the form of an early Red Cross was called upon to help welfare centre once told me: ‘Those finish at noon. My best friend and with Operation East. We had to go red uniforms you got there, even from I walked two friends to the city bus door to door, with building inspectors a distance you guys look like help.’ I exchange. I remember everyone from the Christchurch City Council, couldn’t agree more. bugging us to stay in town to hang checking on the welfare and safety The aftershocks still have not stopped out and shop with them. Declining of people in the worst hit areas of but the worst of the 4,000 since the offer, the two of us bused back to the city and taking a survey on their February came as a magnitude 6.3 my house. We were halfway to my wellbeing. Entering people’s homes, aftershock on June 17th. The attitude in house when Christchurch was hit. All I truly saw the best in the people Christchurch after this quake was plain I could do was hold onto my friend of Christchurch. When asking an and simple. as the ground beneath me shook older lady about her wellbeing, We have had enough. more violently then I had ever felt. she couldn’t have cared less about Christchurch’s herself, ‘Oh I’m If there is one thing I have learned recovery was fine. Who you from my time volunteering for Red thrown back need to see is A small gesture of Cross, it is that a small gesture of to square one. my neighbor.’ kindness may just be what someone kindness may just This time not But her neighbor needs to make it through tough be what someone only was the in need only times. Even through all the death and city in ruins, but wanted to send destruction, I saw how wonderful needs to make it precious lives us to help the the people of Christchurch are. The through tough times. were tragically people across aftershocks are still rocking the city lost. the street. almost every day. Some homes still The first thing I did after sprinting home don’t have power. But if there is one Red Cross had become like a to check on my mum, was find my Red thing I know, it is that no matter what family to me, but after the week of Mother Nature brings us, Christchurch Cross gear in the midst of my newly volunteering work it was time to go ...will keep on smiling.” trashed room and wait for a callout. back to school. Getting back into the First task was to set up a welfare rhythm of waking up and listening center in Hagley Park for more than to a teacher go on about math and journey. Town was buzzing with people as if it was lunchtime on the weekend. The damage was spotty and it was mainly older brick buildings that had fallen. But there were still many big, annoying aftershocks shaking the city and threatening to topple already damaged buildings. It was nothing short of a miracle no one died.



on-going pursuit of a nuclear-free world T

Credit: UN

ens of thousands of people were instantly killed when a nuclear bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on the morning of 6 August 1945. Amazingly, Junko Morimoto and her family survived. Her mother was temporarily in hospital, some distance from the centre of the city. Her father suffered severe burns but was sheltered from falling debris by a railway bridge. Her older brother had shards of glass in his back because he had been sitting under a window while playing his guitar. Her eldest sister’s teeth were pushed through her lip as she had been using chopsticks. Due to a stomach bug Junko was at home that day, talking to her sister, when the bomb was dropped. The family was quickly reunited, but their lives were changed forever. Junko migrated to Australia in 1982 and now resides in Sydney. While Junko survived, she witnessed the misery and death that spread across the country with long-lasting effects.


made an appeal to all states to ensure that such weapons are never used again and are eliminated though a legally binding international treaty. According to the ICRC, humanity is at a crossroads: either a process will be put in place leading to the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, or the number of nuclear weapons will continue to increase.

Although the imperative to eliminate nuclear weapons was recognised at the outset of the nuclear age, currently there is no general prohibition against the possession or use of nuclear weapons. There is however restrictions on specific aspects of nuclear weapons established in a number of international treaties. The International Court of Justice has also considered this issue and found that there is no authorisation for any use of nuclear weapons and that the ‘use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law’. However the absence of steady progress towards a global norm on the non –use and elimination of nuclear weapons means that states and other actors continue to be able to use and stockpile these types of weapons. Global interest in nuclear disarmament is undoubtedly increasing says New Zealand Red Cross Advocacy and Policy Manager Gabrielle Emery. The United States, under the Obama Administration, is engaging with this issue and creating new opportunities for progress in disarmament. A number of other countries, including Canada, Ukraine and Mexico, have announced plans to decrease their uranium supplies. In 2010, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) president Jakob Kellenberger

“It is now time for the government of New Zealand to take a leading role in achieving a Nuclear Weapons Convention and to seize the opportunity currently presented with the re-ignited global debate on nuclear disarmament. New Zealand Red Cross calls for determined leadership to push for the greatest possible progress towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We need to ensure that the devastating humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons and the real dangers inherent in their continued existence, as evidenced by the devastation described in Junko Miromoto’s story, never occur again.“

The nuclear debate is ultimately about the collective future of humanity.

