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

Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada

  
In This Issue:
Afghanistan: A People Trapped Between Sides
ICRC Presents Record Field Budget for 2011
Interview with Pierre Krähenbühl, ICRC Director of Operations
ICRC Selection of Photos 2010
Announcing the Winners of the ICRC Young Reporter Competition
 
 
ICRC News from
Around the Globe
New ICRC Film -
Human Rights Challenges for the Police in Peru 
   
Human Rights Challenges for the Police in Peru
Violence can break out suddenly or be an everyday reality. Police forces are responsible for restoring and maintaining public order -- very challenging tasks. The ICRC is working with the Peruvian national police in examining human rights as it applies to police work, and when the use of force is justified. This new 2-minute and 20-second film explores this area of the ICRC's work.

 
 
ICRC Strategy 2011-2014: Achieving Significant Results for People in Need
 
ICRC Strategy 2011-2014
 
 
The ICRC's Institutional Strategy sets out how the ICRC will respond to humanitarian needs over the coming four years, enhancing its expertise, coordinating with other humanitarian agencies, and maintaining partnerships with National Societies.
 
 
 
Expert Meeting Report: Incapacitating Chemical Agents - Implications for International Law
 
Expert Meeting Report: Incapacitating Chemical Agents
 
 
This publication is a summary report of the ICRC Expert Meeting on the implications for International Law posed by "incapacitating chemical agents," held March 24-26, 2010 in Montreux, Switzerland. This meeting brought together a group of 33 government and independent experts who were joined by eight ICRC staff members.
 

 
 
Our World At War Now On Display in Miami, Florida
DRC - Ron Haviv, Our World At War
Now through January 17, the American Red Cross South Florida Region is hosting Our World At War in conjunction with this year's Art Basel Miami Beach, at Soho Studios, located at NW 22nd Street at 1st Avenue, in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami, Florida.
 
The exhibit is open to the public by appointment only. To make an appointment and to learn more about the events planned around the exhibit, please contact LtCol Tony Colmenares, USMC (Ret), at email address: colmenarest@
usa.redcross.org
.
 
 
 
Upcoming Events

Santa Clara University School of Law

Check our website for the latest news, as ICRC commemorates the upcoming dates with special features, photos, and more:
 
Now thru January 23, 2011: Exhibit on Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland
  
January 4 - 7, 2011: Santa Clara University School of Law International Humanitarian Law Workshop in Santa Clara, California
 
January 10 - 21, 2011: Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Winter Institute on Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) in Baltimore, Maryland
 
February 25 - 26, 2011:
Teaching International Humanitarian Law Workshop at Emory University School of Law 
 
March 1, 2011: Deadline for submitting Florence Nightingale Medal nominations 
 
March 4 - 6, 2011: Harvard Humanitarian Action Summit
 
 

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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 2010 
 
Greetings!

This month the ICRC Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada would first like to wish all of its newsletter subscribers a very happy holiday season. 
 
We then turn our attention to Afghanistan, where the main conflict-related challenges faced by Afghans in 2010 look likely to persist in 2011.
 
Then, as happens every December, the ICRC launched its annual appeal to donors, requesting $1.2 billion to support its work worldwide. ICRC Director of Operations, Pierre Krähenbühl, was recently in Washington, DC, and Ottawa, Canada, to launch the appeals in North America. Read on for an exclusive interview with Mr. Krähenbühl who discusses the annual appeal and more.
 
Next, given our readers' interest in compelling photographs from ICRC's global operations, we invite you to view a special gallery illustrating a range of activities from this past year.
 
Lastly, we share the winners and runners-up of the ICRC Young Reporter Competition. The delegation extends a hearty congratulations to the eight young persons who will take part in this one-of-a-kind experience. 
 
As always, if you have feedback on this newsletter, we look forward to hearing from you. Otherwise, we will be in touch again in 2011!
 
Kind regards,
The ICRC Washington Delegation
 
 
Afghanistan: A People Trapped Between Sides
 
An Afghan child is treated for pneumonia at Mirwais Hospital.On December 15, the ICRC issued a statement on the challenges presented by the current situation in 
Afghanistan. Those challenges include civilian casualties, internal displacement, and insufficient access to medical care, all of which are occurring against the background of a proliferation of armed groups.

