This is a stand-to for an incoming competition, one of our most expensive yet.
Later this week we're going to be offering the opportunity to Win £270 Rab Neutrino Pro military down jacket
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I have some experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and none of it was positive.
In Bosnia in 94 I was working with UNHCR. Part of my job was to arrange accom for staff by renting local houses. I rented two houses that had previously been used by ICRC. Both owners told me that ICRC required clean sheets daily - at a time when there was rarely power and often no water.
Whilst in town myself and a colleague watched ICRC distributing food parcels to the elderly. They handed the parcels to the mafia, who then promptly sold them to the old people who'd been queuing for hours. A quick call to Britbat produced a callsign which f*cked off the mafia guys, but left ICRC squeaking that the military shouldn't interfere! ICRC were the only NGO that would never give lifts to other aid staff or help in any way.
Last year I had to contact ICRC to organise some stuff to do with Iraqis in the UK Fd Hosp. An interesting experience; the British Red Cross told me they couldn't help because ICRC had been very clear that national societies weren't to get involved. Ringing ICRC HQ was no good - 'no-one is available to talk to you - try sending an e-mail'. However, to e-mail them you ned to know the first and last name of the person you need to contact - and they won't give out names!
I have heard from some people working in the Fd Hosp that ICRC visited, but didn't actually do very much.
How many Coalition PW did they visit during hostilities - none.
What was their reaction to being targeted by insurgents - to evacuate all their staff.
It seems the Red Cross no longer has the same ability to be as effective as it once was, and perhaps needs to be investigated itself.