Since the 1980s New Zealand has maintained an independent and principled voice on nuclear issues. “These are issues New Zealanders feel passionately about,” says Emery. In 1987, the New Zealand Government took a leading role on nuclear disarmament by passing the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone,

Junko Morimoto with her picture book ‘My Hiroshima’.

Credit: ICAN

There are currently about 21,000 nuclear warheads deployed or in reserve in the stockpiles of nine countries: China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of these about 7,500 are deployed and 2,500 of these are on high alert – meaning they are ready to be launched within a minute’s notice. The combined explosive yield of these weapons is approximately 2,500 megatons, which is about 150,000 times the explosive yield of the bomb used on Hiroshima.

“Everyone has a stake in this issue,” says Emery. “The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be limited in either space or time; the radiation released can affect health, agriculture, natural resources and populations over a very wide area and constitute a serious danger for future generations. The nuclear debate is ultimately about the collective future of humanity.”

Disarmament and Arms Control Act banning nuclear weapons from the country and prohibiting New Zealand agents from any involvement in the production, acquisition, deployment or use of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, she says. New Zealand was also one of six governments that led the Oslo Process to ban cluster bombs which resulted in the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.


A small potato in the field of




ew Zealand Red Cross aid workers often risk their lives to help those living in countries where conflict and hardship are often prevalent. Aid workers will work through tough environments, shaky political conditions and civil unrest to help others, whilst remaining neutral and impartial. It’s a challenge, but it’s also rewarding, and no one knows this quite as well as Andrew Cameron. Cameron has been honoured with the prestigious Florence Nightingale medal; an award given to those who show courage and devotion to the sick or disabled, or to civilian victims of conflict or disaster. The international award has only been received by 25 New Zealanders in the past 100 years, and Andrew is humble about the honour. “Although I always try to do my best, I’m just a small potato in the field of humanitarian aid... there are many others more worthy. 10    NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS

Nevertheless, I feel thrilled about being given an award” says Cameron. In nominating Cameron for the medal, New Zealand Red Cross International Operations Manager Andrew McKie noted that Cameron was passionately dedicated to his work. “Appraisals of Andrew Cameron’s work include recognition of his ability to gain respect from the local communities, as well as his expatriate colleagues,” McKie says. The “average bloke from Hawke’s Bay”

Andrew Cameron giving his award speech during his Florence Nightingale medal presentation.

importantly, to ensure respect and dignity for your fellow human being”.

ƒAndrew Cameron in South Ossetia.

has been employed as a teaching nurse in trauma and emergency medicine, a health coordinator, a hospital project manager, a health aid worker, and head nurse. All of Cameron’s missions have been undertaken in difficult environments with a high degree of risk, common to conflict and complex emergencies, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, Yemen, South Ossetia and Sudan. The work is “testing, demanding, frustrating, tiring, and at times heartwrenching,” Cameron says. “You have to adapt quickly to each new environment, think clearly, make decisions and get on with your designated job in a neutral and impartial manner. On these assignments, the goal is to protect life, promote health, and really

fulfilling. On a day to day basis, I feel as though I have helped someone, or many, through the enabling resources of Red Cross. It’s the nice thing about this kind of work” he says. “Once I helped deliver twins in the field hospital and the burly war-surgeon operating at the time was grateful to have me as an experienced midwife as his right-hand man on duty.”

From an early age, Cameron says that his parents instilled in him the value of community service. After growing up in Taradale, he armed himself with a degree in public (Tropical) health, before completing his general nurse and midwifery training in Lower Hutt. The transition from nursing in hospitals Cameron was awarded the Florence to becoming a Red Cross aid worker Nightingale medal on the 25 of was a natural choice. “I’ve always October on behalf loved being a handsof his Excellency on operator, solving The work an Lieutenant General problems by doing, the Right Honourable so it has been good aid worker Sir Jerry Mateparae for me to be in the accomplishes is at Government field with Red Cross.” also incredibly House in Wellington. At times, being an fulfilling. During the ceremony aid worker has he said: been incredibly difficult. “Once, I “I accept this medal in recognition of was showing my new boss around the all the kiwi nurses currently working hospital and he couldn’t take it. Seeing in desperate situations, harsh uneducated school-age girls and other environments, and places far from urchins scavenging in the hospital ideal. I am only part of a team… grounds for a morsel of food is always maybe I did a few helpful things for hard to come to terms with… children people over in some of those, but the same age as my bright-eyed, really it is all about teamwork. It’s well-nourished, ballet-dancing, pianoactually not a very easy way to make accomplished daughters” he says. a living - but I suppose I will not die of boredom. I have tried to do my An aid worker often works in war best and be a sensible and worthy zones or places of conflict, and there representative of New Zealand. are personal sacrifices, something Cameron’s family understands and accepts. “My girls are proud of the work I do and I think they tell their friends at high-school. They know that hard work and a bit of sacrifice never hurt anyone. The work an aid worker accomplishes is also incredibly

