Beirut, Lebanon – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is today launching Voices from Within: A Decade of War Surgery in the Middle East and North Africa, a report that underscores the importance of war surgery and related programmes in helping minimize trauma and facilitate recovery.
The stories in the report shed light on some of the Movement’s activities and projects related to war surgery, as told by medical professionals who have worked in Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Lebanon over the past ten years. In war-torn countries, the Movement has frequently stepped in to fill gaps in health-care systems and to try to prevent their collapse. In some cases, it has lent technical and logistical support and personnel to existing hospitals. In other cases, it has set up entire temporary hospitals.
The report also shows how the Movement’s activities have improved and sometimes saved people’s lives, and serves to commemorate humanitarian workers who have been injured, abducted or killed in the line of duty.
Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have led more people to seek medical care, placing further strain on health-care systems. Between 2014 and 2017, ICRC-supported health-care facilities in the region reported a steady increase in patients wounded in war – twothirds of all the ICRC’s patients with war wounds were in the region.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement consists of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Movement’s mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, to protect life and health, to ensure respect for human dignity (in particular in times of armed conflict and other emergencies), to work for the prevention of disease and the promotion of health and social welfare, to encourage voluntary service and a constant readiness to help and, finally, foster a universal sense of solidarity towards all those in need of the Movement’s protection and assistance.