International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross

Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada

In This Issue:
ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled: Helping People to Walk and Work Again
Pakistan: ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Assist Displaced and Returnees
ICRC and American University Washington College of Law Center Sponsor Workshop on Teaching International Humanitarian Law
Calling all Loggies: New Emergency Items Catalogue for 2009
The latest ICRC news from around the globe

International Review of the Red Cross, 2009 - No. 873: 

Typology of Armed Conflicts
Typology of Armed Conflicts
This edition of the International Review of the Red Cross focuses on legal classification of armed conflict. Qualifying a situation as an armed conflict to which international humanitarian law applies is an essential but delicate matter. As conflicts increasingly involve non-state entities and have transnational dimensions, they also challenge the distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts. The current edition considers whether and how today's warfare fits into traditional legal categories, in order to determine which law protects the victims of these situations.

Our World At War: On the Move
DRC - Ron Haviv, Our World at War
In collaboration with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and the Loyola University School of Communications, Our World At War is now open to the public in Chicago. The exhibit is located in the lobby of the School of Communications, 51 East Pearson Street, minutes from the magnificent mile. Hours are 9 am - 7 pm Monday-Friday and 9 am - 5 pm on Saturday. The exhibit is in Chicago through November 20.
The September 24 launch event was attended by approximately 200 guests. American Red Cross of Greater Chicago CEO Fran Maher introduced VII photographer Ron Haviv, who gave keynote remarks. Trained student docents guided guests on tours of the exhibit. Congratulations to all for organizing a sucessful start to the show's run in Chicago!
The exhibit will travel to the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI in partnership with the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross in December.  
In Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross, the exhibit will be on display in Calgary from November 9 to 13 at the downtown Banker's Hall Business Center. It will move to the McDougall House for a special event on November 18. The exhibit will then travel to Edmonton, where it will be on display November 23 to 27 at the Hotel MacDonald.
Stay tuned to this space for more dates and locations.
ICRC Mission
The ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. 
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News and Notes
October 2009

This month the ICRC Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada welcomes our new Deputy Head of Delegation, Martin de Boer. He comes to us from Sri Lanka where he served since 2006, first as Head of Subdelegation in Batticaloa and then in Vavuniya. His previous posts included assignments in Afghanistan, Gaza, and Nepal.
In this issue, we take the opportunity to explain the relationship between the ICRC and the ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled, as well as a report on the humanitarian situation in Pakistan. Please also find below an overview of a recent international humanitarian law course for law faculty held in Washington, DC. In addition, we highlight the latest versions of the International Review of the Red Cross and the Emergency Items Catalogue
We always look forward to your thoughts and comments on this newsletter. Click here to send us a note.
For the latest news, please consult our website at
Kind regards,
The ICRC Washington Delegation
ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled: Helping People to Walk and Work Again 
Andreas Lendorff and Claude Le Coultre The ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) was created in 1983 and is an integral part of the ICRC strategy for physical rehabilitation. The SFD provides follow-up physical rehabilitation assistance in countries where ICRC is no longer operational, thus promoting sustainability, continued provision of services, and return on ICRC's earlier investments. The ICRC and SFD have been independent entities since 2001, and the SFD relies on an independent fundraising structure. The ICRC provides logistical support to the SFD in carrying out its tasks.
From October 3 to 10, Professor Claude Le Coultre, ICRC Assembly member and Chairwoman of the SFD Board, and Andreas Lendorff, Member of the SFD Board, visited Canada and the United States. Here they share some insights into the work of the SFD with our readers:

What is the mission of the ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled?
Claude: The SFD supports physical rehabilitation services in low-income countries. Many centers are ones run by the ICRC previously. The SFD supports these centers with technical assistance and financial support to help people who have had amputations or who have other physical disabilities receive prostheses or ortheses. The main goal is to help people to walk and work again. The SFD also supports centers with training and other continuing education opportunities, as well as coaching them as they take on more management functions.
What do you see as SFD's greatest success since its creation?
ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled ProsthesesAndreas: The SFD contributes to the rehabilitation of a particularly vulnerable group. We are talking about tens of thousands of amputees and other disabled persons who benefit from increased access to and quality of care. In 2008, the SFD contributed to the rehabilitation of close to 15,000 disabled people. The centers we support provided 19,000 prostheses and ortheses, and I think that is quite a remarkable figure.
What are SFD's goals for the coming 12 months?
Claude: The SFD has been helping about 60 centers in 30 countries. As we are experiencing some financial shortfalls, in the next months we will try to reduce support to those centers that demonstrate capacity to run themselves. However, there are new countries and new centers that have asked for help, and in the next 12 months, we will continue to support them because the patients are still there and need our help.
Andreas: As a fundraiser, I am particularly worried about the current financial situation. Our goal is to raise $5 million for SFD projects. It seems that the kind of programs the SFD provides for amputees and disabled people are not at the top of donors' priority lists. Raising funds for programs in countries where the war has ended many decades ago, like Vietnam for example, is somewhat difficult. But, did you know that a 5-year-old child who undergoes an amputation will require 25 prostheses throughout his or her life? The needs remain long after a conflict ends.
What brings you to Ottawa and Washington this month?
Claude: The Government of Canada provided us with some financial support for about four years up until last year. We thought it would be a good idea to share details of SFD's work with them and try to convince them to continue to help us. We also met with the Canadian Red Cross to seek cooperation and support. Canada was particularly involved with the Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, and is one of the leaders on mine action issues.
ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled Training CenterAs Chairwoman, I wanted to meet with the Leahy War Victims Fund in Washington. The Fund has been one of our major financial supporters since the beginning, and we are very committed to continuing our collaboration. At the same time, we are meeting with the American Red Cross and the ICRC Washington delegation. We think it is important for these important partners to understand how the SFD functions and our relationship to the ICRC.
Andreas: While we are thanking current and past donors, we are simultaneously looking for new support. We have two or three prospects in Washington and are hopeful for new partnerships.
Turning away from the SFD for a moment, Madame Assemblywoman, would you kindly share with the readers some of your duties as a member of the ICRC Assembly?
Claude: The ICRC Assembly has between 18 and 20 members who act as the governance of the ICRC. We discuss policies and make major decisions confronting the ICRC, for example, whether to become involved in a new context or to withdraw from one. The Assembly also approves the annual budget and other financial reports. Many members of the Assembly have other tasks within the ICRC. For example, I am also the Chairwoman of the Board of the ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled. Others are part of the Recruitment Commission or the Council of the Assembly, which is a smaller group of Assembly members that meets more often than the full Assembly.
By statutes of the ICRC, Assembly members must be Swiss. Members are chosen from different categories of professions who are experts in public administration, financial management, industry, the law, and health care. The Recruitment Commission will make a proposal on new members, upon which the full Assembly votes in secret whom to elect.  
Pakistan: ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Assist Displaced and Returnees
The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society continue to assist displaced people and those who have already returned to their home areas.
Dir Disrict, NWFP. Displaced people in a camp set up at a school."People continue to move back to their homes, particularly to Swat and Maidan, in Lower Dir," said Benno Kocher, in charge of the ICRC's operations in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). "However, people remain displaced in Upper Dir and there has recently been displacement in Khyber Agency, close to Peshawar. We will continue to provide assistance both for displaced people and for returnees in the foreseeable future."
The ICRC has distributed food and soap to over 55,000 people still living in camps and with host families in Upper and Lower Dir over the last two weeks.
Most people who had left Maidan, in Lower Dir, to escape the fighting of previous months have now returned to their homes. The ICRC team assessing the local infrastructure and economy found damaged houses and abandoned fields. Electricity and water networks are in disrepair. Unexploded munitions remain a significant threat.
While the government partially lifted its curfew in Swat, access to some areas remained restricted owing to security concerns. With ICRC support, the Pakistan Red Crescent has expanded its operations in Swat over the last two weeks. Joint teams distributed food and soap to almost 35,000 residents of Kabbal. ICRC delegates, who had been unable to work in Swat since August 4, returned to the district on September 10.
The ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent also distributed food and soap to almost 12,000 displaced people living in Rangmala camp and with host families in Lower Malakand.
To read more about ICRC's activities in Buner District, Khyber Agency (FATA), and the Peshawar surgical hospital, click here. In addition, the ICRC Pakistan delegation has prepared this summary of its response to the humanitarian crisis in NWFP.
ICRC and American University Washington College of Law Center Sponsor Workshop on Teaching International Humanitarian Law 
On October 2 and 3, the ICRC co-hosted the second annual teaching international humanitarian law (IHL) workshop with American University Washington College of Law (WCL) Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. IHL Workshop at American University Washington College of LawOpen to faculty interested in teaching IHL for the first time or incorporating IHL into an existing course, the workshop brought together approximately 20 law professors and instructors representing institutions such as the University of Virginia, University of Florida, and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The workshop held sessions on basic design and various teaching techniques involved, as well as examining topics such as the intersection of IHL with human rights and international criminal law, direct participation in hostilities, and incorporating IHL into courses such as Constitutional, Administrative, and Public International Law. 
This workshop was organized to address the needs highlighted in a 2007 ICRC/WCL study, Teaching International Humanitarian Law in US Law Schools, which concluded that student demand for IHL courses was high but American faculty needed better resources, materials, and support to expand the teaching of IHL in U.S. law schools.
Calling all Loggies: New Emergency Items Catalogue for 2009
Ever wonder what items the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies use during emergency operations? The newest edition of the Emergency Items Catalogue is now available online. It provides specifications for everything from chick peas to clamps in an attempt to standardize equipment, facilitate logistics support, improve quality insurance, assist with communications and reporting, and avoid inappropriate donations.
 Emergency Items Catalogue