Like old Burt Munro, I’ve been inspired by some of the words of Theodore Roosevelt, who said: Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard, at work worth doing. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.“


Small arms: big humanitarian challenges 12    NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS


ournalism students were called on to investigate the use and proliferation of small arms, the major cause of human suffering in war, in a writing competition organised by Red Cross. “Rifles, machine guns, hand grenades are cheap to buy, and fairly simple to use, and there are around 875 million of these small arms in circulation worldwide,” New Zealand Red Cross Advocacy and Policy manager Gabrielle Emery says:

“Because small arms are so easily available it means violations of international humanitarian law, and obstruction of relief efforts, are more likely – and that has huge implications for those caught up in armed conflict.” This annual writing competition asked students to submit a 1,000 word feature article on ‘Small arms: big humanitarian challenges’. This year’s winner was Australia’s Queensland University of Technology student Zoe Noakes. This is her entry.

“It is only six am but already thousands of people have gathered around the food distribution trucks parked at Badbaado, on the outskirts of bulletscarred Mogadishu. What used to be a sprawling neighbourhood has been transformed by war into a squalid and bleak camp, home to 30,000 internally displaced people. Men queue in one line, women and children in another, and for a couple of hours the food passes from hand to hand without incident. Then chaos breaks out. Government troops begin looting the rations of maize and oil.


The civilians, desperate for food, join in the scramble. Armed soldiers beat them back with the butt of their rifles, before the pop of gunfire fills the air. In the aftermath, ten people are dead and the blood of the wounded stain the sandy ground. The misuse of small arms – portable firearms designed for personal use – has become a serious humanitarian problem. With the majority of wars now fought by small, ill-trained and lightly armed groups, violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) occur with alarming frequency.

combatants. It is applicable to all situations of armed conflict, regardless of whether those fighting are regular armed groups or non-state armed groups. The International Committee of the Red Cross believes the proliferation of weapons in the hands of new and undisciplined actors has outpaced efforts to ensure compliance with these basic rules of warfare. Somalia is an example of this. Two decades of internal conflict has resulted in a country ruled by war, not law, with civilians bearing the brunt of the fighting between the multiple parties. Abdirahmud Mohamud says the presence of small arms meant “you are always vulnerable”. He fled to Kenya with his family to escape the violence. “We witnessed people being killed in their sleep, neighbours killing each other. It was horrible and I am heartbroken.”

the rapid rate of weapon distribution makes it difficult for the law to be upheld. “Weapons are distributed at an alarming rate, and education and the realisation that rules apply sometimes works at a much slower pace,” he said. “For example, children who are disseminated or kidnapped to be involved in conflicts and activities that clearly breach rules – how are they to know, or even if they were to be aware of the fundamental rules, how can they resist them in those circumstances?”

The violence often forces large numbers of people to flee their homes. Refugees and internally displaced populations are In many of the conflicts around the prevented from returning home because globe, small arms are the weapons the weapons remain in circulation. Even of choice, and their impact goes before the drought sent the number of far beyond the effect of a single refugees skyrocketing, arrival figures bullet. The mere threat of a weapon were already high due to an upsurge can displace thousands of people, in fighting. According to the United prevent access to aid, and enable the Nations Refugee Agency (UHCR), recruitment of child the result of fighting soldiers. And in 2011 alone has according to Small There is no doubt that armed violence seen 200,000 people Arms Survey, there displaced, while is making a bad situation worse. are an estimated 875 70,000 have fled to million small arms in neighbouring countries. the world. The malnutrition, disease and starvation With small arms being used by The 5 August shooting at Badbaado that result from the displacement at the a widening circle of actors with was just the first in a trio of violent gunpoint of a gun are indirectly attributable decreasing levels of accountability, perpetuated incidents in Mogadishu. to these weapons. training and discipline, all parties The shootings were not only horrific; to the conflict have been accused However, curbing the proliferation they are also against the law. IHL – of violating IHL. The use of child of small arms is not easy. For many the rules that govern how conflicts soldiers is one example. Under the countries it makes economic sense to are fought – requires that all parties rules of conflict, the recruitment of sell their weaponry cheaply – it costs to a conflict allow and facilitate the children under the age of 15 or their money to destroy old and excess arms provision of humanitarian assistance to participation in hostilities by national and ammunition. As a result, small populations in need. armed forces and non-state armed arms are recycled from one conflict For the millions requiring urgent groups is prohibited. However, the to the next. With a rifle lasting up to humanitarian assistance in Somalia, the presence of small arms enables parties 40 years, one single weapon in the armed theft of rations is devastating. to not only forcibly recruit children, wrong hands can potentially devastate Small Arms Survey research director but train them as fighters using the generations of people. Robert Muggah says the availability very weapons they were abducted Professor Freeland says the rampant use of small arms worsens an already with. Muggah says the availability of of small arms means education about serious circumstance. “Heavily armed small arms makes ‘child soldiering’ IHL is more important than ever. “It’s a militia, clan-based groups and armed easier and more prolific. “The fact is tough issue, and what it means is that civilians exacerbates an already that small arms and light weapons we’ve got to be even more vigilant terrible situation,” he said. “There is are quite simple technologies – the about the education process,” he said. often quite a predatory component to underlying mechanisms have not “Not only is it an education process the violence, and relief aid efforts are changed in over 100 years. What about the rules, but we also have to often severely circumscribed by their is more, they are lightweight, which go deeper than that and work out why presence. There is no doubt that armed is why kids are often involved. The these conflicts are happening. The violence is making a bad situation cost of arming children is therefore rules are important and law has a very worse.” extremely low, which is why we often important role to play, but that is not see them so involved in poorer conflicts the only thing that has to be done. If Based upon the well-known Geneva around the world.” conventions, IHL imposes on parties to we could stop the proliferation of small an armed conflict the legal obligations to reduce unnecessary suffering and to protect civilians and other non14    NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS

