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Good morning, this is Michelle. The ICRC has been going through a rough patch lately. In Ukraine, the burst of a dam could not have come at a worse time for the humanitarian organisation. As it grapples with its own financial woes that have forced it to cut jobs and operations elsewhere, the ICRC is now getting bad performance reviews from the Ukrainian government for not being more outspoken against the Russians.

Neutrality has seen better days. But proof that Geneva hasn’t lost all of its charm, a renowned Russian NGO recently chose it as its new home, after getting the boot from Moscow. Plus, the UN marked World Refugee Day by casting a positive light on those forced to leave their homes.

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Michelle Langrand


On our radar

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Water flows over the collapsed Kakhovka dam in Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine, 7 June 2023. (Keystone/Associated Press)

Crisis-hit ICRC at pains to deliver in Ukraine. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is in choppy waters as it strains to bring aid to civilians in the crossfire of Russia’s war on Ukraine while dealing with a severe internal crisis and fielding heavy criticism from the Ukrainian government itself. While donations have poured in since last year for its operations in the war-torn country, needs are now soaring following the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine.

Geneva Solutions

Here's what else is happening


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Ongoing conflict, climate change and displacement of some 5.7 million people in eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are some of the ingredients of a humanitarian catastrophe, Tomson Phiri, spokesperson for the World Food Programme, told journalists at the Palais des Nations on Tuesday. Yet a funding shortage amid increasing accessibility to the worst-hit areas due to lacking investments in infrastructure has meant that its aid operations are unable to respond adequately. Saying the African country was in need of some “tender loving care”, Phiri called on donors to fill the 85 per cent gap in funding for WFP’s response in the DRC, set at $870 million.

International Geneva moves

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Heba Aly, CEO of The New Humanitarian, announced Tuesday that “the time has come for me to move on”. In an email letter to readers of the Geneva-based digital publication, Aly, who has spent 12 years at the non-profit news outlet formerly called IRIN, said that fresh leadership was “healthy and positive” as it transitioned from a “start-up to scale-up”. The New Humanitarian covers global crises, including conflict, climate change, migration and food insecurity. A press release said Aly will step down from her current role in 2024 and invited candidates to apply for the position she is leaving behind.

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