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

Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada

In This Issue:
Sudan/Chad: ICRC Seeks Release of Staff
ICRC's Operations in 2010: Launch of the Emergency Appeals
Publication of Professional Standards for Protection Work
A World Free of Mines: Becoming an Achievable Goal
The ICRC and the Nobel Peace Prize
Sudan/Chad: ICRC Seeks Release of Staff
The ICRC continues to press for the unconditional release of staff members Gauthier Lefèvre, abducted in West Darfur, Sudan, on October 22, and Laurent Maurice, seized in eastern Chad on November 9. Daniel Duvillard, ICRC head of operations for East Africa, explains the situation.
How do you keep abreast of what is happening to Gauthier and Laurent?
The ICRC has recently been in contact with Gauthier, but the latest news we have of Laurent is indirect: through the media (after he talked to the press) and from his abductors.

We continue to be in relatively frequent contact with the abductors and with the national and local authorities. We want Gauthier, Laurent and their families to know that we are doing everything we can to bring about their swift release. We are not discussing these efforts in detail because we do not want to say anything that could compromise their safety or our chances of securing their release.

The media recently echoed demands from an armed group threatening to kill the hostages it is holding. Laurent's name was mentioned. What is your reaction?

The responsibility for the treatment and well-being of Laurent is in his abductors' hands. Of course we have been concerned about his and Gauthier's safety from the very first day they were abducted. Their safety is what we care about most. Only an immediate and unconditional release could put an end to the ordeal.

How does this situation affect your activities in Sudan and Chad?

Because security is a major concern, it is constantly being reviewed. We are taking every possible precaution to ensure that our staff can work safely. Although we did have to suspend movements and adapt our field presence in eastern Chad and Darfur, we are striving to maintain the essential services that no one else can provide. In particular, we are carrying on with our work in the camp for displaced people (IDPs) in Gereida, South Darfur, and with life-saving services such as emergency surgery performed in Abéché Hospital, eastern Chad. 
The latest ICRC news from around the globe
International Review of the Red Cross, 2009 - No. 874:
War Victims
International Review of the Red Cross: War Victims
This edition of the International Review of the Red Cross explores the notion of "war victims" and its several connotations: from a narrow sense in international law to its broader sense where it refers to all persons whom humanitarian law seeks to protect in armed conflict. It is this latter understanding which is used in the domain of humanitarian action. From a humanitarian perspective, armed conflicts and violence are about people, the risks, vulnerabilities and suffering they are exposed to, and the actions that must be undertaken to prevent, mitigate or put an end to that suffering. In this spirit, the present edition focuses on the people affected by armed violence, and on how they can be better protected, assisted, and treated with dignity.
Our World At War: On the Move
DRC - Ron Haviv, Our World at War
Our World At War is currently on display in the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI, in partnership with the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross.  It will be open to the public through January 3. The Ann Arbor Art Center is located at 117 W. Liberty Street in the historic Walker Building. Public hours are 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 5:30 pm on Sundays. 
In 2010, the ICRC plans to bring the exhibit to Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. 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
December 2009

This month the ICRC Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada announces the launch of ICRC's 2010 annual budget. We also take the opportunity to share with you the publication of Professional Standards for Protection Work
In addition, we bring you news from the recently held Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World and a look at the ICRC's own history with the Nobel Peace Prize, given last week's ceremony in Oslo.
We remain troubled by the abduction of our colleagues in Chad and Darfur. Read below for an update on the situation. Our thoughts are with them and their families, and we hope for their prompt release.
This issue marks one year since ICRC Washington began publishing this e-newsletter. In early January, we will send you a short survey to help guide improvements for the coming year. We hope that you take a moment to fill it out, as your feedback is very important for us.
Lastly, we would like to wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy 2010!
Kind regards,
The ICRC Washington Delegation
ICRC's Operations in 2010:
Launch of the Emergency Appeals     
ICRC Emergency Appeals 2010This month the ICRC presents its Emergency Appeals 2010, which describe situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence, the primary objectives of ICRC's field delegations in some 80 countries around the world, and the corresponding budgetary requirements for ICRC operations.
For 2010, the ICRC is asking donors for more than 1.1 billion Swiss francs* (approximately $1 billion). Presenting the budget in Geneva, ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said that while overall projected expenditure would remain virtually unchanged compared to 2009, spending on medical activities would increase by 7 percent.

"Millions of people affected by armed conflict do not have sufficient access to basic health services and many wounded die because they can't get the care they need," said Mr. Kellenberger. "The additional funds will be used mainly to expand field hospital capacities in Pakistan, as well as to improve access to primary health care and first aid, and to increase support for limb-fitting centers in countries like Afghanistan. Some of the money will also go towards providing basic health services for detainees."