University of Western Sydney international law and human rights law expert Professor Steven Freeland says

arms, it would be an absolutely positive thing.”

Once seemingly untouchable


oyce Hood worked at the heart of the conflict in Libya, describing her mission as being a frontline field hospital that moved, as the frontline of battle moved. A New Zealand Red Cross aid worker, Joyce has recently returned from three months in Libya where she heard many first-hand accounts of direct attacks on health care workers and hospitals, by both Gadhafi and rebel troops.

Hood recalls speaking to a brave nurse in Misrata who was willing to share her knowledge of such attacks. “Gadhafi troops had been based at a hospital in Misrata. When Rebels came into town, patients were used as human shields,” Hood says. “At one point, Gadhafi troops were ordered to do something and when they refused, they were shot in front of patients. When these troops left they stole ambulances and all of their supplies.” Hood says there are a number of reasons why troops steal ambulances in a conflict situation: for the vehicle itself, its precious medical supplies, and even as a device for tricking the enemy. Either way, she concedes the red cross emblem, once seemingly untouchable, is now disrespected in many conflict situations. “When I arrived, I saw the fresh bullet holes in the walls of the hospital,” Hood continued. “There were many stories of missing healthcare workers, which I presume means they are missing for good.” Hood heard of up to 25 incidents of this nature and

alarmingly, there are many people who feel too threatened to give any information at all of attacks. Her role in Libya was to provide support in the supply of hospital equipment and administering first aid to those in need. For a significant part of her mission, Hood was on

They had these wonderful facilities and high expectations for health care standards. board a Greek cruise ship, hired by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which sailed back and forth from Tripoli to Benghazi, transporting those who were otherwise trapped due to the conflict. Hood helped the ill on board the ship and entertained the many children. “It was hard work but also very fun,” Hood says. “It was

just me and one other nurse who had been based in Tripoli.” After 13 years, and some 13 missions for New Zealand Red Cross, Hood prefers to be away for a maximum of three months now. This is partly because, unlike her Northern Hemisphere counterparts, it is highly expensive to travel home for visits while away. According to Hood, this mission was particularly interesting as it was in an otherwise wealthy country, unlike many of the places she has been. “It was so different to the other places I have been, because it was a rich country and they had such beautiful hospitals,” she says. “They had these wonderful facilities and high expectations for health care standards, and yet they couldn’t get the equipment or drugs in, due to economic sanctions. That was where we provided help.” Hood also commented on the amazing efforts of civilians, all working for free, who helped to keep the country running during the immense turmoil. When asked about the long-term repair of Libya, Hood says “It will take a long time for things to settle down; due to the tribal nature of the country and brutal battle that has taken place. But at least they have great hospitals, which with sufficient money, can continue on.” ALWAYS RED     15

Desalination plants help drought-stricken Tuvalu


ith limited or no rainfall over the last six months, the availability of drinking water has reached critical levels in Tuvalu, which declared a state of emergency on 28 September.

The oldest man in the village tests the water from Red Cross’ desalination plant.


