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Celebrating humanity with the best Red Cross photos of 2020

Every act of kindness matters: we want to thank everyone, everywhere, who went out of their way to help someone else get through challenges this year. You’ve shown us that kindness can come in all kinds of packages.

It may be a helping hand, a comforting call, useful advice or even a life-saving act.

We dedicate these photos – from Red Cross societies all over the world – to everyone, everywhere, who helped make the tough times easier this year.


When floods hit nine provinces in October, Cambodian Red Cross youth volunteers jumped into action. They helped older people to reach safety, distributed food and positioned sandbags to help stem the floodwaters. Photo: Cambodian Red Cross


Cows are everything in some parts of South Sudan, but before all, a source of money. If someone gets sick, a cow can be sold to buy treatment. The International Committee of the Red Cross helps people vaccinate their cattle against major infectious diseases. In the town of Rumbek, the cows are gathered into a small enclosure and are then rushed out to receive the injections; cattle keepers are sometimes injured in the process. Photo: ICRC/Florian Seriex


Friends Jojo (pictured) and Namarke, who both settled in Albury after fleeing conflict in Congo, run a catering business that gives back to other refugees. They cater for community events and work with Red Cross to deliver welcome packs for new Congolese refugee families arriving in Albany. Jojo and Namarke set up each family’s new home, stock them with food and cook their first meal in Australia. Their food is a taste of home that confidently says ‘you’re welcome and safe’. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Aysha Leo


Red Cross Member Jan Willmott has welcomed and supported Amira and her family, who fled the conflict in Syria, to make a new home in Western Australian this year. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Frances Andrijich


Rosalía’s mother disappeared 36 years ago. The International Committee of the Red Cross supported her during her search, the identification, and a dignified burial process. This is the cemetery in Ayacucho where her mother now rests. Photo: ICRC/Omar Lucas


This Portugal Red Cross team member goes above and beyond in the line of duty. Photo: Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa


South Coast residents Marilyn and Tim, who their lost their home in the 2019/2020 bushfires, are among the more than 5,600 people who received Red Cross grants, thanks to our many generous donors. Marilyn says she can’t be sad about what had happened because they had been shown so much good fortune through the kindness of others. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera


Volunteer Ikhsan helps a woman to safety in North Luwu on the island of Sulawesi. When devastating flash floods and landslides hit the area in July, Indonesian Red Cross teams rushed to help, conducting search and rescue operations and providing emergency relief. Photo: Indonesian Red Cross


When a deadly explosion destroyed the port of Beirut on 6 August, Lebanese Red Cross teams rushed to help. They ran search and rescue operations, helped people evacuate, transported the injured, provided urgent medical care, psychological support, temporary shelter, food and more. Photo: European Press Photo Agency


In Yulin Country, along the banks of the Katherine River in the Northern Territory, the Traditional Owners welcome a group of newly-arrived migrants with a water blessing and smoking ceremony. Red Cross supports the group, all women who have all faced difficulties on their journey to Australia, as they make a new home here. Photo: Mohomed Nihad


In rural Damascus, Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivers livestock that will help vulnerable families become more self-sufficient. Two hundred families each received two pregnant sheep, 600 kilos of fodder and six months of veterinary follow-ups. Photo: Syrian Arab Red Crescent


Red Cross volunteer Denise prepares care packages at a Royal Australian Air Force base in East Sale. The packages were airdropped into the cut-off community of Mallacoota in Victoria during the summer bushfires. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Rodney Dekker


Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers provided support – including search and rescue, first aid, food and emergency items – to some of the people affected by unprecedented flooding this year. The floods, which started in July, have left over 875,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance – about half of whom are children. Photo: IFRC/Anette Selmer-Andresen


Our volunteer Soraya gives a care package to Shaun, a father of four, in Bairnsdale, Victoria. Shaun’s wife gave birth to their youngest child, a daughter, on New Year’s Day. The family were forced to evacuate multiple times during last summer’s bushfires. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Rodney Dekker


Korean Red Cross teams pack food supplies for people affected by the pandemic. Photo: Korean Red Cross


Turkish Red Crescent staff volunteers don protective clothing as they get ready to prepare and serve food to people under medical surveillance for COVID-19 after returning from abroad. Photo: Turkish Red Crescent/Cevahir Bugu


During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic Susan made welfare calls from her home to people in isolation. Susan has been a volunteer for more than 10 years; she worked with our emergency services team, supported people in prison, knitted Trauma Teddies and more. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Alex Hahn


When huge wildfires, triggered by a heatwave, affected thousands of families in Western Syria in October, Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams rushed to help. They provided first aid, transported the injured to hospital, delivered water supplies to firefighters and helped to assess the extent of the damage. Photo: Syrian Arab Red Crescent


Helping people to safety after a deadly hurricane hit in November. Red Cross teams have been working around the clock after Hurricanes Eta and Iota left a trail of destruction across Central America. Some 4.5 million people affected by the back-to-back hurricanes, with extensive damage in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. Photo: Honduran Red Cross


50 Marathons in 50 Days – while holding down a full-time job. It was a massive challenge, but Nedd Brockmann from Sydney did it this year, raising almost $100,000 for Red Cross in the process. This is Nedd and his wife celebrating the end of his marathon effort. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Judith Russo


Iraqi Red Crescent teams have been distributing food supplies to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent

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