Even before conflict broke out in Iraq and Syria, people in the Middle East were suffering from severe water shortages as the past few years’ rising violence and record low rainfall have made access to an adequate quantity and quality of water increasingly difficult, according to a recent report by the ICRC. Many of the ageing water, sanitation and electrical systems that service the region’s growing population were already struggling to keep up with demand even before the conflicts began. Now, with more than 7.5 million people displaced within Syria and some 3.7 million seeking safety in neighbouring countries, already fragile water systems in communities hosting displaced people are being pushed to the limit, and water quality continues to deteriorate.

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What happens when machines can decide who to kill?

It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.

‘Wildfire diaries’ and radical change in communications

In this episode, we talk with humanitarian communicator Kathy Mueller who produced our first magazine podcast series, The Wildfire Diaries, about massive wildfires in Northern Canada in 2017. We talk about that series, her many international missions, and the big changes in humanitarian communications since she began with the Canadian Red Cross almost 20 years ago.

The power of storytelling

In this episode, we talk about the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. “Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human communication,” says our guest Prodip, a volunteer and multi-media storyteller for the Bangladesh Red Crescent. “It inspires us to be a hero of our own community.” We also speak with one such community hero, Dalal al-Taji, a longtime volunteer and advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in emergencies response. “In disasters. persons with disabilities sometimes get forgotten.”

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Empowering women with skills for life

Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan sewing courses provide women like Bazargul a lifeline in tough times, made worse by the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19

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