In coordination with Tuvalu authorities, Tuvalu Red Cross requested assistance through the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent. As a result New Zealand Red Cross mobilised 2,000 collapsible water containers, hand sanitizer, tarpaulins to be used to capture rain, two emergency desalination units and sent two New Zealand Red Cross aid workers to assist. The two New Zealand Red Cross relief aid workers, Dean Manderson and Greg Johns, left for Tuvalu straight away aboard a New Zealand Defence Force C-130. On their arrival to the country’s main island Funafuti they spent a day unloading supplies and organising the mission, before being transported on a patrol boat six hours to Nukulaelae.

Two villagers help set-up the desalination plant.

Before Manderson and Johns could set up the desalination plants and then train locals in their use, they introduced themselves to the community and council elders. “It is really important to get their support first; you can’t just bowl up and expect to start working. Once you have their [elders] support it makes the operation more productive.” Johns said. The next step was to set up the desalination plants It is really important to get their which took about an support first; you can’t just bowl hour per unit. Johns up and expect to start working. then began selecting team leaders and assistants to run the plants once they had left the island. “I chose team leaders with some sort of maritime, or engineering experience. This was important because they had to be comfortable with the operating procedures of the plant and how to fix it if something went wrong” Johns said. Those responsible for the running of the desalinators undertook five full days of training. New Zealand Red Cross identified a need for small emergency desalinators five years ago to suit the requirements of small isolated pacific communities, sending units to the Northern Tongan island of Nuie Tuiatapu and Vanuatu. New Zealand Red Cross’ portable desalination unit is designed to be set up quickly and sent as rapidly as a person can get on a plane, because it travels as personal baggage. The desalination plant packs into two “suitcases” weighing 31.9 kilograms each, one containing the pumps and filter, the other the reverse osmosis membrane. It can be accompanied by a portable generator, so it only requires a source of fuel or power and a supply of sea water. It will convert one litre of drinking water per minute from seawater, If there is a source of fresh but undrinkable water, the unit can operate without the reverse osmosis membrane and provide clean drinking water with some chemical treatment. “It was a great experience. It was very busy, there was a lot to do and organise in a short amount of time, but it was a successful operation.” Johns said on his return. “We managed to mobilise really quickly. That probably has something to do with the fact that Dean and I have worked together in pressure situations, so we know how one another thinks. It worked well.” The units are producing about 4000 litres of fresh water each day and expectations are that both will remain on the island until replaced by a more permanent government solution. ALWAYS RED     17

An immigrant with a backbone D

iet Jamieson is one of thousands of people who regularly donate to New Zealand Red Cross. Because of this regular support, New Zealand Red Cross can strategically plan for long-term programmes ensuring a real difference is made to the lives of vulnerable people. Diet Jamieson spoke to Lily HarperHinton about why she donates, steaming right back to a harrowing period of her childhood. Jamieson’s earliest recollection is of being spoon-fed water by her mother, in order to ration the dangerously small amount they had during the Dutch famine of 1944. Known as the Hongerwinter (“Hunger winter”), the famine took place in the Germanoccupied part of the Netherlands, during the winter of 1944-1945, near the end of World War II. “The west of the Netherlands was like a big concentration camp,” Jamieson says, “they were going to starve us out.” From March 1945 onwards, Allied troops began capturing those parts of the Netherlands still under occupation, but it took until 5 May for German troops to surrender. In total, more than 20,000 people died

of starvation during the hunger winter. Jamieson recalls up to 400 people a dying a day and being ‘buried’ under cardboard or whatever materials could be found. People had no electricity, little water and were given coupons to spend at a soup kitchen which served almost inedible food. “We ate sugar beet and tulip bulbs to survive,” Jamieson says. “My mother sold everything of worth in order to buy food. She was a very, very brave woman throughout that time.” Jamieson credits a kind doctor with keeping her alive during this harrowing period in her life. At age 12 Jamieson had dysentery that her mother believed would kill her. She regularly saw a doctor who was a specialist in internal diseases, who secretly gave Jamieson and her family small amounts of food which ultimately kept them alive. “I remember being so surprised to see her [the doctor] coming, I didn’t know where she would’ve gotten her vehicle from” Jamieson says. “I was under her care for five long years.” Some good news came for Jamieson and her family in December 1945. “A message came from Red Cross to say my father was alive in Indonesia. He had gone there as an Army Chaplin and was later put into a concentration camp where they stripped him of everything he had.” Jamieson’s mother promptly made arrangements to join her father in Indonesia, so Diet and her brother were put into alternative care arrangements. “This was amazing news. My parents had been separated for a long time,” Jamieson says. “When they both