Assistance for displaced people in Colombia's Nariño Department.The 10 largest operations worldwide for 2010 are as follows: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Pakistan, Somalia, Colombia, Yemen, and Chad.

Key challenges for the ICRC in 2010 include the following:
  • access and proximity to those affected by conflict 
  • perception, acceptance, security and dialogue with all parties to a conflict 
  • safeguarding the essence of neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian action
  • focusing on operational and security management
  • multidisciplinary responses; and, 
  • coordination and partnerships

To read more about the ICRC's budget features, operational priorities, and ongoing challenges, click here

* The following exchange rate is used: 1 US dollar = 1.12 Swiss francs.
Publication of Professional Standards for Protection Work

Professional Standards for Protection Work The number of humanitarian and human rights organizations carrying out protection work during war and other situations of violence is on the increase. It is therefore necessary to agree upon common professional standards, for the sake of those whom these organizations are aiming to help. That is the objective of this document, developed by the ICRC together with an advisory group composed by personnel from different organizations and NGOs, serving in their personal capacity based on the depth and diversity of their protection experience and expertise within their agencies and organizations.
As ICRC's Pierre Gentile explains, "The idea was to identify the minimum level of skills and professional ethics required to carry out protection work. Protection involves highly sensitive areas -- violations of the law, victims of abuse and the responsibility of authorities and armed groups. The main objective of these standards is to provide better protection for those who need it, and to make sure we do not put them in even greater danger." To read a complete interview with Pierre Gentile, please visit our website
A psychosocial worker talks to a rape victim in DRC. ICRC/VII/R.HavivOn November 20, the ICRC hosted a workshop to launch the standards in Geneva. The workshop brought together some of the leading actors in the protection field, was also an opportunity to discuss the main challenges related to these standards and to identify the next steps to be taken in the months ahead, especially in terms of implementation at the field level. The ICRC is planning a similar event to discuss the standards in Washington in early 2010. Please stay tuned, or contact us, for more details.
A World Free of Mines:
Becoming an Achievable Goal
Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free WorldThis month states party to the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines assembled in Cartagena, Colombia, from November 30 to December 4 for a Second Review Conference.
Anti-personnel landmines and other explosive remnants of war continue to pose a threat and to maim and kill indiscriminately long after hostilities have ended. In addition, they hinder post-conflict reconstruction and economic development. Landmines are unique weapons in that the injuries they cause, such as the loss of one or more limbs, are particularly horrific and their victims are usually civilians. Survivors are disabled for life and require long-term assistance.

Governments have responded to the humanitarian crisis caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war, banning anti-personnel mines in the
1997 Mine Ban Convention and fixing the responsibilities for removing explosive remnants of war after hostilities in the 2003 Protocol. Along with the 1996 Protocol, which includes restrictions on the use of anti-vehicle mines, these treaties constitute the international legal framework to prevent and address the human suffering caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war.
This month's Summit in Cartagena marked the latest attempt by governments to address these weapons. Upon the close of the conference, the ICRC hailed the adopted five-year action plan to clear mined areas, assist mine victims and destroy all remaining stockpiles as an important step forward, but emphasized that much difficult work lies ahead.

ICRC manages 6 physical rehabilitation centers in Afghanistan.Addressing the Summit, ICRC Vice-President Christine Beerli said that "despite 10 years of implementation the hopes that most landmine survivors had for the Convention have still not been fulfilled." Ms. Beerli welcomed the strong commitments made to victims in the Cartagena Action Plan but cautioned that "the more difficult task of turning words into tangible benefits for victims remains." The Plan commits States to expand health and social services for victims, and to promote respect for their rights and dignity, with the aim of ensuring their full participation in society.
The ICRC said the persistence of States in pursuing complete implementation of and universal adherence to the Mine Ban Convention has made a world free of anti-personnel mines an achievable goal
To read more, please click here.

The ICRC and the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace prize awarded to Dunant in 1901.
Did you know that in 1901, the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Dunant, founder of the ICRC and the Red Cross Movement? Did you notice when President Obama referenced Dunant in his remarks at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway?
The ICRC and the Nobel Peace Prize share a rich history. In addition to the award in 1901, the ICRC was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on three different occasions: in 1917 and 1944, as a tribute to its humanitarian activities during the two World Wars, and again in 1963, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, on the occasion of the Movement's 100th anniversary.
To learn more about these accomplishments, click here.