"In a growing number of areas in the country, we are entering a new, rather murky phase in the conflict in which the proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to reach the people who need their help," said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan. "One armed group may demand food and shelter in the evening, then, the next morning, another may demand to know why its enemy was given sanctuary." The emerging groups, which also include criminals, remain difficult to identify.
 
"Many people see fleeing as their only solution and many end up in camps for the displaced or with relatives in neighboring districts," said Mr. Stocker. Together with its partner organization, the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the ICRC has provided just over 140,000 people throughout the country with food and other items since January 2010. Rural and urban water projects gave 412,000 people access to safe water.
 
Afghanistan, where the ICRC has been working since 1979, is the site of the organization's largest operation worldwide with over 1,750 staff based in 15 offices, and a budget for 2011 of $89 million. To read the ICRC's full statement, click here.
 
 
ICRC Presents Record Field Budget for 2011
   
Pakistan: ICRC distributes food to flood victims.On December 2, the ICRC launched its annual appeal to donors in Geneva, requesting more than $1.2 billion to fund its worldwide efforts in 2011. The ICRC's 2011 budget includes the initial figures of nearly $1.05 billion for field operations and $183 million for support provided by the organization's headquarters in Geneva.

"The size of our projected field budget is an indication of the complexity and diversity of the needs we are addressing in the emergency and early recovery phases. We have had to find new and more effective ways of dealing with them," said ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger. "Not only do we need to meet acute challenges, like shortages of food, water or medicine, but we also have to focus more on addressing the indirect effects of hostilities, by ensuring for example that people have access to health care and by making counseling available for rape victims."
 
Afghanistan: A child being fed in the pediatrics ward of Mirwais Hospital.For the second year in a row, Afghanistan will be the ICRC's largest humanitarian operation in budgetary terms, with an expected expenditure of more than $89 million. This amount reflects the organization's renewed commitment to meeting the acute medical needs of countless war casualties and to providing the aid required by vast numbers of people displaced within the country.
 
Other major operations include those in Iraq, with a budget of $85.8 million, and in Sudan and Pakistan, which are expected to cost $82.8 million and $82.4 million, respectively. The ICRC's operation in Yemen, where it is focusing its efforts on assisting tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in various parts of the country, is set to receive the largest boost in funding, from $23.9 million to $48.8 million.

An ICRC convoy heads to Bazarqurgan, Kyrgyzstan.Commenting on the ICRC's overall priorities for 2011, Mr. Kellenberger said, "Our budget is ambitious, to be sure, but it is based on a thorough analysis of needs. And it is realistic, in that we feel capable of achieving our goals. Eighty percent of the budget will still be devoted to classic conflict situations. But we will also be addressing the needs arising from other forms of violence, from inter-communal clashes to urban violence, where the effects on the population can be equally severe."
 
Interview with Pierre Krähenbühl, ICRC Director of Operations
 
Pierre Krähenbühl, ICRC Director of OperationsPierre Krähenbühl joined the ICRC 1991 and has carried out assignments in El Salvador, Peru, Afghanistan, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. At ICRC headquarters, he served in a variety of management positions before becoming Director of Operations in July 2002. His recent visit to Washington, DC, and Ottawa, Canada, focused on the launch of the ICRC Annual Appeal for 2011.
 
This month the ICRC launched its largest annual appeal ever, totaling $1.2 billion. In brief, can you explain how the budget is prepared and presented to donors?
 
First, the field operations budgets are prepared. Delegations design their priorities and objectives based on their analyses of needs in the coming year. They then submit that to headquarters where we put them together and ensure coherence, and submit the compilation for the approval of our Directorate (our executive team) and the Assembly (our governance). Separately, we prepare a headquarters budget in Geneva, based on a combination of field support elements and other initiatives linked our to legal and communications activities. The figure quoted, $1.2 billion, represents the combination of these two.
 