returned in 1948, I wasn’t impressed to have a father at all. It was like I didn’t know him. Looking back, that must have been hard for him, but I wasn’t the same girl he had left behind.” Jamieson remained with her family in Holland until 1952, when she moved to New Zealand to be with her fiancé whom she married soon after. She raised her three children in Otago, before sadly losing her husband to cancer in 1968. Jamieson remarried a couple of years later and describes her late second husband as being a wonderful man and loving stepfather to her three children. After her second husband died of a stroke in 1991, Jamieson went on to become the National Executive for the Stroke Foundation. She has also been occupied during her life by various choir activities. Jamieson is a long-term donor to New Zealand Red Cross and a member of the Hamilton Red Cross branch. According to Jamieson “as an immigrant you need to have a backbone”. Certainly when talking to Jamieson she seems an incredibly strong woman, who speaks of her life experiences in a gracious and resilient manner. She partly credits her strong protestant faith for this praise-worthy attitude. Jamieson is now in her 80s and has been in poor health for the past ten years, suffering from the same type of cancer as that of her late first husband. However she remains in good spirits and holds a ‘special place in her heart’ for Red Cross and Red Crescent societies all over the world.

To donate to New Zealand Red Cross visit


Letter from a donor

Patricia Courtois Rangiora, New Zealand



perfect storm W

hat could be one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises is unfolding in the Horn of Africa. The United Nations says 12.4 million people are affected and describes the crisis as a “human tragedy of unimaginable proportions”. The countries now affected by severe drought include Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti (in East Africa) and parts of Uganda and Tanzania. In Somalia alone 30,000 children under five years old have died and more than half of the population is acutely malnourished. Many Somalis continue to flee for survival to overcrowded refugee camps such as Dabaab in Kenya. This camp is now home to over 440,000 people.

With little or no money and no transportation it is a desperate situation, as entire families walk hundreds of miles to reach the camps. Hundreds of people, many of them young children, are reported to have died of starvation on the journey. UNHCR’s Emmanuel Nyabera said: “The situation is getting more and more desperate by the day… we are receiving so many refugees and they are coming in a very sorry state having walked long distances.” This is East Africa’s worst drought since 1995. In some areas, 20102011 has been the driest period in 60 years. Unfortunately this is but one of a number of issues that have led to this humanitarian disaster. Long-term drought, conflict, a succession of poor harvests and soaring food and fuel prices have combined to create a seemingly ‘perfect storm’. The country has not had a stable, functioning government since warlords from rival clan’s ousted military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, plunging the country into conflict. In 2006, Islamists took control of 20    NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS

the capital Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia. Six months later they were defeated by government forces backed by Ethiopian troops, which remained in the country until early 2009. Somalia’s current interim government is virtually powerless and depends on foreign backing and warlord alliances for its survival. In recent years, hardline Islamist insurgents have gained control of large parts of southern and central Somalia, including some of the capital. Two groups, the powerful al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, are fighting to topple the fragile government, which they say is a puppet of the West. They want to impose a strict version of Islamic sharia law throughout the country. African Union peacekeepers are in Somalia to help support the government against the insurgents. The long-running conflict between rebels and government troops has made it extremely dangerous for aid agencies to operate inside the country, further complicating the crisis. According to Josette Sheeran of the United Nations World Food

Kenya Red Cross Society is working in the host community in and arround Dadab. An area where the number of refugees outnumbers the lokals. The camp is at this time giving refuge.

Programme (WFP); “operations in Somalia are among the highest risk in the world,” adding “WFP has lost 14 relief workers there since 2008”. In response to the worsening situation, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has stepped up its activities in the central and southern parts of Somalia. For example, in July and August the ICRC and Somali Red Crescent distributed one-month rations of beans, rice and oil to over 162,000 people in the areas of central and southern Somalia hardest hit by drought. The ICRC also distributed 134 irrigations pumps during this time to help increase food production for over 6,200 people. “Even as we strive to meet the most urgent needs, our long-term objective of reviving or boosting the livelihoods of the worstoff communities, wherever possible in a sustainable manner, remains unchanged,” said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia. An original and core service of the red cross movement, restoring family links (RFL) also has a crucial role to

Credit: IFRC Credit: SALTBONES, Olav A./Norwegian Red Cross

Faduma Mohamed, has eight children. The family escaped from the southern area of Baidoa. They have walked for weeks to escape the desperate drought and conflict situation.

