The city of Raqqa in Syria was recaptured by military forces on 17 October 2017. Five months of fighting has caused a high number of civilian casualties and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
 Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition forces
Mohsen, 64, fled the war in Syria with his family. Deeply affected by the events of recent years and his difficult living conditions, he suffered a stroke that left him hemiplegic. Humanity & Inlusion (HI) is providing him with physiotherapy care, to help him regain some of his mobility.
A year ago, on October 17th 2016, the armed forces launched a military offensive to retake the city of Mosul, in Iraq. More than one million civilians were displaced by the fighting, which lasted nine months, and over 18,000 people were injured. Below is an update on one of the region’s biggest humanitarian crises.
More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the end of August from neighbouring Myanmar. Handicap International (HI) is stepping up its humanitarian aid effort in response to this crisis, which is unprecedented in the region. Since 25 August, the organisation has already supplied humanitarian assistance to 15,000 people.
As the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh tops 500,000, Handicap International has expressed alarm at the plight of thousands of destitute people arriving in the country every day. Although only half of refugees have received emergency shelters from NGOs in the field, 2,000 Rohingya continue to cross the border daily. Handicap International has sent a backup team to help the most vulnerable individuals access humanitarian assistance.
Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and the Agence française de développement (AFD) will hold a two-day mental health workshop for funding bodies, mental health professionals and users at the AFD’s head office in Paris from 11 to 12 October. UNIFOR, Canada’s largest private sector union, will be present. Some 50 people are expected to attend. Aude Bausson, coordinator of the West Africa mental health programme, explains what the two-day workshop hopes to achieve.
Zibon Sona is an 80 year old widow. She was forced to leave Myanmar in September 2017 and has sought refuge in an improvised refugee camp in Bangladesh. Due to a physical disability, she is unable to move from her tarpaulin shelter and is reliant on her daughter for basic care.
Omar, 11, was injured in a bomb attack in Mosul, last June. After having his left leg amputated, he is now being assisted by a team from Handicap International (HI) in Muharibeen hospital. The physiotherapists provide him with rehabilitation care.
Like more than 500,000 Rohingyas who have had to flee their homes in recent months, Monowara and her family have sought safety in a makeshift camp in Bangladesh. This young woman in her thirties has three children and is pregnant with her fourth. She has received very little humanitarian aid. Monwara provided us with this testimony:
The 4th of October, 2017, marks one year since Hurricane Matthew ravaged southern Haiti. 140mph winds and severe flooding caused 603 deaths and widespread loss of homes, livestock and infrastructure. Handicap International (HI) is helping Haitians to cope with the 2017 cyclone season.
Handicap International (HI) in increasingly concerned for the welfare of tens of thousands of displaced people in the southern Philippines. Since armed conflict broke out in Marawi city, Mindanao, on the 23rd of May 2017, at least 360,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Many are now living in precarious conditions.
Yetnebersh Nigussie has dedicated her life to promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. She has been awarded the prestigious Right Livelihood Award, widely referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, for her determination to ensure that people with disabilities are never left behind.
Fetyan was caught in a terrorist attack in Mosul last June. Severely burned, he is now trying to recover from his injuries and regain the use of his hands. A team from Handicap International (HI) is providing him with rehabilitation care.
The bombing of civilians in populated areas has become a familiar feature of present-day conflicts. Not only does it kill and maim civilians, it also destroys vital public infrastructure such as bridges, ports and hospitals. Anne Héry, head of advocacy at Handicap International (HI), explains how the use of explosive weapons in populated areas impacts on civilians.