Thousands upon thousands of people on the road. Desperate, hungry people fleeing their homes, their life’s possessions bundled into pots and sacks. Children crying.
It is a scene from the Democratic Republic of Congo in November 2008, but equally it could be a scene from Europe in May 1945 - the humanitarian disaster that led to the founding of Christian Aid.
What we do
For more than sixty years, Christian Aid has been delivering urgent aid in emergencies triggered by conflict. From Vietnam and Lebanon, to Kosovo and Darfur, we have been there to deliver humanitarian assistance to people in need - refugees, displaced people and vulnerable people caught up in conflict.
But our experience has also told us that our response to conflict needs to be even more far-reaching than the delivery of humanitarian assistance, however important that may be.
In Colombia, for example, Christian Aid is speaking out on behalf of and with communities living under the shadow of 40 years of ongoing armed conflict - calling on the government there to protect their lives and their rights.
And because we know there is strength in numbers, we actively work with other organisations and voices to push for peace.
We have also been speaking out against the continuing Israeli blockade of Gaza - a blockade that is strangling the economy of this Palestinian territory and denying civilians sufficient access to food, clean water and basic healthcare.
In the wake of the most recent hostilities in Gaza in January 2009, Christian Aid is again calling upon Israel to lift its blockade and allow humanitarian aid and personnel through.
We are also calling on the international community to use its influence and exert pressure on all parties involved in the conflict to find a sustainable and just resolution to the conflict for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Christian Aid has worked in Israel and what are now the Occupied Palestinian Territories for more than 50 years
After the cameras have gone home
Our experience also tells us that our response to conflict must extend beyond the time when the troops go home - the return of peace is often just the beginning of our involvement in a country.
For instance, in countries torn apart by war but now at peace such as Angola or Sierra Leone, we are helping communities to rebuild their lives and work towards peaceful, long-term development.
This involves not only helping to rehabilitate people formerly involved in the conflict (often child soldiers) and building peace and reconciliation between communities, but also helping to build sustainable livelihoods.