play in this humanitarian disaster. Red Cross provides people with the opportunity to find and communicate with their families in and after times of humanitarian crises. RFL provides several important services, including some directly applicable to the crisis in East Africa. Firstly, “Red Cross messages” provide contact with loved ones when there is no other medium for communication available. A message can be written which will then be hand delivered where accessible to the family by a Red Cross aid worker. Secondly, RFL can provide a “Tracing Service” where family members are traced and communication restored, highly applicable in East Africa where there is continual movement of people as they seek food and safety. Lastly, at the request of Immigration New Zealand, New Zealand Red Cross can assist in the family reunification process by providing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) travel documents to persons with no appropriate identity papers, for example a passport, which allows them a single journey to return to their country of residence, country of asylum, or travel to a country where they have already received resident status. All of these services are available to those wishing to seek information about family, friends and loved ones who are in East Africa. The concern and anxiety felt by those who have loved ones in East Africa cannot be fully eased, but with the help of RFL, there is hope for those wishing to get in touch with family. Naturally, the ability to trace and reconnect with family members is subject to many factors, including access. Regardless of this reality, New Zealand Red Cross Restoring Family Links Advisor Michelle Dwight encourages people wishing to find and communicate with their families to contact Red Cross to enquire about the rfl services available. If people are wishing to get in touch with family in East Africa, it is recommended they contact their nearest Red Cross service centre alternatively, they can contact the RFL advisor at the national office in Wellington on ALWAYS RED     21

Lives saved with defibrillator program By Aaron Martin within 10 days of receiving their AED they found themselves saving Walley’s life.

Credit: AED Mark Walley

Tauranga man Mark Walley holds the defibrillator trainers Fiona Norton (centre) and Lynley McBride used to save him at Papamoa’s Ocean Blue Gym.


very 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from coronary heart disease. On average 16 deaths a day. But many of these deaths are premature and preventable. Survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest are grim with a survival of less than five per cent in our cities. If you live outside a main centre your chances of survival are even slimmer. So why are people in some areas surviving from this leading cause of death? In some locations survival rates can reach above 70 per cent. New Zealand Red Cross Marcus Bird says the answer is the availability of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). “New generations of AEDs are safe and easy to use so treatment can be


given on site well before emergency services arrive,” he says. With more and more AEDs in the community saves are becoming a regular occurrence. Recently New Zealand Red Cross celebrated a save in Tauranga. Mark Walley was working out at Ocean Blue Gym in Papamoa when without warning, he collapsed. Staff from the gym had recently learned of the benefit of AED’s during a Red Cross first aid course. They presented this information to the gym owner and

In Naseby Mike Chandler can claim that going to the pub actually saved his life. The Maniototo-Wedderburn branch of Red Cross donated two AEDs to the local community, with one installed at the Naseby local. This fully automatic device was ideal for this type of community location and was used successfully by the locals to save one of their own. Bird says one of the main features on these new generation AEDs is that there is no button to push, and so no risk of making the wrong decision. “The AED simply takes over and instructs the user exactly what to do,” he says. “With no buttons to push people feel more at ease and this appeals to businesses who may be concerned that a wrong decision could hold some responsibility. “Anyone of the age that can reach the AED can use it. It’s that easy.” Bird says the expectation is now growing amongst New Zealanders that AEDs should become readily available. “Many businesses are now seeing it not as an option but a necessity to protect their staff from sudden cardiac arrest, by establishing wellbeing programs and installing AEDs on their sites. However we are still a long way behind many parts of the world where legislation requires schools, buildings and transport hubs to have an AED on-site. In the meantime New Zealand Red Cross is continuing its work promoting these lifesaving devices.

A shock to the system Lisa Burdes, her husband and their daughters, three year old Kate and 11 year old Lucy were one of these successful applicants. They want to say thank you to New Zealand for their generous support in their time of need. “It’s almost impossible to describe the impact that the earthquakes have had on us and all the residents of Christchurch and Canterbury. The September quake was a shock to the system – the terrifying experience of waking to the house twisting and jolting, the noise, calming panicked children and the aftermath of days of lost power, sewage and water. Life as we knew it was rudely interrupted. We had just gone unconditional on our first home on 3 September and the weeks of stressful negotiations around insurance issues and house and land checks were financially and mentally challenging. We counted ourselves lucky however, we live in a suburb in the west and our house wasn’t badly damaged – we felt we’d dodged a bullet. February was different. We were all in separate locations; my husband was at work on the 6th floor of a CBD building, I was in a multi-level building at my work and the children were at pre-school and school. This one felt like we were going to die – and we knew of people that did of course. That absolute terror of not being with your loved ones and waiting desperately for contact with family and friends is indescribable.


ess than a day after the February earthquake rocked Christchurch New Zealand Red Cross set up the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal to raise funds for those affected. All funds from the appeal will be used towards New Zealand Red Cross’ response to assist communities and people affected. So far more than $53 million has been disbursed through close to 66,600 successful applications.

