World Disasters Report 2016

IFRC, 2016

A lack of global investment in strengthening community resilience is leaving tens of millions of people exposed to predictable, preventable and catastrophic disaster risks. This is the key message behind the IFRC’s World Disasters Report 2016. According to the report, despite broad recognition that investing in resilience before a disaster can save lives and money, only 40 cents of every 100 US dollars spent on international aid is invested in preparedness and measures to reduce disaster risk.

Available in English, with summaries in Arabic, French and Spanish

Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems

ICRC, 2016

This new leaflet is designed to help members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement address misuse of the emblems. It explains the purpose of the emblems and why it is important to protect and ensure respect for them. The pamphlet also explains who is authorized to display the emblems. Particular attention is paid to medical and healthcare personnel and pharmacies. National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies, or ICRC delegations, may add one page of information pertaining to the emblems in their particular countries. National Societies interested in doing so are requested to contact the ICRC delegation in their country.

Available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

A plan to strengthen community resilience to drought in southern Africa

IFRC, 2016

Southern Africa is in the midst of an intense drought, driven by one of the strongest El Niño episodes on record. An estimated 31.6 million people in the region are currently food insecure and this figure is expected to climb to more than 49 million by the end of 2016. This booklet lays out a plan to help people affected by the drought to become more resilient to climate-related hardships.

Available in English

International humanitarian law: a comprehensive introduction

ICRC, 2016

This handbook aims to promote and strengthen knowledge of international humanitarian law (IHL) among academics, weapon-bearers, humanitarian workers and media professionals. It presents contemporary issues related to IHL in an accessible style, using practical examples. In line with the ICRC’s reading of the law, the handbook is both an everyday companion for anyone approaching IHL for the first time and a useful reference tool for military and humanitarian personnel seeking guidance.

Available in English (French in 2017)

Autonomous weapon systems

ICRC, 2016

The development of autonomous weapon systems — capable of independently selecting and attacking targets without human intervention — raises the prospect of the loss of human control over weapons and the use of force. Debates on autonomous weapon systems have expanded significantly in recent years in diplomatic, military, scientific, academic and public forums. This report contains a summary of a March 2016 expert meeting on the issue that brought together representatives from states and experts in robotics, law, policy and ethics.

Available in English

Nutrition matters

IFRC, 2016

This guidance publication highlights tangible, evidence-based priority actions in health, water and sanitation, and hygiene to achieve the global targets for nutrition. Throughout the publication, the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration within and outside the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to address nutrition holistically is emphasized.

Available in English

Protracted conflict and humanitarian action

Some recent ICRC experiences
ICRC, 2016

With the ICRC now spending about two-thirds of its budget on what it defines as ‘protracted conflicts’ — and the average duration of the ICRC’s ten largest operations at 36 years — the ICRC is responding by implementing a ‘combined approach’ that operates in the short and long terms to meet immediate needs and mitigate cumulative impact, according to this 44-page report.

Available in English

Enrique’s Shadow

ICRC, 2016

In marking the International Day of the Disappeared in August, the ICRC commissioned a comic book that tells the true story of a Colombian family’s desperate search for news of a missing family member. Entitled Enrique’s Shadow, the book was produced by the PositiveNegatives, an organization that develops literary comics about contemporary social and human rights issues. Enrique’s Shadow may be seen at

Available in Arabic, English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai

The global review on migration

IFRC, 2016

The IFRC commissioned and published The global review on migration as part of its mandate to ensure that all National Societies have the knowledge, resources and capacities to support vulnerable migrants. This report is based on interviews with more than 70 people representing 30 countries and five country missions, and on extensive desk research. It compiles 59 smart practices that address the needs of migrants across their journeys. The report is published as a micro website at:

Available in English

Virtual Volunteer

IFRC, 2016

Virtual Volunteer ( is an easy-to-use web application that helps people who are migrating find reliable, practical information and support. Universally accessible with any connected device, Virtual Volunteer merges the technological expertise of the computing company IBM with decades of Red Cross and Red Crescent experience to deliver humanitarian aid wherever it is needed most. The app puts crucial, reliable information at people’s fingertips and links them to the closest available services.

Available in Arabic, English, Dari, Farsi, Greek, and Swedish (languages vary depending on country where app is used)


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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