The ICRC launches the appeal with a formal presentation by our President to the Ambassadors at the Permanent Missions in Geneva. Then I, together with other colleagues in operations, engage in a sort of tour of capitals to give feedback on what we have done this year and to share our thinking and explain the priorities we have set for the following year. 
 
We see very little change in the list of top ten countries receiving ICRC assistance from year to year. Does the ICRC do the same kind of activities every year, or is there a more complex story behind the figures? 
 
Life in the Field: Team Work It's a legitimate question to ask. We have a record budget and yet no new armed conflicts. One could ask, why is the budget growing? The reason is related to improved physical presence, access, and reach in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and others. Of course, all of these contexts remain very difficult, but we reach more people today after years of building up our networks and engaging in dialogue with the different parties. We also have to acknowledge that the average duration of an armed conflict is often tens of years. The ICRC has been present in most of the countries in the top ten largest operations for two, three, even four decades. The notion that humanitarian assistance only lasts for an "emergency phase," and then you pull out again, really doesn't connect to our experience. One country in which the conflict has recently emerged differently is Yemen, where we plan far more activities in 2011. 
 
How has the ICRC prepared itself to deal with future challenges related to the evolving nature of armed conflict?
 
It is important to both focus on what we are dealing with currently and, from time to time, look into the horizon. I often ask my team and others I meet, what don't we see yet that will shape our work five to ten years from now? One area where we think we will be working increasingly is in urban environments. This may occur in the context of full-fledged armed conflict or in what we call situations of organized armed violence. We see this currently in some Latin American countries, which experience very high levels of violence and a significant number of causalities caused by a mix of political and criminal motivations. We are currently preparing the ICRC for this type of operating environment through some pilot projects. 
 
Colombia: The echoes of war reach the town.Another feature that is clearly shaping our environment is the changing global political landscape. China, Brazil, India, and others are taking on different roles in international affairs, and we think that will impact the nature of the humanitarian community, which has historically been well established, well known, and I think closely associated with the West or the North. This will clearly change now and for some time to come. 
 
How do ICRC activities in the United States and Canada fit in to the global picture of ICRC's work?
 
Historically, both countries have had a very deep understanding of the ICRC. That has meant a great deal in terms of diplomatic, operational, and, of course, financial support. The strong and generous support from the United States and Canada is based on the feeling that these countries have a stake in what the ICRC tries to achieve.
 
In the specific case of the U.S., the activities carried out here are extremely important for the future. Over the past ten years, the ICRC has had an incomparably wider engagement with U.S. armed forces, with civil society, and with the different departments in the government, on a range of issues from detention to others. Now we are thinking about what the relationship between the ICRC and the U.S. will look like five years from now when certain operations that the U.S. is conducting will have changed and evolved. We are thinking about how the ICRC will manage this relationship and maintain all of these links we have created; this is also important for how the ICRC remains relevant and credible to the wider international community.  
 
ICRC Selection of Photos 2010 
Colombia, South of Bogotà, Ciudad Bolívar.As this year is coming to a close, the ICRC has put together a special gallery containing a selection of photos from its library, illustrating ICRC activities around the world in 2010.
 
 
Announcing the Winners of the ICRC Young Reporter Competition

ICRC Young Reporter CompetitionAs part of the International Year of Youth, in August the ICRC launched a "Young Reporter" competition, inviting young adults between 18 and 25 to send in an article, photo essay, video, or radio piece. The winners would have a chance to travel to ICRC delegations in Georgia, Lebanon, Liberia, the Philippines, and Senegal for a week to talk to young people affected by armed conflict and report back to their peers.
 
The ICRC received almost 500 applications from young people all over the world. Many of them were outstanding. The five winners stood out, not only because of the quality of the projects they submitted, and the communication skills they displayed, but also because of their humanitarian engagement and their ability to reach out and connect to other young people.
Young people in LiberiaThree runners-up were also named, including Amanda Brinegar, from El Paso, Texas, who currently lives in Senegal and will team up with the young reporter traveling there.
   
All eight participants will travel to Geneva in May, on the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, to present their "stories from the field." To learn more about the winners and runners-up, click here.