We realised pretty quickly that this time was different – life as we knew it in our beautiful city had changed forever. We mourned lost people and places. Pre-quake we would spend weekends going to cafes in town, the Art Gallery, the beach or hills. Just like that, everything was snuffed out. So many familiar landmarks, places of special memories from childhood – bars, restaurants, parks, churches, our wedding chapel and cultural venues – are gone. Some we can see the ruins of; others are still inaccessible and will be for some time. It is heartbreaking.

The Burdes family from Christchurch.

Friends and family have lost homes or continue to struggle with the ongoing pressures around damaged property and traumatised children. Our daughter refuses to let us enter a car park building and panics if she has to enter a building above one storey. Everyone is stressed and the ongoing aftershocks mean that we are surviving

on little sleep and the knowledge that it could all happen again. Life is harder now. My husband lost one of his jobs, my position is under threat and our once comfortable future in the city we love is in real doubt. Kate, our 3 year old, is pretty resilient and has basically incorporated the quakes into her ‘pretend’ play like it’s all very normal. Although she still jumps into our arms for anything over a magnitude 5.I guess almost a third of her life has been shaky! Lucy, our 12 year old (11 at the time of the first quake) has had it harder - last year at primary school and not going back at all to her own school site, had a friend who lost his mother in the quake and is still freaked by the aftershocks. Still, the group counselling provided by the school has helped. Kate’s school was so significantly damaged that half the school has to share a site with another school for the rest of the year. The extra travel costs meant that we were eligible for the travel grant from Red Cross and we received it gratefully. Everyone I know was overwhelmed by the generosity of all those New Zealanders who donated to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. For us, the grant meant that we had some relief from the financial pressure caused by the earthquake and channel our efforts into trying to make life as normal as possible for our daughters. We appreciate it so much. Thank you.” ALWAYS RED     23

Organisers of the sale Miriam Sharland and Janet Lang also understand the true beauty of vintage and retro clothing. “The wonderful thing about vintage is that you can choose your style icon from any era,” Sharland says. “If well cared for, these clothes will last you a lifetime and can be passed on to the next generation.”

There are unique pieces that are nostalgic and romantic. Vintage clothing allows the wearer to create a style which is completely their own by mixing and matching pieces. “It’s easy to take your favourite bits from each decade and make them work with today’s clothes,” Lang says. Vintage and retro clothing is also easier to wear than most people expect. “The key is to wear a couple of vintage pieces with more contemporary clothing,” says Ramakers. “You don’t need to wear head to toe vintage. Mix up classic pieces with more modern items and this will give your wardrobe some edge.” Many vintage pieces owe their wear-ability due to the fact that are well made and from beautiful fabrics. “There are unique pieces that are nostalgic and romantic. They fit well because they’re designed for curvy figures,” says Ramakers.

A mecca for fashion devotees


hen Red Cross Volunteers ran a Vintage and Retro Clothing stall at Palmerston North’s Easter Retro Festival to raise money, little did they expect that their market day stall would be so successful it would inspire a large Retro and Vintage Clothing Sale.


The sale was a mecca for fashion devotees seeking out unique vintage and retro pieces to add to their wardrobes: wool skirts, floaty chiffon dresses, lace tops, and psychedelic patterned shirts delighted shoppers at the sale. The success of the Retro and Vintage clothing sale “illustrates the growing awareness among shoppers that not only is vintage is stylish, but is also affordable and sustainable and gives the buyer value for money,” says Renee Ramakers New Zealand Red Cross Retail Manager Lower North Island.

Vintage and Retro clothing is not just for women either. “This isn’t just for the girls– there is plenty of stylish menswear on offer. Men will look cool in old-school sportswear and can keep warm in chunky wool coats.” Lang says. Vintage and retro clothing is not just about style, it’s also about recycling. “Beautifully constructed pieces are made to last the test of time, and by buying vintage and retro clothing, you’re saving clothing from going into a landfill. It gives these items a second life,” says Ramakers. Many modern trends are inspired by past trends, like some of the biggest trends this season; colour blocking, 1950’s, and bohemian. “Original

Looking for that retro gem in Palmerston North’s Red Cross Shop.

These clothes will last you a lifetime and can be passed on to the next generation. pieces from the 60’s and 70’s match the colour blocking trend and 1950’s inspired dresses will have women channelling Betty Draper from Mad Men. The bohemian vibe continues its long fashion run and a vintage paisley printed dress teamed with a fur vest will achieve this look effortlessly,” Sharland says. But the best part about second hand clothing? “There are some amazing pieces to be found in Red Cross shops, which are affordably priced, and all the profits go to Red Cross,” says Ramakers. Vintage and Retro clothing is different, sustainable, and affordable clothing which your wardrobe and your pocket will love and appreciate for a long time to come.


Improving The Lives Of Vulnerable People

Always Red Summer 2011/2012  
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